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Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 8:20 pm
by JKhedrup
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBX-1ZBR ... 4DA66BB065" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I am wondering what is happening during the ceremony. As I don't speak Chinese I have no idea what is going on.
As you scroll through this segment there are a few places where the majority of the future bhikshus and bhikshunis read from a text and cry.
What is going on?

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:31 pm
by DNS
They just read the part about celibacy.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:58 pm
by deff
:lol: my thought too !

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 11:32 pm
by Terma
Hopefully someone who is familiar with the language can give us the answer. But to venture a guess, perhaps they are going through a repentance portion of the ceremony. I once took part in a a repentance liturgy at a temple in Sichuan, China a few years back- complete with prostrations while chanting the verse of repentance for some time. All of this was followed by some members giving their repentance aloud to the rest of us. Everything was being translated for me, and it really became very emotional for many people taking part.

Maybe not what is going on here, but it did bring that memory back nonetheless.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:08 am
by Indrajala
Oh it is short-term renunciation. I was wondering why the females had hair and the men didn't have the incense burn marks on their heads.

I don't think that's uncommon at all to weep.

Master Sheng Yen wrote that when he took ordination precepts it was a profoundly emotional experience.

Even with bodhisattva precepts some people find it quite moving.

In Chinese Buddhism the long ceremonies and build up to the finale complete with music, incense and ritual theatre can have a deep impact on people. Confucius himself believed in the transformative power of rites and music. This was transferred into Buddhism.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:24 am
by Devotionary
My Chinese isn't that good, but from what I can read, it's a stage/part of the ordination/renunciation process for the short term, where they receive their brown over-robes (man-yi in Chinese), which represents the robe of attrition and repentance for all of the evil karma they have created.

That probably explains why they still don't have their burn marks, and the women still have hair... perhaps they dont intend to be monks or nuns forever, and treat this more as a retreat. The video doesnt really elaborate on this matter.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 8:31 am
by Sara H
Terma wrote:Hopefully someone who is familiar with the language can give us the answer. But to venture a guess, perhaps they are going through a repentance portion of the ceremony. I once took part in a a repentance liturgy at a temple in Sichuan, China a few years back- complete with prostrations while chanting the verse of repentance for some time. All of this was followed by some members giving their repentance aloud to the rest of us. Everything was being translated for me, and it really became very emotional for many people taking part.

Maybe not what is going on here, but it did bring that memory back nonetheless.
Yes, people commonly cry at Jukai and other such ceremonies.

They are very moving, and represent joy and knowing in our hearts the compassion of the Buddhas and Ancestors and that we are doing the right thing, and really taking responsibility for ourselves, by facing who we are, and that we really are not judged, and can actually see that, and not just know it in our heads, and that we are accepted and loved. And that the compassion really is real.

It's very, very, moving.

In Gassho,

Sara H

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:28 am
by Namgyal
Until quite recently, when the East has come to completely copy the West, Asians typically had less disconnect between their hearts and their minds than Westerners. I have seen very strong and self-controlled Asian men break down and weep like infants when meeting their Lamas, while beside them Westerners sat stony-faced. The problem is that for most Westerners all these things are slightly abstract, like a robot controlled by a distant operator. Mask No.1 is meeting the Lama, Mask No. 2 is doing prostrations and being such a good boy, etc. etc. This is a tragedy because unless one can forcefully and painfully strip away these ten thousand masks to penetrate through to the vulnerable heart and the true face, then the benefits and results of ones practice will be very slight.
:namaste: R.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:36 pm
by Terma
Raksha wrote:Until quite recently, when the East has come to completely copy the West, Asians typically had less disconnect between their hearts and their minds than Westerners. I have seen very strong and self-controlled Asian men break down and weep like infants when meeting their Lamas, while beside them Westerners sat stony-faced. The problem is that for most Westerners all these things are slightly abstract, like a robot controlled by a distant operator. Mask No.1 is meeting the Lama, Mask No. 2 is doing prostrations and being such a good boy, etc. etc. This is a tragedy because unless one can forcefully and painfully strip away these ten thousand masks to penetrate through to the vulnerable heart and the true face, then the benefits and results of ones practice will be very slight.
:namaste: R.
I think that is true. When I was visiting the East, people there had no second thoughts of rushing to see the Guru as his car pulled up, or suddenly stopping to prostrate wherever they were it seems, when the Guru approached. Here in the West it is more like "should I prostrate 3 times? When should I do so? What is the protocol? and so-on." It certainly is a bit forced sometimes.

Perhaps when we have found the teacher we have a strong karmic connection to from past lives, it may be a bit different. I think then, many of those masks are naturally removed :smile:

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:17 pm
by JKhedrup
Thanks for the information. I have to admit I felt a tiny bit disappointed when I found out is was a short term renunication. My initial thought was "how wonderful so many young people want to become monks and take the triple platform ordination". Of course, it is still wonderful that many people were willing to go through was seems to have been a very rigorous ceremony.
Does anybody know if the presiding Master is the famous Pure Land shifu Venerable Miao Lien?
Is anyone familiar with this temple in the movie? Does anyone know what tradition it belongs to?

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:08 pm
by Devotionary
JKhedrup wrote:Thanks for the information. I have to admit I felt a tiny bit disappointed when I found out is was a short term renunication. My initial thought was "how wonderful so many young people want to become monks and take the triple platform ordination". Of course, it is still wonderful that many people were willing to go through was seems to have been a very rigorous ceremony.
Does anybody know if the presiding Master is the famous Pure Land shifu Venerable Miao Lien?
Is anyone familiar with this temple in the movie? Does anyone know what tradition it belongs to?
Yes, it IS Venerable Miao Lian... Or at least his lineage, if the video description is correct...

If my memory serves me right, he is known as a Precepts/Ordination Master in Taiwan. Big temples such as Chung Tai Chan and Fo Guang Shan invited him for ordination ceremonies, if I'm not mistaken. (I think he already passed away, but I'm not sure.)

IN a way, it seems like this is similar to short-term monkhood practiced in Thailand...

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:16 pm
by JKhedrup
Do you know if Venerable Miao Lian has a monastery where he teaches his own disciples?
If my memory serves me correctly, he had a Pure Land monastery where the standard of conduct and study was very high, but there was some kind of fire. I am wondering if he managed to rebuild or how his activities are manifesting these days.
I read one talk he gave that was translated into English and was very moved by it!
I pray that he is well and continuing to turn the wheel of dharma to benefit beings, and that I am able to meet him at some point this lifetime :anjali:

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:53 am
by Huifeng
JKhedrup wrote:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBX-1ZBR ... 4DA66BB065

I am wondering what is happening during the ceremony. As I don't speak Chinese I have no idea what is going on.
As you scroll through this segment there are a few places where the majority of the future bhikshus and bhikshunis read from a text and cry.
What is going on?
Hi Ven. Khedrup,

While a couple of posters above have pointed out that it is a Short Term Monastic Ordination (standard = 7 days), the main point has still been missed, however.

This is the part when they disrobe and return the monastic robes back, rather than when they receive the robes. This is a very common thing during this, the very last part, of the Short Term Monastic Ordination process. Every time I've helped out with these events I've seen it happen.

They are weeping because they don't have the good merit to continue living the life of brahmacarya, and don't have the wisdom to cut through the secular bonds that tie them down, preventing them from entering into the sangha for life.

By the way, such Short Term Monastic Ordinations only transmit the sramanera/ika precepts, not bhiksu/ni precepts, and the incense burns on the scalp are only give for monastic bodhisattva precepts after the bhiksu/ni ordination.

~~ Huifeng

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:06 am
by Huifeng
The Ven. Miaolian passed away some years ago. Nowadays, there are only a couple of monastics from that generation who are still alive in Taiwan (or the PRoC).

And, viz "man-yi" (brown) robes comment above, the manyi is for the lay five precepts, not sramanera/ika ordination, which is the five strip (brown) jiasha (kasaya) robe. The seven (brown) and nine (yellow) strip robes are for bhiksu/ni ordination.

~~ Huifeng

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 2:07 am
by Huifeng
Devotionary wrote:My Chinese isn't that good, but from what I can read, it's a stage/part of the ordination/renunciation process for the short term, where they receive their brown over-robes (man-yi in Chinese), which represents the robe of attrition and repentance for all of the evil karma they have created.

That probably explains why they still don't have their burn marks, and the women still have hair... perhaps they dont intend to be monks or nuns forever, and treat this more as a retreat. The video doesnt really elaborate on this matter.
See my comments above. (Sorry, you are incorrect on about four points here, and the video is actually very clear.)

~~ Huifeng

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:53 am
by JKhedrup
Thanks Ven. Hui Feng you are always a fountain of knowledge! So few Western monastics have a thorough understanding of Chinese language and Buddhism.

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:32 pm
by Devotionary
Huifeng wrote:
Devotionary wrote:My Chinese isn't that good, but from what I can read, it's a stage/part of the ordination/renunciation process for the short term, where they receive their brown over-robes (man-yi in Chinese), which represents the robe of attrition and repentance for all of the evil karma they have created.

That probably explains why they still don't have their burn marks, and the women still have hair... perhaps they dont intend to be monks or nuns forever, and treat this more as a retreat. The video doesnt really elaborate on this matter.
See my comments above. (Sorry, you are incorrect on about four points here, and the video is actually very clear.)

~~ Huifeng
Ignorant me, I didn't go to the last part of the video!

Yes, it IS the conclusion, where they give back their robes and bowls, etc.

Thank you for the correction, Venerable... And my sincerest apologies if I confused anyone :bow:

Hmmm, does Fo GUang SHan offer this kind of ceremony?

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:55 am
by Huifeng
Yes.

~~ Huifeng

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:12 am
by sinweiy
Do not try to become anything.
Do not make yourself into anything.
Do not be a meditator.
Do not become enlightened.
When you sit, let it be.
What you walk, let it be.
Grasp at nothing.
Resist nothing.

If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't begun to meditate.
- Ajhan Chah

Re: Why are the candidates weeping during the ordination?

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:12 am
by Ukigumo
Huseng wrote:In Chinese Buddhism the long ceremonies and build up to the finale complete with music, incense and ritual theatre can have a deep impact on people. Confucius himself believed in the transformative power of rites and music. This was transferred into Buddhism.
Having attended a Chinese Buddhist ceremony (it was bilingual; chanting was done in Chinese with certain parts of the ceremony conducted in both Mandarin and English), I can attest to this from personal experience. During the Gratitude and Memorial Ceremony I attended, I was on the verge of weeping several times, for no reason I could discern, and the same thing happened to me the first few times I heard the Heart Sutra being chanted. There is something about these rituals that deeply touches the heart-mind and can stir up very intense emotions; I really felt an overwhelming sense of compassion from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas being manifested in an incredibly direct way. After some of these ceremonies I also noticed my perception seemed slightly altered, the way it sometimes is after long meditation sessions; my experience of color was heightened and there was a sense of 'spaciousness' in my awareness.

Maybe it sounds a bit silly typing this here, but Kongfuzi was absolutely right about the power of rite.
Raksha wrote:Until quite recently, when the East has come to completely copy the West, Asians typically had less disconnect between their hearts and their minds than Westerners.
The character 心 xin can be translated as 'heart' or 'mind'. Some translators use 'heart-mind' which is a little awkward but I kind of like it. Emotion is part of our cognitive processes whether we acknowledge it or not. And the reverse is true as well; I think was Pascal who said "The heart has reasons of which reason knows not."