Institute for American Buddhism

(A.K.A. The Gyomay M. Kubose Dharma Legacy)

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Institute for American Buddhism 28372 Margaret Road, Coarsegold, CA 93614 Phone: 559-642-4285
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Telephone TiSarana Buddhist Confirmation

Our original rationale was to offer a Ti Sarana Confirmation Ceremony only to persons particularly interested in our Bright Dawn Institute's Way of Oneness approach to Buddhism. This would involve persons whom we came to know and whom we felt understood our vision and direction.

This perspective was broadened to provide the Ti Sarana Ceremony as a general gate to the Buddhist path. The purpose of the ceremony is to function as a personal expression of an individual's wish to confirm and deepen his or her commitment to the Buddhist path. Our confirmation ceremony does not necessarily imply that one becomes a follower of a particular approach or tradition. Although it is still felt that in-person participation should be encouraged, such participation can be difficult for persons who do not have easy access to a local organization. Due to the interest for an "at-home" confirmation ceremony, we have begun offering a ceremony via telephone for out-of-state persons who wish to have the ceremony in their own homes.

We were initially concerned that doing a confirmation ceremony over the telephone would significantly reduce the impact for participants. Yet, our experience has been that providing such a service meets a need for sincere persons who wish to have a confirmation ceremony. We were also concerned that providing a telephone confirmation ceremony would "cheapen" and lower the standards for such a ceremony. We would open ourselves to criticism from other Buddhist organizations. However, Rev. Koyo Kubose said, "That's the problem of other organizations; people's needs come first." Our confirmation is less an institutional standard and more a tool for individual spirituality.

We conceive of our telephone confirmation ceremony as a broad gate for anyone who wishes to confirm his or her religious identity. It should be mentioned that a confirmation ceremony is not necessary for a person to be considered a Buddhist. Institutional validation is not mandatory. Being confirmed is not required in order to receive Buddhist services such as weddings or funerals. People who are Buddhist because they were born into a Buddhist family rarely feel a need for a ceremony to confirm their identity as Buddhists. Perhaps because of the concept of baptism, persons coming to Buddhism from other traditions often feel the need for a confirmation ceremony. A confirmation ceremony is to be encouraged for all Buddhists, regardless of their backgrounds. Such a ceremony is an invaluable way to deepen one's individual spirituality.

To help personalize the ceremony, prospective participants might view a few videotapes (see our Video Loan Program) of Rev Koyo Kubose giving Dharma talks so that he doesn't seem like a complete stranger when he officiates one's TiSarana Ceremony. Another option is to call Dial-the-Dharma (559-642-4290) and listen to some short taped talks. Rev. Koyo's talks alternate daily with those by his father.

Instructions for a Telephone Confirmation Ceremony

1. Tell us your spiritual journey "story;" i.e. religious background, what brought you to Buddhism, and what books and people have influenced you. This information will help Rev. Koyo Kubose in providing your personal Dharma Name. Your "story" can be communicated in written form or over the telephone. Please contact: Rev. Koyo Kubose, 28372 Margaret Road, Coarsegold, CA 93614;; (559) 642-4285.

2. Set a date and time for the ceremony. Some suggested times convenient for us are: M, Tu, Wed, Th evenings, starting time between 7:00 and 9:00 P.M. (Central Time); or Sunday mornings, starting time between 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. (Central Time). If necessary, other mutually convenient times can be arranged.

3. After your ceremony date is set, please cut several strands of your hair and send to: Bright Dawn Institute, 28372 Margaret Road, Coarsegold, CA 93614. During the ceremony these strands will be attached with a gold notarial seal to your Ti Sarana Certificate. This certificate will also include the Dharma Name chosen for you by Rev. Kubose. If you have a small photo of yourself, please include it when you send your hair strands to us. We will keep this photo in front of us during the ceremony, as a small way of personalizing the proceedings.

4. Suggested options

  • Establish a SPOT (Special Place of Tranquility) in your home. See "Why Gassho?" material. Use this SPOT as the site for your TiSarana Ceremony; prepare this SPOT with items such as candle, bell, incense, flowers, statues, pictures, sayings, etc.
  • Invite family or friends to witness the ceremony; share a meal after the ceremony. Wash up mindfully just before the ceremony; remember that water is a symbol of both purification and rebirth. Wear special clothes, not necessarily dress clothes but perhaps favorite clothing that has special meaning for you.
  • Engage in a short period of meditation just before telephoning to start the ceremony. During this quiet time, practice Three Treasures Breathing, which is simply taking three slow breaths. On the inhale, breathe in while pushing your belly outward. Make your exhale as long and slow as possible. Three Treasures Breathing is a good habit to cultivate. Use it whenever you want to center yourself. A calm mind reflects the truth that is all around you. Consider how the moon is reflected in a body of water. When the surface of the water is choppy, the image of the moon is distorted. However, when the water is calm and still, the moon's image is reflected very beautifully. Three Treasures Breathing helps you disengage yourself from distracting thought patterns so you can focus completely on the present moment. It is a valuable tool promoting clarity and tranquility. Doing this breathing just before calling us will calm and "empty out" your mind so you can fully receive your Ti Sarana Ceremony.

5. At the mutually decided upon date and time for your confirmation ceremony, you should call us at (559) 642-4285. We will be waiting for your call.
NOTE: Another telephone option is to use a special TeleConference number if you want others (calling from their home phones elsewhere) to listen in to the ceremony. If you want to exercise this option, let us know and we'll give you the TeleConference number and the necessary Participant Code number. You can then give this information to your friends and family members, who can call in at the designated time and date of your ceremony (adjusting for any time zone differences). The cost for this long-distance TeleConference call is only whatever the usual long-distance charge would be. That is, use a calling card that may charge only three cents a minute; or maybe your calling plan gives you free evening minutes, etc.

6. Please have handy the Order of Ceremony that follows, which you will need to recite from during the ceremony.

7. Any appreciation donation may be made to: Bright Dawn Institute, 28372 Margaret Road, Coarsegold, CA 93614.

Order of Ti Sarana (Three Treasures) Ceremony

Opening Aspiration

With deepest reverence and compassion, we are here together in the spirit of Gautama, the Buddha, the Enlightened One. Life is One. We are One with the Buddha. We are One with the Teaching. We are One in the spirit of Universal Brotherhood. We resolve to be earnest followers of the Buddha and to dedicate our lives to the Way he has pointed out. Then, may we like him attain the noblest and most peaceful state of Nirvana.

Three Treasurers Reading

Leader: "I go to the Buddha for guidance."

All: "I shall become one with the Buddha. I resolve that I shall each day follow the
Way of Life he laid down for us to walk and awaken to his supreme wisdom."

Leader: "I go to the Dharma for guidance."

All: "I shall become one with the Dharma. The gates of Dharma are manifold; I vow
to enter them all. The goal of wisdom is ever beyond; I shall attain it."

Leader: "I go to the Sangha for guidance."

All: "I shall become one with the Sangha. In the spirit of universal brotherhood and
as a member of the Sangha, I pledge myself to strive for the enlightenment of
all beings."

Incense Offering/Three Treasures Breathing

Ti Sarana Ceremony

Dharma Talk and Giving of the Dharma Name*

Closing Benediction

Leader: "We surround all people and all forms of life with love and compassion.
Particularly do we send forth loving thoughts to those in suffering and sorrow,
to all those in doubt and ignorance, and to all who are striving to attain truth."

All: "May the Infinite Light of Wisdom and Compassion so shine within us that the
errors and vanities of self may be dispelled; so shall we understand the changing
nature of existence and awaken into spiritual peace."

Leader: "To all Enlightened Ones..."

All:"...who are present in their teachings, we pledge our loyalty and devotion. We
dedicate our lives to the way of life they have laid down for us to walk. We
resolve to follow their example and labor earnestly for the enlightenment and
welfare of all people."

*The participant will be given a Dharma Name by Rev. Koyo Kubose, who also will explain the meaning of the name. This name will be written on the participant’s TiSarana Certificate.