March 17, 2024


On March 17, 2024, we had our first auspicious Taking Refuge Online ceremony for the year. This was also the the fourth online ceremony hosted by Global Meditation Center New York (part of Dharma Drum Retreat Center), after previous sponsorship (with Dharma Drum Mountain San Francisco Bay Area Center) ended last year.

As more worldwide practitioners understand Why Take Refuge in the Three Jewels, we had a group of nine (9) fellow Chan practitioners from Germany, India, Ireland, and the United States.

Here are the heartwarming words of sharing from the practitioners, to “share the precious forward” for practitioners coming in the future:

from JR:
For years I have battled the highs and lows of bipolar disorder and would often get stuck in cycles of depression for extended amounts of time. I was always looking for hope in helping overcome this disorder and live the life that I deserve. I then found Buddhism. This has been life changing for me! I know have a clear mind, a healthy body and am living the life that I know I meant to live. I was searching for a way to deepen my devotion to Buddhism and came across Venerable Guo Yuan. I am so thank to the Venerable for offering The Refuge online. I expected the feeling of joy to come over me once I took The Refuge, but I was not prepared for how intense the feeling of joy and peach that I would have. I am extremely grateful for the Venerable and to Warren for this amazing experience.

from Sonja:

With this heartfelt sentiment, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Venerable Guo Yuan, Warren, and all those who participated in organizing the Online Taking Refuge Ceremony. This event marked a significant milestone for me, as it concluded 3 years of personal practice when I officially took refuge. I am profoundly grateful for the accessibility of the ceremony, designed to welcome even newcomers to Buddhism with clear, step-by-step guidance. Special thanks again to Venerable Abbot Guo Yuan for his leadership during the ceremony and to Warren from DDM for his compassionate support leading up to this auspicious occasion. The enduring wisdom of Master Sheng Yen, as conveyed through his books and talks over the years, lends profound meaning and significance to this commitment within the Dharma Drum Mountain lineage for me.

Participating alongside fellow brothers and sisters in this auspicious event filled me with a sense of joy and gratitude. The journey we have embarked upon together feels like a significant step towards inner transformation and finding truth within ourselves. It's uplifting to see how we support one another in our spiritual pursuits, striving to improve ourselves while also enriching the lives of others. I feel deeply connected to other Dharma brothers and sisters around the world who have committed to walking the Buddhist path of Ch'an. It is a sincere blessing for me to have had the opportunity to become part of the Dharma Drum Mountain community of practitioners.

For more information or to apply for the next Taking Refuge Online, please visit here.

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