We woke up at 5:30AM and arrived in Wutongshan at 6:30AM…
[blog stopped working thanks to china’s great firewall..and I cannot see pictures on facebook, again, because of the firewall..but these are some pictures of being with my friends before becoming buddhist, a tibetan buddhist fire ceremony, and finally taking the 5 precepts from Shifu.]
So I had no idea we were first having a fire ceremony. Shifu’s students built a pyramid out of some small planks of wood as you can see from the pictures.
Shifu then lead in reciting mantras. We all wrote out some hopes which we then burned in the fire. Then we took a shell and placed our shells on each of the different levels on the pyramid.
The students began throwing in all the food that was on the table, cheese, butter, nuts, oil, wine, pomegranates, apples, grapes, oil, milk, honey, the list goes on.
It was almost like a big incense altar. The smell was supposed to reach Buddha rising up into the sky. It certainly smelled wonderful.
After it was finished we all took part in eating some of the food, peeling off the burned part. A toasted pomegranate is really not bad. But the walnut was too fired for me.
After we went into the house Shifu delivered the 5 precepts to me and a lady named Moon and her baby Zouzi. He gave me a tibetan name: 让炯卓玛 Rang Jiong Zhuo Ma. So I had to recite in Chinese, and use my tibetan name, David helped me. I also had to bow and touch my forehead to the ground, it was the most awkward thing since i’m not used to any of it and there were so many people in awe watching me.
The precepts are:
1. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking life
2. I undertake the training rule to abstain from taking what is not given.
3. I undertake the training rule to abstain from sexual misconduct.
4. I undertake the training rule to abstain from false speech.
5. I undertake the training rule to abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness.
Shifu gave me a mantra plan and explained in doing so I can become a Buddha myself.
Now begins the odyssey.