Sheltered under the vast and imposing blue sky, a cloudless blanket with the resplendent sun rising gradually in the East, the 21st day of the second moon of the year 2017丁酉Dīng yǒu , was the date when the Third Ceremony of the presentation of new disciples in the Temple of Eternal Spring in Mexico长春 Chǎng Chūn, took place. On this occasion, it was ten individuals yearning to enter into the personal labor that carries on to the understanding and the coming to awareness through the strict following of rules and precepts suggested by Daoism.
The ceremony was led by the Temple’s abbot 景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zháng, as always with the support of his three closest disciples荣灵 Róng Líng, 荣道, Róng Dào, and 荣真 Róng Zhēn. This time it was performed in the Temple of the Eternal Spring’s长春 Chǎng Chūn atrium, due to the high number of postulants and the numerous attendance which, by the way coincidentally could celebrate the festivities organized for Master of the Heaven’s Lăo zǐ’’s 老子 birthday. This occurrence generated great pleasure both for the aspirants and the people assisting to the locality.
An altar was set up outside the main Temple, delicately arranged with offerings for the Masters in the Heavens following a very strict protocol that was closely supervised by 景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zháng. This was the beginning of a ceremony in which ten new apprentices would come to be acknowledged. They silently and in an orderly manner were received by their Master, who in turn assigned to each the place that they would occupy during the ceremony.
The rituals began in a rhythmical manner to appeal for the presence of the Heavens in this celebration. The start of the ceremony was suffused with rhythmical morning Daoist chanting, continued with the reading of sacred texts in their original language, and also some prayers in which the opening of the Heavens and the support from the Saints were sung.
Abbot景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zhang wrote in calligraphy over special paper foils, assigning on each, a name for every new disciple. The sheets were then filed into envelopes that were to be set alight, the finality being that the resulting emanating fumes would carry their petitions up to the Heavens, to be placed into their consideration.
Once Heaven had made itself present with the number of attendees as material evidence and the towering atmosphere as an impalpable one, 景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zháng took a seat and began calling forward each of the new disciples. He then explained in a precise manner, the meaning of each of their donned names and placing importance on the main points that would have to be worked upon, in addition to the mission they had now endowed, and furthermore emphasizing the essential precepts with which they would have to carry themselves from then on.
In the end, brimming with joy, the disciples proceeded to offer incense sticks to the Saints and Masters who are venerated in the Temple. The attendees followed in turn. Finally, breakfast was served for everyone present as a humble way to celebrate Tàiyí and the Masters in Heaven.
An altar was set up outside the main Temple, delicately arranged with offerings for the Masters in the Heavens
The ceremony was suffused with rhythmical morning Daoist chanting, continued with the reading of sacred texts in their original language, as well as the reading of prayers where the opening of the Heavens and the support from the Saints was sought.
Texts in their original language, as well as the reading of prayers where the opening of the Heavens and the support from the Saints was sought.
Rhythmically, 景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zháng, and his three closest disciples荣灵 Róng Líng, 荣道, Róng Dào, and 荣真 Róng Zhēn began the rituals set out to plead for the presence of every direction in Heaven in this celebration.
Abbot景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zhang wrote in calligraphy over special paper foils, assigning on each, a name for every new disciple. The sheets were then filed into envelopes and given to each disciple. As each envelope was set alight, the resulting emanating fumes carried their petitions up to the Heavens.
Heaven in its omnipresence both provided the material presence of attendees and the tangible invisible towering atmosphere. 景威道长 Jǐng Wēi Dào Zháng took a seat and began calling forward each of the new disciples.
Róng Guāng 荣光: Brilliance, light, luster. This process is one where the exterior is favoured, since the interior is well. It helps in the way we help others. An unlit Guāng 光 is useless. One must always shine.
Róng Zhì 荣智: Wisdom and intelligence. One must study to become wise and be patient in order to be able to reproduce what has been learned. Knowledge and Wisdom are not the same thing. Knowledge is a process where only personal growth takes place, but the wise can repeat what has been learned to others.
Róng Mìng 荣命: Life. Mìng 命 is the meaning to life of all beings. One must guide to give life to others. One must do it for one’s own processes as well as for the processes of others.
Róng Tì 荣惕: Respectful. One must be respectful in doing this process and in coming into contact with oneself. The walk must be understood. The respect and seriousness that has been given to things in the past have earned you this name. The radicals of heart and of the simple ways lie within. Go forth carefully and get to work.
Róng Wàng 荣望: Hope. The word for King is in the name. Something that can give us hope lies atop the king. This is a sure way to know one is on the right way.
Róng Chéng 荣成: The word in itself means to become smart enough to achieve success. Success is not meant for one every time, but rather is something one can help others in achieving. One has to live it to carry it forward, always being careful and doing so calmly.
Róng Jìng 荣静: Peacefully. One must help others to find their peace.
Róng Xìng 荣性: The radical emerges from our nature. One must work on the nature of being. Nature is beautiful, and by traversing its way you will find Dào. Reaching that way is the goal.
Róng Láo 荣劳: Refers to meritorious labour. That being, by working with meritorious actions one can clean inner processes.
Róng Yì 荣 毅: One of the most complicated ideograms in this occasion, very interesting, for this means determination. Decisions will always come into question, so one must be determinate to remain strong.