FGS Melbourne Gan-Lu Guan Ding refuge Ceremony was held on 24th June 2018, led by the Australia & New Zealand Head of Monastery Chief Abbess Man Ko. More than 40 participants found their faith and purpose of life took refuge at the Triple Gem Ceremony, with at least 30 undergraduates and professionals and the youngest being 6 months old.
Abbess Man Ko explained that ‘Gui-Yi’ means taking refuge whereas ‘The Triple Gem’ represents Buddha, the Dharma and Buddhist monks, who symbolises realisation, justice and peace. ‘Gui Yi San Bao’ (i.e. taking refuge under the TripleGem) is the official way of becoming a Buddhist. Abbess Man Ko mentioned that there is Buddha nature within everyone, but is often hindered by ignorance. The purpose of ‘Gui Yi San Bao’ is to seek the appearance of Buddha nature and the ultimate goal of ‘Gui Yi San Bao’ is to seek out with ‘truth’ with our self-confidence and our own nature.
Abbess Man Ko mentioned that our thoughts reciprocate and our reoccurring habits are the ones that determine our actions. To stop the recurring sufferings and hardships, we rely on the triple gems (Buddha, Dharma & Sangha) and not to be living in delusion and ignorance. Buddha is real and not imaginary. Abbess Man Ko also used the monkey King (Sun Wu Kong) and Spiderman as examples to illustrate the common belief in something imaginary. However, Buddha is real and can be evident with scientific confirmation.
In the state of ‘Gui Yi’, it means having deep confidence and belief in the Buddha, the Dharma, and Sangha. With the realization of the merits and power of the Triple Gem, one is willing to become a Buddhist to pursue the blessings of the Triple Gem, devoting oneself to the Triple Gem and no longer believe in misconceptions.
The Buddha is conscious, compassionate, conscientious and righteous. This resembles the Shakyamuni Buddha. According to the Ten Trinity III, Buddha refers to all of us as everyone has a Buddha nature. By believing in Buddha, it means believing in the Buddha nature within ourselves.
The Dharma means the truth and the conscious legality in each of us that is immortal. The law of taking refuge ‘Gui Yi’ resembles the ocean of teachings and theories in our lives; It’s like a water company that we built for ourselves, to cleanse our guilt and eliminate our unnecessary troubles.
Sangha are righteous and harmonious through ‘Shi He’ and ‘Li He’. Simply put, Buddhist monks are referred to as someone who manifests both ‘Shi He’ and ‘Li He’, practices Buddha’s teaching, enlightening all beings, disciplining oneself before others.
Venerable Master Hsing Yun tell us to always speak as if we ourselves are the Buddha. To be bold with our thoughts that focus on our strength, self-affirmation, knowing ourselves, self-reliance and self-assurance. Last but not least, Abbess Man Ko encourages everyone to work hard together, progress and become a Buddha together.
Before the closing of the ceremony, Abbess Man Ko blessed the public with water. Under the blessing of Guan Yin Bodhisattva, all converted believers rejoiced their inauguration, the newly-created bonds and their Certificate of Conversion. This marks the end of ‘Gui Yi’ Ceremony.