Perceptions after participating Eight Purificatory Precepts Retreat

Translated and written by Jen-San Tsai

On the first weekend of November, Dharma Drums Mountain Massachusetts
Buddhist Associaton held a two-day retreat of Eight Purificatory Precepts.
It was discoursed by Venerable Guo-chi, Buddhist disciples attended from far and near,
as a myriad of stars surround the moon.

The preceding ceremony of the Dharma Preachment Meeting were progressed inside the Buddha Lecture Hall (of DDMSLT), in front of which seated with the Honour Buddha Shakyamuni on the lotus flowers throne. Upon Master Reverend Guo-Chi chairing herself, all the Buddhist followers were coherently bowed their heads and closed palms in piety, listening to the preaching and chanting. All were in solemn and divinity. This powerful spiritual scene was comparable to the earlier ancient one of Lingshan Mountain Dharma Preachment Meeting before the Honour Buddha Shakyamuni, that giving off strong aroma in the air, being sincere from the bottom of our deep hearts, beaming of Dharma light over sky, emitting with strong powerful spirit resplendent to brilliant rainbow, and casting an image likening ancient Chinese Emperor court meeting: “At Nine-Heaven, the palace gates opened layer by layer, subsequently all nations envoys as well as all ranks of domestic courtiers to worship the emperor in unison.”

In the beginning of Preachment meeting, Master Reverend Guo-Chi skillfully replayed the former Master Reverend St. Yen’s video on Buddhism Preachment and Enlightenment, elaborating the essential ceremony of Buddhism Eight-code of Fasting Recess, and the subsequent rewards: no killing, no stealing, no falseness, no drinking, no food after dharma forbidden time, no makeup with fragrant flowers for corolla, garlands, etc., to miscellaneously dye the solemn body; besides, no singing and dancing with prostitutes, no sleeping in large and luxurious bed. The codes are very rigid and severe, like engraving a stone with knife, absolutely strict and curse and destiny. Thus, it’s no forgiveness after breaking the codes, and inherently will be persecuted in mentality even if running away to the far ends of the earth. For all living beings pursuing of peace holding, the effectiveness of these codes is self-evident. In comparison with Nagarjuna’s Eight Forbidden Doctrines of the Middle Way Theorem (that is, not born immortal, not different, not constantly, not coming Not going), here is far more firm in extent.

On another occasion, Master Reverend Guo Chi led the Buddhist group to the near-by school stadium across the street to perform Buddhism outdoor meditation. There exists huge green lawn open field with blue skies and sunshine, the Buddhist group proceeding the meditation and simultaneously enjoyed green field outing; walking amid the breezing wind, drumming and chanting dharma sutra in synchronization, all resounded and echoed through the Earth, rendered the Heaven and Earth intertwined. Buddha light was radiating directly to the paradise of the Wonderland. In the meantime, the youth soccer tournament was in progress, lively, and the sky birds hovering and soar dancing, the Heaven and Earth unified in rhyme, all living beings are grown in symbiosis, the so-called expression of “Buddha light bathing and washing all over the entire earth grounds and nourishing all living beings,” indeed it is. It recalls that more than 2550 years ago when Buddha Shakyamuni the Honour exposed himself to the wilderness of the open fields and mountain ridges, integrately himself to the Nature as unified whole body during his dharma practices, we here were doing the same thing. Thus, Dharma practice in ancient and the contemporary is equivalently proceeded in same scheme.

Intensive Buddhism worshipping and the Buddhism Eight-code of fasting Recess strike our feeling substantially. I, here by, write a poem in remembrance of it:

Buddhism Eight-code of fasting Recess is served primarily for our first experience of being a Buddhist monk,
Here about 100 of Buddha followers were performing and pursuing the philanthropic goal on cause and effect;
While paying homage to Buddha the Great and simultaneously devoting ourselves to Repentance and repentance,
We pray wishfully our next life for promotion as a Bodhisattva

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