|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.
|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.
opening, opening, now
universe is here
|With my Dharma Teacher, Jeanie (Photo by Young Whan Choi)|
|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)