Venerable Changrui’s speech at Chuang Yen Monastery:Spring Ritual for the Deceased

Translated by Soula Lo

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good afternoon!

Today, I would like to share two ideas with you at the Spring Ritual for the deceased.

 

1. Move to a better place:

Our Spring Ritual for the deceased is a ritual for moving──Through this ritual, we help our deceased family or seniors move to their permanent places.

Another way in Chinese to say moving house is 喬遷 qiao qian.” This means “Out of the valley, to the big tree.” Or, from a lower place move on to a higher and better place.

The Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace is on the hill, which is on a higher location, so moving to the Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace is truly喬遷 qiao qian.”

I passed through the path below the Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace every morning. One day, before dawn in the winter, it was still dark on the ground, but when I looked up I saw the first light of the morning shine on the bronze tablets in the Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace. The shining golden light was so beautiful; it made you feel this place to be very auspicious. You can imagine the image of the morning light shining on the Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace, and feel the joy for your family that you have helped them find such an auspicious and bright place.

 

2. Searching for your roots:

Some people described that the new immigrants are “the orchid who lost their roots.” Many of you have traveled across the ocean to come to America, and you have family and elders who live here. So, here are your “roots.” Thus, you should come back to “search for your roots.”

You can come back here for your deceased family’s death anniversaries or birthdays, or you can come back for the New Year or holidays. Even on ordinary days, you still can come to talk to your family or elders who live here. Personally, I feel this has a healing effect.

When you come, you can clean the front space of your family or elders’ tablets, and you may even help their neighbors, to clean the space of the tablets of these uncles and aunties. They might make compliments to your family, say that you have a good manner, and make your elders feel proud.

You can offer flowers, water or light incense. If you are Buddhists, you can read sutras, chant Buddha’s name or meditate on Compassion Prayers, then devote your merits to the salvation of others and share with all beings. This way, the Thousand Lotus Memorial Terrace would always be peaceful, and everybody will feel happy when they come here.

I share these two ideas with you and hope you will come back to search for your roots often. At last, I would pray the Three Jewels shine the light of compassion to us, bless the living peaceful minds and bless the deceased peaceful souls.

Amitabha Buddha! (Sanskrit: “Infinite Light”)

 

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