THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
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End of the Shurangama Lecturing and Cultivation Summer Session. The Venerable Master's patient teaching and compassionate expedients awakened and inspired these young Americans according to their various potentials. The majority of these students began the summer with little or no understanding of Buddhism. At the end, most participants received the Five Precepts, and many received the Bodhisattva Precepts.
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During the first such ceremony that these young Americans had ever witnessed, held on the roof of the Buddhist Lecture Hall, thirty-eight pigeons were released. All but two flew away. Those two pigeons stayed around and became regular participants in the activities at the Lecture Hall. The Master shed tears as he explained that these birds had been his left-home disciples during the Tang Dynasty (around 750 a.d.) in China.