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 go to youtube.com
and search for "koyo kubose" to view a few video presentations 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 (847-386-8836) and listen to some short recorded
talks by Rev. Koyo and his father Rev. Gyomay M. Kubose.