Monday, August 20, 2012

I need to be burned... in a good way!

I am sure you have seen those Chinese Buddhist monks or nuns with burnt marks on their bald heads. Well, I understand that these are the precept marks. I thought that they are done only for monks and nuns. Apparently this is also practiced in some Buddhist groups, ... at least now I know Kwan Um School of Zen does it. And they do it even for lay-people. Interesting. I know most Chinese Mahayana and Tibetan Mahayana schools don't do it anymore. The Kwan Um School of Zen performs the precepts burning on the inside of one's forearm. I think this is good because it serves like a tattoo and reminds one of your commitment to morality. Maybe one day I can go to Mu Sang Sa to get one of these burn marks. I need to be burned! Hehehehe... LOL! Well, I like the verse in red below. If you are interested, there's one coming up at Mu Sang Sa on September 2. However, there are terms and conditions. Please refer to their website for more information.

Excerpt taken from the Mu Sang Sa precepts information and application sheet.
Precepts Burn : During the precepts ceremony, you will receive a small burn on the inside of your forearm. This is a Buddhist tradition from China, modified in Korea. The burn itself is very small and relatively painless; the significance of this custom is expressed in the repentance ritual: May all my offenses, accumulated during hundreds of kalpas, now be totally consumed in an instant, as fire burns dry grass, extinguishing all things until nothing remains.” The instant when fire touches skin is an all-consuming moment in which all opinions and ideas disappear, and only the direct experience of burning sensation remains. Our practice is to return again and again to each moment of direct experience; in experiencing totally what is in each moment, all our transgressions and defilements are extinguished; the chain of karmic residue is broken.

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