Water and Land Dharma Service: Accomplished Through the Universal Offering, Zhangpu
DDMBALAC launched this year's Water and Land Dharma Service with a Purification Ceremony on Nov 24, 2019. This Ceremony began Emperor Liang’s Repentance Service and three Flame Mouth Rites, which was pre-recorded live from DDM's Headquarters in Taiwan and lasted seven days. As an action towards making contributions to society and caring for the poor, Zhangpu, the Universal Food Offerings, were prepared and distributed to local charitable organizations for the needy.
DDM is a Buddhist organization cored in the manifestation of Guanyimpusa (Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva)'s compassion and her wholesome cultivation methods. The objective of holding the Water and Land Rites is to deliver all sentient beings through chanting various Sutras and participating in repentance services initiated from Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ compassion. Water and Land Rites provide promising virtues of making encompassing offerings to the Ten Directions ranging from the upper Four Holy Realms to the lower Six Realms. In order to congregate such a grandeur assembly, ten grand altars each conducting its own distinctive Sutra were hosted simultaneously. Every altar was paired with Dharma talks suitable for practitioners with various dispositions. Due to the magnificent merit to deliver a multitude of sentient beings, the Water and Land Dharma Service is truly the most majestic Dharma service in Buddhism. On the night of the Purification Ceremony a summarized seminar was prearranged to lay out each altar’s structure, content and its relationship with one another as guidance into the spirit and meaning of the Dharma Services. The emphasis was to lead participants towards illuminating their Buddha nature and initiating their Bodhicitta (Bodhi Minds). Most importantly, the goal was to implement the spirit of practicing in the Water and Land Rites to our daily circumstances.
Two tables holding feasts of food were arranged in each of the three Flame Mouth Dharma Services: one tabled offered warm and finely prepared courses while the other table displayed an arrangement of art and foodstuffs to represent a fabled Dharma story. Among these stories were “Nurture Blessings and You Will be Blessed” which told the fable of the monk who fed himself to the mosquitoes, and “Make Broad Positive Affinity,” which explained the verses of non-notion. “Cultivate on the Bodhisattva Path” was another fable which told the story of a poor girl who made an earnest offering to the Buddha. This aforementioned fable depicted three stages of cultivation: the basic offering with notions of accumulating merits, the advanced non-notion offering with equality and the final offering to initiate a Bodhi Mind to assist all sentient beings in attaining Buddhahood.
On Dec 1, 2019 the Services concluded with a farewell ceremony for the holy guests. Nearly ten thousand participants chanted Amitabha Buddha’s name in unison as the ample striking from the Grand Bell of Lotus lingered in the air. The revered atmosphere and the power of compassion instilled in every participant’s mind. The distance between time and space was shortened. DDM's Headquarters and DDMBALAC became one through YouTube's live online broadcasting. It was truly an auspicious Dharma Assembly made possible through pure minds and compassion, which successfully connected participants from every corner of the world.
During his final Dharma sermon, Abbot President Guo Huei provided words of encouragement: that although the Dharma Service ended, every Buddhist should nonetheless assume the responsibility of promoting and distributing the Buddha Dharma through good behaviors as we explore our compassion and precious inner natures. Stories of volunteers who devoted their time during this Dharma Service were shared to expound the true significance of being a blessed person. Abbot President Guo Huei stated that the individual who takes pleasure in blessings is not inherently blessed, but rather the one who nurtures their blessings is. Finally, he announced the 2020 New Year theme-“Nurture Blessings and You Will be Blessed.” -by cultivating good relationships with others, you nurture blessings. By being grateful and content you are blessed..