New Refuge Ceremony
by Susan Quinones
The Power of Ritual
This past summer I attended a 10-day retreat where the end of each day was dedicated to chanting and recitations. I found it very inspiring, and decided it might be time to re-vamp the refuge ceremony that our sangha has been using for the past several years.
A group of us met a couple times and, as is so often the case with the White Heron Sangha, we made it happen. The old ceremony reflected the non-lineage nature of our sangha by including elements from the various Buddhist traditions. We began with that as a framework, and made various alterations, additions and subtractions, with a view toward enhancing the power and depth of the collection. I think the result is inclusive, meaningful, and effective.
Starting in January, we will begin reciting this new version of the Refuge Ceremony on the first Sunday of each month. For those of you who enjoy the ceremony and chanting, this is welcome news. For those of you who aren't as keen, it's also welcome news that participation is optional -- we will do this at 5:30, before our regular meditation period.
As with all changes, it may take time to adapt, so bear with us as we transition to this new offering. And, I hope you'll be able to join us for this meaningful ceremony which reminds us of the foundations of Buddhism and why we practice. Our Sunday program will still begin at 6; we just ask that on the first Sunday of the month you enter the center quietly and sip your tea tea and listen quietly. Please know that you are always welcome to join in at any point in the ceremony.