I did It!
I participated in the 35 Buddhas Repentance Puja on 5th and 6th March 2018. We were also offered the option to observe the eight precepts as it will be vastly meritorious.
I managed to follow through the whole of the two days program. For the first time, I did all the prostrations without missing any. The pace was just right for someone heading 60 years old to do.
Venerable Jing Yuan explained every line of the repentance prayer to us. I learnt one important point. We are not to dwell on our wrongdoings, thereby be overcome by grief but to rejoice with ourselves that we have the opportunity to repent.
Venerable Jing Yuan also taught us various methods to do the recitation of the repentance prayer. There is a method for busy people to do within a minute. He also went on to demonstrate to us how to put our palms together at various positions of the body which signified the purification of body, speech and mind at the prayer. We were also shown the correct way to do prostration.
As eight precepts was incorporated into the program, Venerable Jing Yuan also covered briefly on the precepts for the benefit of first timer like me. Activities were planned till about 9pm, ensuring that we were able to observe the precepts when we reached time.
The first evening Venerable Jing Yuan told us his life story. It was very interesting and inspiring. This helped us to understand our Abbot better and also to keep our tiredness at bay. Before heading home, we had a precious opportunity to offer lights at the main shrine. More than three thousand lights were offered by the participants. And we were taught to include donors, family members, classmates and all sentient beings in our visualization during the Mandala offering.
On the second evening, Venerable Jing Yuan conducted a heart to heart dialogue session with the participants. He answered the questions comprehensively. Before we went home, we had another light offering. Venerable Jing Yuan reminded us the seven benefits in offering light which will benefit our progress towards attaining wisdom.
In these two days of the retreat, I leant a lot. It was very fulfilling. It was miraculous that I managed to abstain from food after mid-day. The one precept which I was not so confident initially. But I did it! No problem at all. In fact, I felt cleaner and lighter. Rejoice!
Thank you, Triple Gem, and BWM Sangha community for the enriching experiences!
Ng Thiam Hong (15G023E)