Dear Clear Water Sangha,
It gives me great pleasure to announce that on Sunday, October 27, 2019, Jeff George will take the first step in becoming a lay-ordained Buddhist priest.
Our intent is for this initial ceremony to mark the beginning of a three-year commitment. The first year will be a novitiate period; then, if all goes well, we will hold a second ceremony in 2020 to mark the extended commitment of the final two years. After this initial year, and also after the full three-year period, Jeff will have the choice of either bringing his commitment to a close, or extending it further.
As you might imagine, much thought and discussion has gone into this decision. The intention here is to help form a bridge – between the bond and commitment that exists with his family, and his on-going resolve to uphold the spirit of dharma practice in all areas of his life. The significance of each of these ceremonies is that they will formally acknowledge a further deepening of Jeff’s commitment to his own practice, to the Florida sangha, and to the Dharma as a whole.
Of note here is that many traditional ordinations, particularly monastic ones, mark a severing of a person’s ties with one’s family and the world. This three-year lay ordination, however, is intended to affirm the bonds with family and friends, the community and the world, and to work with all of them as avenues of deepening practice. Throughout this time, of course, Jeff will continue in his role as Preceptor of the Clear Water Sangha while continuing his teacher training with me.
My hope is that Jeff’s formal commitment to this work will also inspire others in their individual practice, as well as in their willingness to support both Jeff and the sangha in the collective practice here in Clearwater. This event will, of course, be open to everyone: we’re very much hoping you will join us for the ceremony itself, as well as for a small celebration afterwards. More details will be forthcoming.