Monastery, founded in the second century A.D. by Venerable Kang
Senghui, has been in constant use as a Way-place for 1700 years. This
December, 600 men and women from provinces all over China, as well as
from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong entered the training to
receive full ordination. The monks from America were invited to take
part as Certifying Acharyas, who examine and certify the novices’
qualifications for receiving the precepts.
I also stood in as Confessor
Acharya on behalf of the 96-year-old Venerable Fu Chen, while Dharma
Master Heng Lyu stood in for Venerable Ming Yang to read the
Upadhyaya’s (Precept Transmitting Master’s) part. Venerable Yin Yuan,
secretary of the Buddhist Association of China, joined Venerable Ming
Cheng and Venerable Yin De, two Sangha guests from Taiwan, in
administering the precepts. The ceremonies took ten days to complete,
and many of the ordinees seemed sincere, enthusiastic, and blessed with
good roots. During our visit to Shanghai, we also paid our respects to
Jade Buddha Temple to convey our regrets for the passing of the Abbot,
Venerable Zhen Chan, earlier this month. Venerable Zhen Chan had been a
friend of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, who had visited many times
and had helped establish the good relationship between Buddhism in
China and in the United States.
Three lay Dharma protectors
accompanied us: Kabo (Guo Yu) Tsai, Robert (Guo Yuan) Chen, both from
Los Angeles, and Jinzhou Tsai, from San Jose. They saw to it that the
trip ran smoothly. During the ordination Venerable Ming Yang invited us
to explain the Shramanera Vinaya and Rules of Deportment, the Bhikshu
Precepts, and the cultivation of ascetic practices.
On December 22 the group
joined the ceremonies for the first of the lunar month at Yuan Ming
Lecture Hall, Venerable Ming Yang’s home temple, which is dedicated to
the memory of Venerable Yuan Ying. We gave a Dharma talk to the crowd
of nearly 7000 laypeople who gather there every new and full moon to
pay their respects and seek blessings from the Triple Jewel.
We were invited back for the
next ordination at Dragon Flower Monastery, and Mr. Yongping Wang,
Vice-chairman of the Shanghai Buddhist Association, said, “We hope this
visit has continued the long-standing cultural and religious exchange
between Buddhism in the U.S., represented by the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas, and Buddhism in Shanghai and in China."