Refuge-taking by Blessed Seniors
It was a Buddha’s joyous day on 20 July as BWM held a refuge-taking ceremony for close to 200 seniors. With the company of their loved ones, even though some of the seniors were walking unsteadily with a walking cane or on a wheelchair, they all grasped the great opportunity to take refuge in the Three Jewels.
Venerable Zu Hong started off by sharing a story on how an old lady, who first doubted the Buddha’s meritorious power, eventually realized the Buddha had actually been showering blessings on her. She realized that her wonderful possessions and resources, blessings and virtues, and wisdom were all obtained through the wisdom taught by the compassionate Buddha through his manifestions. The story inspired the seniors to uphold a joyful and respectful heart and mind to take refuge in the Triple Gem.
The ceremony was presided by Venerable Ru Quan where a discourse on the essence of taking refuge was given. When we have met the teacher of the three-world - Shakyamuni Buddha, who has perfect compassion and wisdom, we would just need to follow the direction he gave and practice in accordance to his teachings, in order for is to be free from sufferings, attain happiness, and ultimately achieve Buddhahood.
Under the guidance of Venerable Ru Quan, the attendees sincerely performed repentance before the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, to purify nonvirtuous karma created through their actions, speech and thoughts. Under the grandiose ritual, the seniors found their reliance and officially became the Triple Gem disciples.
The ceremony was also endowed with singing by the Evergreen class. The 21 students from the Pioneer generation sang 4 Insightful Praises, and they sang of 2 of them with the Hokkien dialect! The ambience was further heightened as everyone clapped along to the beat and music.
Everyone’s face was beaming with joy as they enjoyed a sumptuous lunch after the ceremony.
A fellow attendee, Ms Tay Siew Lian, has actually taken refuge many times but as soon as she heard about this opportunity, she came again to take refuge as she believed the Three Jewels are one’s only savior, where this is the correct and true path of practice!
Ms Helen Tan, together with her husband and daughter, brought her 96-year-old mother to participate in the refuge-taking ceremony too. As her mother has been unable to take care of her own daily needs now due to old age, she felt that the ceremony would be the best gift for her mother; where the Triple Gem would bless and guide her, and for higher status life after life to learn the Buddha’s teachings until attaining Buddhahood.
As the saying goes, filial children and blessed parents are all Triple Gem’s good disciples!