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The Profundity of Transmission

05 Mar 2018 6:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

With gratitude to Marsy Mechling for this sharing

The morning of February 4th welcomed a wonderful series of Transmissions in Tampa: Transmission of the Two Promises, the Three Refuges, the Five Mindfulness Trainings, the Bodhisattva Vow, and the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. I live in Charlotte, NC, and although I participate in FCM retreats, intensives, and a telephone Sangha, I had never actually been to a Sunday Sangha service in person. It was well worth the effort to travel to Tampa and to join the sangha in person to participate in these profound Transmissions. 

To see the five children make the Two Promises was so very lovely. I felt such happiness for them – happiness that they have the opportunity to study the Dharma at such a young age and that they are making the promise to develop understanding and compassion. Although I have recited the Three Refuges and the Five Mindfulness Trainings many times, it was important to “officially” proclaim that I will take refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha and to pledge publicly to adhere to the Five Mindfulness Trainings. Also, by receiving the Transmissions, to receive a Dharma name and to formally become part of a long line of Buddhist practitioners who have kept this path well-tended and alive for 2,600 years is very meaningful. To me, the study and practice of Buddhism is active and alive. It is not just listening to teachings or reading a book. It is looking deeply at the teachings, reflecting on and sincerely considering the teachings, and enacting the teachings in my everyday life, allowing the teachings to saturate my body, speech, and mind. Receiving the Transmission is a formal way of incorporating the Dharma into my life.

For me, the day offered another opportunity: to take the Bodhisattva Vow.  Having studied Shantideva’s The Way of the Bodhisattva for the last year, taking the vow to follow that Way felt natural. How can I do anything other than to do my best to follow the directions set out so clearly by Shantideva so that I might live with compassion and wisdom for the benefit of all beings? Of course, not every day of my life unfolds as beautifully as the ceremony, and I have much, much wisdom still to gain, but I will continue to study, look deeply, and utilize the Transmissions and vows as directions along the way.

To watch as Fred transmitted the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings to the Order of Interbeing aspirants was quite profound also. I again experienced a sense of joy as I listened to the five individuals making the vows to follow the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. I felt gratitude for these fellow beings who are declaring to proceed forward in life with the fourteen trainings as the ground from which they will conduct the actions of body, speech, and mind. Great commitment was expressed by all who participated that day. I was very inspired as I listened. To participate alongside so many others receiving the wisdom and guidance of these promises, transmissions, and vows both grounded me and lifted me up with joy, gratitude, and hopefulness for the future. It was so very good to feel the support and positive energy of the community as people offered congratulations and other expressions of joy to one another.


And now as long as space endures,

As long as there are beings to be found,

May I continue likewise to remain

To drive away the sorrows of the world.  

~ The Way of the Bodhisattva, chapter 10, verse 55

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