14 May 2016 AD (8 April 2560 Buddhist Era)
Along with Buddhists all over the world, once a year, on the 8th day of the 4th month according to the lunar calendar, the practitioners of International Zen-Temple e.V. celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha's birthday.
On the occasion of this great event the Su Ge Shik-Ceremony traditionally takes place, when practitioners may receive the five Buddhist precepts for laypeople. This year, on 14 May 2016 AD
(8 April 2560 Buddhist Era) the Su Ge Shik-Ceremony will be celebrated for the 16th time at International Zen-Temple e.V.
Procedure of the Ceremony
1. Zen Master's Ascending to the Dharma Table
All students bow three times to Buddha chanting the following stanza:
"May the great teacher give us the Buddha Dharma extensively for the welfare of all sentient beings who are anxious to hear Buddha's profound teaching."
2. Taking Refuge in the Three Jewels
(burning incense )
All students bow three times to the teacher and stand with folded palms towards Buddha and the teacher. They repeat after the teacher's saying:
"Cutting all desire, anger and delusion that harm my practice and taking devoutly refuge in the great dharma of Buddha, may all sentient beings of the three worlds attain the trance (bliss) of the unconditioned."
3. Vowing that All Students Will Be Right Buddhists
After bowing to all fore-eminent teachers, their country, and their parents, all students stand up straight with folded palms, and repeat after the teacher's saying:
"Cutting off all delusions and passions, and all loving desires of this world, I vow in front of the fore-eminent teachers, my country and my parents: As a precursor I will save all sentient beings in this world with a mind of the great mercy and compassion."
4. Receiving a Buddhist Name
All students bow three times and stand with folded palms in order to receive a Buddhist name. They repeat after the teacher's saying:
"As I receive a Buddhist name for liberation today, I will guard the Three Jewels with fortitude of faith, and I will attain to Buddhahood together with all beings simultaneously by practicing the Bodhisattva's path for ever and ever."
5. Asking the Six Great Teachers
Asking for the support of the Six Great Teachers, the students repeat the following after the teacher's saying:
- I may ask Shakyamuni Buddha and do homage to Hwa Sang A Sa Ri.
- I may ask Manjushri Bodhisattva and do homage to Gal Ma A Sa Ri.
- I may ask Maitreya Bodhisattva and do homage to Kyo Su A Sa Ri.
- I may ask all the Tathagatas of the ten directions and do homage to Jeung Gye A Sa Ri.
- I may ask all the Bodhisattvas of the ten directions and do homage to Dong Han Ban Yu Jung.
- I may ask all the Heavens and do homage to Ong Ho Jang Eum Jung.
6. Renewed Vow to Become Right Buddhists
All students bow three times and repeat after the teacher's saying:
"I will be a correct Buddhist. Until my Samsara's ending I will do 'Gui Ui Bul Yang Jok Jon', I will do 'Gui Ui Beob I Yok Jon', and I will do 'Gui Ui Seung Jung Jung Jon', and by receiving the five precepts with pleasure, I will practice the path of a Bodhisattva as a guardian of the three Jewels.
7. Receiving of the Five Precepts and Dharma Speech
All students sit in front of the teacher in the Diamond position during the dharma speech.
8. Youn Bi
Moxa is being burned on the arm of the receiver.
All students vow in front of the Buddha by burnig their own body lest they should violate their precepts by clinging to the temptations of the four elements.
They chant "Seok Ga Mu Ni Bul (Shakyamuni Bul)" until the end of the burning.
9. Receiving the Certificate with the Buddhist Name
All students chant:
"I will observe my precepts with devoting myself entirely until attaining to Buddhahood and I will continuously cultivate my mind and save all sentient beings in the world of the ten directions."
10. End of the Ceremony
All students stand facing each other and do a half-bow, then, turning backwards, bow towards the assembled mass of people in order to demonstrate that they will keep their precepts well.
Buddha's Birthday Celebration
09:20 Recitation of the Diamond Sutra by the Ven. Zen Master
10:00 Ceremony of Buddha's Birthday and Lotus Lantern Prayer
11:00 Dharma Speech by the Ven. Zen Master
Su Ge Shik
15:00 Su Ge Shik (Ceremony of Receiving the Five Buddhist Precepts)
17:00 Dharma Speech to the Su Ge Shik
18:00 Recitation of the Four Great Vows