FROM THE DHARMAREALM
laid on the rock bed of the Smith River provided a walkway to the main tent
where ceremonies were held. Here participants are shown carrying gear in for the
The session began with recitation of the Amitabha Sutra and the Pure Land Mantra for-Going Off to Rebirth. These were followed by praises to Amitabha Buddha. This ceremony was repeated all week.
Although publicity was limited, people came from all over the country to join in the session. More than fifty people participated daily in the session, and several dozen visitors came during the course of the week to learn about the Pure Land practice and join in the meditation.
session on Buddha Root Farm marked the first time an orthodox Buddha-recitation
session had been conducted under open skies in the mountains. As the days
progressed the sound of the chant became clear and harmonious and many who
participated found their concentration deepening significantly and their wisdom
opening to an understanding of the profound principles of the Dharma.
On the banks of the Smith River, the fourfold assembly circumambulates for half-hour periods reciting the name of Amitabha Buddha.
One is like a tiger with horns;
In the present age a teacher of men,
In the future a Buddhist Patriarch.
Nine out of ten will take the wrong road;
Without dhyana and with only the Pure Land
ten thousand practice, ten thousand will go.
Meditators recite the name of Amitabha Buddha silently or use a Hua-t'o such as "Who is mindful of the Buddha?"
Rain or shine the chant continued all day for seven days accentuated by the beat of the small wooden fish and the chime of the hand bell.
chanting the High Meal Offering before the Buddhas, everyone winds down the
hill, across the Smith River and through the fields for the one main meal of the
every meal praises are chanted to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Dharma
protectors and during the meal everyone vows to cut off all evil, to do good
deeds, and to save all living beings.
Master spoke with such simplicity that even the most beginning beginners could
comprehend the principles, and yet the profundity of his words lead even the
most informed members of the assembly right into the realm of the ineffable,
inconceivable, miraculous vastness of the Dharmarealm. From a detailed
explanation of the cosmology of plant "and animal transmigration to an
intricate mathematical calculation of the number of Amitabha Buddhas to be found
in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, the expedient methods used to teach and transform
reached not only those present in the assembly but will provide a wealth of
instruction for those of the future.
At the end of the week a take refuge ceremony was held and seventeen people took refuge with the Triple Jewel and bowed to the Venerable Abbot as their teacher.
Bill Brevoort and his wife Peggy, who hosted the session and their son Joshua, are shown in the photograph. They took refuge and received their Dharma names. Bill is Kuo-ying, Peggy is Kuo-chieh, and together their names mean they will welcome (ying) the Buddhadharma to the Northwest and lead (chieh) others to believe in it. Joshua received the name Kuo-gen "Fruit of Roots" because he is a strong young root of Buddha Root Farm.
On the far left in the photograph is Pip Cole, who received the Dharma name Kuo-chieh, "Fruit of Morality."
After taking refuge everyone made the four great vows:
Living beings are boundless, I vow to save them.
Afflictions are endless, I vow to cut them off.
Dharma-doors are limitless, I vow to study them.
The Buddha-Way is unsurpassed, I vow to reach it.
At some special events during the week...
Above, memorial slips bearing the names of deceased relatives and friends are burned as mantras are chanted to send them to rebirth in the Pure Land.
Here, those who are seeking to take refuge with the Triple Jewel are shown making full prostration’s before the Buddhas during the refuge ceremony.
The spectacular close to the session was the Great Transference of Merit performed on the Oregon dunes looking out across the Pacific to the West, the land of Amitabha, as the sun set.
The Venerable Abbot and disciples chant sutras and mantras as they transfer the merit from the week of recitation to all living beings that they might all be reborn in the Pure Land.
Truly recognize your own faults,
And don't discuss the faults of others.
Other's faults are just your own--
Being one with everyone is called great compassion.