CEREMONY OF ADMISSION TO AMIDA SHU AND LAY MEMBERSHIP OF AMIDA ORDER

GATHERING & ANNOUNCEMENT

BELLMASTER leads nembutsu chanting.

*

CELEBRANT:

Rare is it to meet with the Dharma, ultimate and profound,

Even though one seeks for hundreds and thousands of aeons

Fortunately we now hear and receive it

We pray that we may understand the Tathagata's true meaning

Let the Blessed One teach the Dharma,

Let the Sublime One teach the Dharma

There are beings with little dust in their eyes

Who are wasting through not hearing the Dharma

There will be those who will understand.

The Buddha has said:

Open for them are the doors of the deathless

Let those with ears now show their faith.

BELL MASTER:

Buddhas throughout space and time, Reverently do we adore you.

Dharmas to the end of time, Reverently do we adore you.

Sanghas so exemplary, Reverently do we adore you

To this holy place, Amida Buddha, Highest One,

Bring your presence now I pray

To this holy place, Shakyamuni, Enlightened One,

Bring your presence now I pray

To this holy place, Tathagatas of all worlds,

Bring your presence now I pray

CELEBRANT:

I, ____________, priest of the Order of Amida Buddha

with a humble heart

call upon the Buddhas of the three times

and all the spiritual ancestors and exemplars

May they come to our aid.

May they witness our words.

Is the community assembled?

BELLMASTER: Yes, the community is assembled.

CELEBRANT: Is there harmony in the community?

BELLMASTER: Yes, there is harmony in the community

CELEBRANT: For what reason is the community assembled today?

BELLMASTER: The community is assembled today to perform the

sanghakarman of admitting good women and/or good men to the Buddhist path, namely:

- _________ to the Amida Order and _________ to the Amida Shu

CELEBRANT: Let us proceed.

*

INVITATION

CELEBRANT:  This is a ceremony for persons becoming members of Amida Shu or becoming mitras, which is to say, lay member of the Amida Order.  It is also possible for individuals to take refuge by reciting the words of this ceremony together with the candidates.  If you would like to take refuge today, please write your name in the chat.

CELEBRANT:

We shall now recite the Sange Mon

BELLMASTER (and others muted):

May all the Buddhas in the ten quarters, all the great bodhisattvas, all the holy sages, all the devas and dragons, and sentient beings in the entire universe, come here as witnesses. We now confess our offenses and repent them. From the beginningless past up to now, we have killed or destroyed, we have stolen property and belongings, we have approached with lascivious thoughts, we have deceived with lies, we have ridiculed with insincere words, we have slandered, abused, and rebuked with harsh words, we have caused enmity and mutual destruction with harmful words, to all the members of the Three Treasures, teachers and friends, parents and relatives, and sentient beings throughout the universe, whose numbers are beyond calculation. We have broken all the precepts and rules of conduct, the five precepts, eight precepts, ten precepts, two hundred and fifty precepts, five hundred precepts, bodhisattva precepts, and inexhaustible precepts; not only have we broken these precepts, but also we have incited others to break them, and rejoiced at seeing them do so.

Such transgressions are innumerable, just as the great earth extending in the ten directions is boundless and the number of dust-particles is incalculable. Just as the open space is limitless, our offenses are equally limitless. Just as the means of salvation are boundless, our offenses are boundless. Just as the Dharma-nature is boundless, our offenses are boundless. Just as the Dharma- realm is boundless, our offenses are boundless. Since sentient beings are innumerable, our offenses of  robbery  and  slaughter  are  innumerable.  Since  the  members  of  the Three Treasures  are innumerable, our offenses of destruction, theft, and killing are innumerable. Since the precepts provided are innumerable, our breach of them has been repeated innumerable times.

Any one of the sages, from bodhisattvas down to shravakas and pratyekabuddhas, cannot know the extent of our offenses. Only the Buddha knows it. Now, before the Three Treasures and sentient beings of the entire universe, we confess and repent our errors, without hiding them. We pray that all the members of the Three Treasures throughout the ten quarters and sentient beings of the entire universe recognize our repentance and wish that we will be purified. From today on, together with sentient beings, we wish to abandon wrong views and take right ones, awaken the Bodhi-mind, see each other with a compassionate heart, look at each other with the eye of the Buddha, become companions of awakening, become true teachers of the Way, attain birth in Amida Buddha's land together, discontinue committing those offenses forever and never commit them again. Oh let us repent with all our heart and take refuge in Buddha Amida.

*

CELEBRANT: ____________, is it your wish to become a member of the Amida Order today?

___________: It is.

CELEBRANT: ____________, is it your wish to become a member of the Amida Shu today?

___________: It is.

CELEBRANT: ____________, is it your wish to take refuge today?

___________: It is.

TAKING REFUGE

CELEBRANT: The candidates will now take refuge.  Please everybody except the candidates mute.  If  you have an altar there, please now light a stick of incense and place it on your altar.  Then, if this is practical with the positioning of your computer, please kneel facing the altar during the next part of the ceremony.

We shall now recite the Taking refuge. I shall say the words and after each phrase, when I pause, please all repeat out loud.

I take refuge in Amida, the unimpeded light

I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life

I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love

I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in faith and harmony

I take refuge in the Pure Land, the perfect field of merit.

Please bow *

A second time

I take refuge in Amida, the unimpeded light

I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life

I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love

I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in faith and harmony

I take refuge in the Pure Land, the perfect field of merit.

Please bow *

A third time

I take refuge in Amida, the unimpeded light

I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life

I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love

I take refuge in the Sangha, the community that lives in faith and harmony

I take refuge in the Pure Land, the perfect field of merit.

Please bow*

Thank you. You have now taken refuge. Congratulations.

BECOMING MEMBERS OF AMIDA SHU

_________ please pass the wagessa through the incense smoke three times and then put the wagessa on.

Thank you. _________ you are now a member of Amida Shu

Welcome.

*

BECOMING A MITRA

CELEBRANT: __________, is it your wish to become a member of the Amida Order today

___________: It is.

CELEBRANT: The Amida Order is a fellowship of those who follow the

bodhisattva way. By joining this family you will benefit all sentient beings. In

token of your wish to set self aside, please now cut a lock of your hair and

place it on the altar.

___________ does so

CELEBRANT: Now pass the wagessa through the incense smoke three

times and then put it on

___________ does so.

CELEBRANT: You are now a member of the Order of Amida Buddha.

Welcome

*

All have now taken a step upon the sacred way. The Buddhas and bodhisattvas will guide you. Although a tathagata shares his knowledge and vision with innumerable other tathagata arhat Samyak Sambuddhas, it is nowise diminished thereby. Why so? Because it is a self-sufficient Light, not dependent upon causes and conditions. Amida’s compassion never runs dry. Amida takes pity on the threefold world with a great inexhaustible compassion, appearing in the world in order to reveal the teaching of the Way everywhere, so that the multitude of living beings all reap the benefit of the true Dharma. Even in a myriad kalpas it is difficult to encounter and see the Tathagata. It is like the udumbara tree that blooms only after a long interval of time. But now that you have sought this refuge, numerous blessings will be bestowed on all living beings celestial and human. They will be guided and transformed. Furthermore, noble Way-farers, only the power of Amida Buddha could move you in this way, thus benefitting bodhisattva mahasattvas. Such supplication make manifest who can be teachers of all the world. [LPLS v10-12] By the power of Amida Buddha you have taken this refuge. Innumerable beings will benefit and one day all shall arrive in the Land of Bliss.

BELL MASTER: This ceremony is now complete. ________ is/are now a mitra in the Order. _______ has/have become member(s) of the Shu, and many have taken refuge. What an auspicious day!  The Bodhisattvas rejoice and so do we. Thank you very much. Namo Amida Bu.

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