Thursday, October 17, 2013

Deer Park Monastery: Order of Interbeing Ordination

I decided to become an aspirant for the Order of Interbeing about three years ago, when I began teaching mindfulness to youth in an explicit and intentional way.  I knew that I needed to strengthen my own mindfulness practice, and I asked for the guidance and container of the Order of Interbeing to support me.  I wanted my own practice to be as solid and compassionate as possible, in order for me to be able to offer something beautiful and healing to the youth.

Dzung on Order of Interbeing Ordination Day #2. Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California (10/15/13)
A lotus flower to you! Ocean of Peace Meditation Hall,
Deer Park Monastery (Photo by Jeanie Seward-Magee)

I received the ordination into the core community of the Order of Interbeing on October 15, 2013, at Deer Park Monastery in Escondido, California.  Thầy* gave me the ordination name, True Garden of Diligence (Chân Tấn Uyển).  Our ordination family name is True Garden, which I love because it is a reminder that practice is always organic, alive, and needs continuous love and tending to in order to produce beautiful vegetables and flowers.  I feel that the name "Diligence" is a challenge -- like Thầy reminding me, "Don't get complacent, don't take anything for granted.  Keep practicing, always!"

During the ordination, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude.  What a compassionate gift, from Thầy, from the fourfold sangha that held us in a loving embrace, from my order aspirant teachers Jeanie and Brother Phap Hai, and from all ancestral teachers.  I felt that their greatest hope for us is to wake up to our true nature of interbeing, compassion, and mindfulness.  The most I can do to repay that gift is to practice diligently and joyfully, and offer that to the world.

Walking to Receive the Order of Interbeing Certificate. Order of Interbeing Ordination Day. Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California (10/15/13)
Receiving the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings of the Order of Interbeing. (Photo by Young Whan Choi)

The day before the ordination, I practiced heart-opening, in order to be fully present to receive the nourishment and support of the sangha.  My gatha with each step and each breath was, "Opening."  I wrote this haiku on the morning of ordination, as I walked slowly to the Ocean of Peace meditation hall, feeling enveloped by and deeply connected to the vast universe of stars in the pre-dawn sky.

ordination day
opening, opening, now
universe is here

Dzung and Jeanie on Dzung's Order of Interbeing Ordination Day. Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California (10/15/13)
With my Dharma Teacher, Jeanie (Photo by Young Whan Choi)

True Garden Family. Order of Interbeing Ordination. Deer Park Monastery, Escondido, California (10/15/13)
True Garden Family. (Photo by Young Whan Choi)

(*"Thầy" means "Teacher," which is the affectionate and respectful title for Zen Master Thích Nhất Hạnh within the sangha, or community of practice)


  1. Congratulations, Dzung! I'm so glad that you are blooming as a True Garden.
    May great peace and joy guide you in this practice.
    With love,
    True Fragrant Field

  2. Wonderful news Dzung. We are so happy for you, Bob and Jan ( True Profound Acievement, True Mountain of Practice )

  3. How wonderful...true garden of diligence...may the blossoms of your practice float down and touch the cheeks of us all!...much love...desiree/true profound compassion

  4. It was an honor to support you, Dzung, both during your ordination ceremony and in our practice together. It is an honor to be Order members together.
    With gratitude,
    True Recollection of Radiance

  5. I loved reading what you wrote about your ordination experience Dzung. I am happy to know you and have you as my Garden brother. Judith Torres, True Garden of Joy

  6. Sweet reflection of a wonderful moment and deep aspiration. Wishing you continued happiness, success and smiles on the path. david nelson, truly holding equanimity