Ven. Man Kuang, Abbess of IBPS Dallas, gave an information session on receiving the Triple Gem Refuges and Five Precepts to approximately 200 participants on April 18 to prepare them for the Triple Gem Refuges and Five Precepts Ceremony on May 7.
The informative talk consisted of a brief introduction and an extensive question and answer section. Topics ranged from the role of faith in Buddhism to the Humanistic Buddhist perspective on ethical precepts, emphasizing the importance of intention in one’s actions.
“We put our faith in the Triple Gem to be a Buddhist, but to strengthen our faith, we need a certain practice,” said Ven. Man Kuang. “and that practice is a commitment to ourselves—they are the five precepts.”
Seeking refuge in the Triple Gem—the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha—is the first step in becoming a Buddhist. The Five Precepts—to not kill, steal, engage in sexual misconduct, lie, and consume intoxicants—are the ethical guidelines and trainings which Buddhists adhere to.
Participants from all over North America came to learn about the core tenets of Buddhism. Although the Triple Gem refuges and five precepts are common to all schools of Buddhism, Fo Guang Shan teaches Humanistic Buddhism and emphasizes the significance of practicing Buddhism in daily life. As such, Ven. Man Kuang devoted much time to discussing the role of Buddhist practice at home, in the workplace, and within interpersonal relationships. She also encouraged participants to be diligent in their study and practice of Buddhism by regularly visiting the temple and reading Ven. Master Hsing Yun’s books on Humanistic Buddhism.
Through Ven. Man Kuang’s insightful teachings and guidance, participants deepened their understanding of Buddhism and gained a clearer idea of what it means to Buddhist ahead of their refuge and precepts ceremony. The information session was organized by the Triple Gem Refuges and Five Precepts Administration Team and moderated by volunteer Andrew Nguy.