Time can often be marked by the celebration of ceremonies. Four years ago, a group of students at the USA Shaolin Temple made history by taking a brave, trusting step into the relatively unkown and unfamiliar world of Chan Buddhism. Seeking discipleship under their master, Shi Yan Ming, students put their minds and hearts to work, putting their thoughts and sentiments to paper to express why they sought to take their vows. Disciples were accepted by the order in which their writings were received, and Shi Yan Ming decided to use the same naming convention employed to assign Shaolin generation names by choosing dharma names from the Heart Sutra by order, so that one disciple after the other joined together would recreate a living Heart Sutra.
Since that time Shifu has led his family through a remarkable period of growing us up in the ways and traditions of the Shaolin Temple. Every year since that first ceremony, we have marked the passage of the years with new births…for the vows we take as Shaolin disciples wash away the bad, and welcome the good of our lives, renewed by our vows. This new birth represents our desire to embark on a journey that left shore over 1500 years ago, and we have empowered ourselves as custodians and transmitters of this heritage. This September was the appointed time for our family to grow once again, as a new class of students sought to undertake the rights of the Discipleship Ceremony. For more information about the Sanbao Dizi Ceremony, please see our press archive and visit our photo gallery to see pictures from our most recent Discipleship Ceremony.