Global LJM followers promise a reunion on the 2023 Water-Land Dharma Assembly

Global LJM followers promise a reunion on the 2023 Water-Land Dharma Assembly
Seeing the beloved off , global participants of the 2022 Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) Water-Land Dharma Assembly chanted the name of Amitabha with wholehearted wishes. They were in the end of the “Send-off” ceremony on August 17 of the annual Water-Land Assembly to farewell their ancestors, family members and “karmic debtors” who were about to depart for the Pure Land with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas thanks to the benefits and merits the former created in the 14-day Dharma service. The accumulated merits also benefited countless spirits in the ten directions of Dharma realms, allowing them to board on the cruise for the same destination to remove pain and suffering. The ritual marked the formal closing of the 14-day Water-Land Dharma Assembly.

Shortly before the Dharma event’s formal ending, LJM followers, domestic and overseas alike, greeted one another online and bid best wishes for Master Hsin Tao, Founding Abbot of the LJM, to enjoy good health. The Venerable reminded his disciples that the Water-Land Dharma Assembly is in effect the sum of everyone’s willpower. Whether you contributed by being part of the Dharma event in-person and on-site, or by chipping in voluntary man-hours in-person, contributions are contributions and they all provide nutrients necessary to our Bodhicitta that helps push us forward on our journey to attain Buddhahood.

It was announced that the 2023 LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly would take place between August 16 and 23 next year. Master Hsin Tao invites everyone to re-group for the 2023 Dharma function to reassure that “the ever-lasting legacy of its meritorious virtues continue to benefit sentient beings and help to eradicate suffering”. The Master added that it is the LJM’s sincere hope that the Water-Land Dharma Assembly continues to help strengthen the benign and luminous magnetic field of the cosmos leading to an ever-improving world.

The “Send-off” ritual is performed to farewell “the visiting saints who shall embark on their home-bound journey to the lands of Buddhas, and “the sentient beings of the six realms who are blessed in the Dharma service to head for the Pure Land.” Participants on-site at the Sheng Shan Temple paraded in circles after scripture-reciting and mantra-chanting. They visualized the scene that spirits of the six realms were led by buddhas and bodhisattvas heading for the Pure Land and transform them from mortals to attain sainthood. The West-bound vessel carried shiploads of sentient beings going West, and the Altar-guarding Admirals performed his duty of escort. Apart from those sentient beings heading for the Pure Land, the vessel also took away our behavioral tendency of attachment, anger and ignorance, making a new life possible.

To honor the ultimate function of the Water-Land Dharma service of benefiting sentient beings of the all ten directions and bringing them happiness while alleviating their pain and suffering, the LJM Water-Land Assembly this year dedicated the merit of the solemn Dharma service to four groups of victims: the spirits in relation to the outbreak and spreading of the covid-19 pandemic, victims of the covid-19 pandemic, victims of the Russia-Ukraine warfare, and all sentient beings who lost their lives in the disasters and tragedies including flooding, fire, typhoons, earthquakes, and airplane crashes. The offering demonstrates Buddhists’ compassion that transcends time and space, let alone all man-made boundaries.

Since its inauguration in 1994, the LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly has firmly stood by the principles of ‘Compassion, Equality, and Solemnity’ to carry out all Dharma services for liberating the deceased and blessing the living for fortune and longevity. To adjust to the limitations imposed by the pandemic, the 2022 LJM Water-Land Dharma Assembly employed the multi-site module to accommodate off-site venues throughout Taiwan and overseas sites in Malaysia, and Hong Kong for simultaneous streaming to cover all important happenings online, so as to benefit followers by allowing access to the event through digital participation.