9th Annual Disciple Ceremony

Group PictureThe Shaolin Family welcomed new disciples on Sunday, September 13th at the 9th annual Sanbao Dizi (Disciples of the three treasures) ceremony. As part of the ceremony, disciples took serious vows to follow in the path of Buddha, to do good, not do bad, help others, and preserve the Shaolin legacy. Respects were paid to Shakyamuni Buddha, Guan Yin, Da Mo and all of the Shaolin ancestors that came before. At the same time, Shifu reminded everyone to follow his or her own path, believe whatever they wish to believe, and keep their faith, may it be in Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or any of the other wonderful philosophies. There are a million doors for a million people — just like martial arts, combine all of the styles, and make your own style.

After the vows were taken, lunch was served. The disciples enjoyed duck dumplings, vegetable fried rice, stir-fried chicken and cabbage, and several other delicious dishes served from a nearby Chinese restaurant. Afterwards, a cake was served with the portion of the 88 Buddhas sutra that the new disciples’ names came from imprinted on top. Everyone enjoyed finding and eating their new names in icing!

Disciple Ceremony 2009Once everyone was stuffed, three of the new disciples chose to “complete the ceremony” by shaving their heads. This act symbolizes the cutting off of the past and all of the bad things from one’s life. While many choose to express themselves this way, it is completely optional.

Feeling lighter, the disciples pulled out the crash mats and trampoline and celebrated harder by flipping and flying through the air. A few practiced their wrestling moves with each other, and others enjoyed simply catching up with brothers they hadn’t seen for a long time.

The festivities lasted well into the evening, everyone excited and joyous after a wonderful day.