*Jeweled Repentance of the Emperor of Liang, December 24-30, with Bhikshu Heng Syang as DharmaHost
Beginners' Meditation Class Led by Bhikshuni Heng Chih December 15-19, 2000
The month of December 2000 was a very busy month for Tze Yun Tung (Purple Cloud Cave) Temple in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There were Dharma programs conducted by various DRBA Dharma Masters who had flown all the way from the U.S.A. and Canada to lead these activities. Participants, including both Malaysians and some Singaporeans, were fortunate to have this rare opportunity to attend these programs.
Dharma Master Heng Chih led the Meditation Session from December 15-19, 2000. Some sixty people attended this vigorous session. The day started off with the usual morning ceremony at 4 a.m., followed immediately by a twenty-minute walk and one hour of sitting meditation. This sequence was repeated until 10:20 a.m. when we had our meal offering. From 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., we had a short question-and-answer session with Dharma Master Chih. We continued with the twenty-minute walk and one hour of sitting meditation from 1:00 to 4:40 p.m.
We had our usual evening ceremony at 6:30 p.m., followed by Dharma talks for an hour by Dharma Master Chih. After a whole day of sitting where bodies and legs were subjected to a variety of physical and psychological torments, everybody looked forward to this hour of exhilarating lecture by Dharma Master Chih. About a hundred and fifty people, including those who couldn't join the daytime program, attended these talks on meditation.
All the lectures were delivered eloquently in Mandarin and English, and everybody enjoyed these talks. Many listeners felt they learned invaluable Dharma principles that could be applied to their practice of meditation and to daily life. The Dharma talks were followed by the last period of walking and sitting meditation, which ended at 10 p.m.every day.
Jeweled Repentance of the Emperor of Liang
December 24-30, 2000 The Jeweled Repentance Ceremony of the Emperor of Liang was led by Bhikshuni Heng Liang and assisted by Bhikshuni Heng Dzu. Bhikshuni Heng Hsuan played the drum and bell. Bhikshu Heng Syang was the Dharma host for this ceremony.
More than 300 people participated in this ceremony, including about 40 from Singapore. The program started at 8 a.m. and ended at 4:30 p.m. each day. In the afternoon immediately after lunch, Dharma Master Heng Sheng gave Dharma talk based on the text of the Repentance Ceremony, explaining cause and effect as well as the meaning of true repentance. These afternoon Dharma talks helped many new participants gain a better understanding of the whole repentance ceremony as the Sutra was chanted in classical Chinese, which is not easy for most people to understand.
The great assembly also gained much insight from the evening lectures based on the Repentance text given by Dharma Masters Heng Liang and Heng Hsuan. Both Dharma Masters explained in great detail the outline of the Repentance text and the grateful assembly was thus able to grasp the meaning of the repentance ceremony.
The whole ceremony was conducted without difficulty and the great assembly was blessed with fine weather and occasional rain throughout the seven days of bowing. In fact, for the first three days there was a tremendous downpour at the time of the transference of merit and virtue. The Dharma Master explained that the gods and the dragons of the eight divisions were extremely delighted with the ceremony and the dragons sprinkled jewels, which we received as rainwater. The great assembly so rejoiced in this repentance that they sang their hearts out during the concluding verse at the end of each roll. Dharma Master Liang commented that everybody chanted with such vigor that the whole assembly seemed to be flying away just as "the withered blossoms (offenses) were being blown away," as described in the repentance text.
The whole repentance ceremony concluded with a "Great Meng Mountain" offering on December 31 st. It was attended by some 200 laypeople. Both sides of the Buddha Hall were filled with faithful disciples of the Buddha.
The year 2000 ended with plenty of Dharma bliss for everyone, and all were very appreciative and grateful to the virtuous Dharma Masters who had worked unceasingly to bring the ceremonies to a successful completion. Those who protected the Dharma included the kitchen and Buddha hall staff, security guards who provided 24-hour patrolling, and volunteer child care teachers. Dharma Master Sheng reminded everyone to transfer merit and virtue to them for all their hard work and contributions.
*Meditation class group photo