Buddhist Laity: Can you tell me why chanting is good to do?
Master: It helps you to balance your emotions. Then you can correct your thinking.
Buddhist Laity: Yes, I felt really calm with chanting today. So why do we dedicate the merit?
Master: So we keep our perspective and open opportunity for real assistance when needed.
We (You) give the assistance. Btw in those dedications in Chinese there is no “we”; it’s in command form implied “I”. Western translations that use “we or ours” are misinterpreting the original intent. It’s from the Christian perspective to use “we”; a common style in Christian liturgy.
Buddhist Laity: I’ve always dedicated merit but never asked why. Weird eh?
Master: Hardly anyone asks and very few have an answer for that question.
The whole service in temples is in command form “I” implied in non-English languages like Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese. In English bits and pieces use plural and distorts the meaning.
Buddhist Laity: That’s interesting.
Master: Yep, that’s from my experience as translator.
Buddhist Laity: So it is an individual accountability rather than the collective?
Master: No. It’s individual practice with a group. Self-growth is most important focus and not accountability to a group or a leader. Group is for mutual support. So you don’t feel alone.
Some laity get their 5 precept robes in a knot when you can’t keep up or you are late but really that’s their issue not yours.
Chanting the sutras in the services links us to the ancient practice of “chanting sutras” that Sangha has done since Buddha passed. Sangha (meaning Bhikshuni, Bhikshu) still chant sutras.
Buddhist Laity: Thank you very much. I need to write this in a notebook. I think I need to start reviewing.
I’ve decided to offer my humble services teaching dharma and precepts in English to temples and monasteries. I’ve been encouraged by my dharma friends to start to let more Sangha know that I am now willing to travel to their way places. I’ve strongly believed in practicing one tradition during one’s monastic life and for me that is Chinese Buddhism. I’ve never dabbled or practiced other religions since taking refuge and five precepts. And since becoming a bhikshuni I have experienced the guidance of the Vinaya precepts that have given me such comfort and solidity in my daily life! I want people to understand that comfort and solidity is very important foundation for mind training. Refuge and 5 Precepts are the foundation for everyone’s practice and should be taken as the basic framework for their practice.
Sangha can see the difference and you can feel the difference in your daily life when you have precepts even as a householder. It does support you. It does benefit your mind training.
For those interested in having me talk you can contact me via email venhongyang (at) gmail.com and I will respond with information to help you decide to furnish an air ticket or a train ticket. I have freed up my fall to spring schedule, and will open my spring to summer to accommodate your scheduled events and services.
If you are Western people you may not understand how to sponsor Sangha to give dharma talks and precepts. You usually ask first then offer the transportation cost plus housing and dana monetary offering at the day’s end or end of event.
I only practice Chinese Buddhism and that’s the context of my Dharma talks and training/encouragement in Precepts (Refuge and 5 Precepts, next year qualified for VInaya Precepts and 8 Precepts giving training and ordination for monastics). I will only transmit the Dharmagupta lineage as that is the one I hold myself. I will not participate in multi-yana (Theravada, Mahayana combined lineages being offered as a choice to the candidates to pick one) ordinations ever, so don’t ask. I will only transmit my dharmagupta lineage ordination line with only dharmagupta lineage masters beside me and of proper numbers.
Regarding my invite for Sangha members to contribute their wisdom to Sangha Conduct-Advice to Americans in Robes.
Only Sangha fully ordained in robes presently in good standing are asked to contribute.
Living anywhere you have to deal with Americans in robes, or if you are an American in robes; any ethnic group, any tradition. Declare your tradition and give me a brief autobiography
Living in solitude on your own or living in community.
Any level of English, it will be edited for typos and grammar as best I can do.
ANY STYLE, poetry, plain speak, write like you telling another Sangha member some needed advice. Share stories if you wish, keep the dharma names in them or make an obvious fake name, something like Ven. ChattyKathy or Ven. Snipesalot… you know be creative or not. ANY way you write is perfectly ok.
The deadline is Monday June 24, 2013.
And no limits to length on your contribution, but at least a page not a sentence. No Koan, no gungan; Haiku if you must but need to include a lesson or verbiage to add to it or increase our understanding in the Vinaya or Buddha dharma or life in general.
All your work if you have citations include them if not I will find what I can if citing sutras or other ppls words declare in the sentence (paraphrased/written by/from NAME if have year or page great if not just a name).
Write for the Sangha not the public.
It will be on Amazon through my account for sale. Selling a book there does not make you rich, I’m not rich, occasionally I get a partial tank of gas out of it every few months or so. Mostly it’s for benefit of future generations. You can sell it too, I’ll give you advice a bit later on that.
I had expected some fanfare at least a post comment or two on Facebook oh well people are busy. but I finally picked the temple name.
Calm Clarity Temple
It came from knowing what attributes I carry and promote as the abbess. My main attributes are Calm and Clarity. I am not saying I am the best but it’s the attributes I want to carry forth as a signature of this temple and it’s mission to meet the communities needs here and carry on my translation efforts to have a complete Mahayana English Tripitaka of the Taisho Edition of the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.
The reason this edition is so important is that it is inclusive of the Pali Cannon and has an Esoteric Division (yes, people Esoteric came from China through India as well as accumulations of the effects of adaptations to local religious beliefs and cultures. It has all the schools in Buddhism in both Theravada and Mahayana including I suspect some of the older ones, that are not all translated out into English, what we have today is scholars works and they are not accessible, largely out of print or not available to the public. It has commentaries, verses, records, and lineages of our Sangha, this may not be interesting reading but it is really good for us to know what bits from history we can glean from these being translated.
I honor my interest in Daoism with the recognition of a specific school, the Complete Reality School, it’s burned it’s place in my noggin. I like it very much, I also have a title memorized “The Master Who Embraces Simplicity” from my early days of study of Chinese culture included the Three Religions of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism. I liked monastic life for it was easy fit for my lifestyle the way I lived it and the way I thought about my life. To honor me, and my past lives I chose Calm and Clarity for the temple attributes. When you choose a temple name it’s to have a purpose to benefit the country, the states, the county and the town in which you live; that’s responsibility towards society creating positive conditions for prosperity, reduce conflicts and improve the quality of life for everyone.
The mission carries on the Bhikshuni one. To create awareness of VinayaSangha residing in the USA. To provide Buddhist services and offer instruction in Buddhism to the public, and conduct creative, charitable, and education programs for interested persons.
The primary specialty is the translation of the MahayanaTripitaka Taisho Edition in Chinese to English. Serving as translator, education of translators, networking with translators around the world, being a part of the development of an international database the would provide free online access to all English translated Tripitaka materials.