Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yep, I'm a Buddhist nun!

Hope you all are doing well. I'm a Buddhist 佛教 nun, a bhikshuni 比丘尼, a dharma master 法師 from the Chinese Buddhist Mahayana tradition.  I left home a little over 10 years ago. I'm from Iowa, trained in a little temple in Chinatown of Brooklyn, NY!
My tonsure temple (the place where all people start when they wish to be examined and see if they are accepted and suitible for monastic life) is a traditional Chinese pure land temple. Most of the people there are from mainland China.  I have a tonsure master (a monk or nun of qualifying years as bhikshu or bhikshuni who accepts the person for beginning training as a sramanera/sramanerika or in the west like the Catholics call a novice).
I did my training immediately in the aftermath of Sept. 11th tragedy in 2001.  I stayed training at Xi Fang Temple in Brooklyn.  Due to the disaster I was sent to assist as a translator for the people who needed a mandarin speaker ( I wasn't trained, just did what I was asked to do as I was able to understand native speakers better than the ABCs who only learned their family dialect). I enjoyed this very busy time. And was transferred to Flushing to a second temple to help out there, then went to Taiwan to ordain at Yuan Heng Temple in Gaoshiung, Taiwan. It was in the winter in NYC and very humid there but pleasant mostly.
This ordination was the Triple Platform Ordination. That means classes were taken then the sramaneri vows were taken with 5 strip robes given, then more classes were taken and a bhikshuni ordination was performed with 7 strips robe and 9 strips robe worn above the 5 strips robe along with the alms bowl and the monastic staff.  Then more classes and the bodhisattva ordination was given and the option of receiving burns in rows of 3 burns was given; i received 3 rows of 3 by my own request and all who received rows were required to kneel to the karma acarya and request it.  We were told we could make our personal vows upon the receiving of the rows of burns, which I did do.
To help us repent and purify ourselves we had bowing repentance every night until we were to go to bed. This was good for us to do, I enjoyed this very much reciting Namo Shijiamouni Fo. for a couple of hours and half. Very nice practice for meditation and mind training.

More for later, have good evening.

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