Since the International Buddhism Sangha Association (IBSA) began to hold exams to select and appoint masters of dharma-listening sessions in 2009, masters of dharma-listening sessions in different countries and regions in the world have been leading people to respectively listen to the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III; learn the Buddha-dharma, morality and cultivation of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III; and deeply enter into self-cultivation and carrying out in concrete deeds What Is Cultivation and the two Great Mind Essences of The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation that have been published on the internet. Although not all goals have been accomplished yet, rapid progress has already been achieved. Not only was their own moral realizations elevated, but more importantly, they promoted a trend of morality in their communities and in the entire society. As a result, an atmosphere of loving kindness, compassion, uniting, friendliness, helping others, and benefiting living beings has been formed, which effectively promotes the progress of society.
In order to let people respectively listen to the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with more convenience and let many kind and virtuous people who meet the qualifications become masters of dharma-listening sessions, the International Buddhism Sangha Association decided that, starting from today, those who possess the status of acarya or rinpoche can all hold exams of masters of dharma-listening sessions for others. Doing so can better let excellent people become masters of dharma-listening sessions. Because they are closer to the rinpoches and acaryas who will be administering the exam, these rinpoches and acaryas will know their moral character, interpersonal manners, and good deeds of cultivation better than the IBSA does. Those who are qualified from the exams will be approved directly and then reported to the IBSA. The IBSA will then issue the certificates and robes of master of dharma-listening sessions to them.
Regarding people taking the exam and the process of conducting the exam, rinpoches and acaryas must pay attention to the following:
1. Any person who applies for becoming a master of dharma-listening sessions is not limited by age, gender, or race. However, that person must be a sincere Buddhist and is not only doing well in learning Buddhism and self-cultivation but also willing to help others learn Buddhism and cultivate themselves. Moreover, the person who applies for taking the exam must have six or more people listening to the dharma at his place and have established a dharma-listening center with a specific and detailed address. Applicants for taking the exam of master of dharma-listening sessions please submit your application material to the dharma-listening site holding the exam for review and verification by that dharma-listening site.
2. The exam should be presided over by cultivators who are at the level of acarya or above who will carry out the responsibilities of proctoring, grading, and review and approval. When they hold the exam for masters of dharma-listening sessions, the examination must include the following contents:
a. The Five Precepts: prohibitions against killing, stealing, adultery, lying, and intoxicating liquors.
b. The Ten Good Characteristics: one does not kill, rather one saves lives by freeing living beings whose lives are in danger; one does not steal, rather one performs generosity and charity; one does not engage in sexual misconduct, rather one practices chastity; one does not lie, rather one speaks the truth; one does not use filthy or inappropriate language, rather one speaks upright words; one does not speak in ways which cause division amongst people, rather one speaks words which bring about peace and accord amongst people; one does not curse or use harsh language , rather one speaks gentle words; one is not lustful or greedy, rather one contemplates on the repulsiveness of things; one is not angry, rather onecultivates the view of loving kindness and compassion; and one is not ignorant, rather one practices the view of causation.
c. The Four Limitless States of Mind: loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity.
d. The Six Paramitas: being generous and charitable, being virtuous and abiding by the precepts, being patient and enduring insults, practicing diligently, practicing meditative concentration, cultivating prajna.
3. The Five Precepts, the Ten Good Characteristics, the Four Limitless States of Mind, and the Six Paramitas are fundamental criteria of Buddhist disciples’ cultivation and conduct. If one strives every day to apply these criteria to one’s own daily life, one is evidently engaging in self-cultivation. If every person is doing so, our society will become more and more auspicious, the human race will be more and more friendly and loving, and living beings will be happier and happier.
4. Leaders of dharma-listening centers that do not have a leader at or above the level of acarya can invite an acarya or a rinpoche to their sites to hold the exam of masters of dharma-listening sessions. They can also go to other dharma-listening sites that hold the exam of masters of dharma-listening sessions to take the exam. After an independent dharma-listening center invites an acarya or a rinpoche to hold the exam of masters of dharma-listening sessions, the dharma-listening center can remain independent if it chooses to. If the dharma-listening center does not wish to remain independent, it can become subordinate to that acarya or rinpoche. Once you have developed ten dharma-listening centers, you can submit the application for the status of acarya to IBSA.
5. Holding an exam of masters of dharma-listening sessions is a very serious matter and must be handled very carefully. Every rinpoche and acarya must clearly understand that possessing the qualification of holding exams of masters of dharma-listening sessions is an honor and is a manifestation of the merit of self-cultivation and saving living beings. However, fraudulently providing a a sitution whereby unqualified persons become masters of dharma-listening sessions is a violation of the precepts. One who does so is not a good cultivator. The good fortune and merit of holding the exam belongs to the proctor. Correspondingly, the proctor also bears the dark karma created by frauds. The purpose is to train and develop good people who benefit others, benefit society, and benefit living beings.
6. After holding an exam of masters of dharma-listening sessions, every acarya and rinpoche should submit the approved name list of those who passed the exam to IBSA. After review and verification, IBSA will issue the certificates and robes of master of dharma-listening sessions to them at regular intervals. In the case of a master of dharma-listening sessions applying for the status of acarya after meeting the qualifications, the application can either be directly submitted to IBSA by the individual or reported by a rinpoche to IBSA for approval after review and verification.
7. Method of applying and reporting: via the internet (IBSA will publish the web-link within the next several days)
8. The right of interpretation of this public announcement belongs to the IBSA. Any individual or organization having any question please contact IBSA directly. The e-mail addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
May this announcement be known to all!
The International Buddhism Sangha Association
September 15, 2010