Mahasukha Maroke Graduation

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

On Thursday, September 9, Lama Marut and the Mahasukha Community came together for a graduation celebration for Dharma students who have completed the 18 ACI formal study courses.  The Maroke ceremony included a group oral exam, and brief teachings from each student.  Congratulations to the graduated students, Alicia Tolbert, Brian Reid, Douglas Smith, Kris Krajewski, Ersellia Ferron, Darin McFadyen, Claire Thompson, Leigh Spencer, June Maker, and Brian Hanner.  As part of this Maroke feature, please check out the following informative maroke Q&A with marokee Brian Reid.

What is a maroke?

A maroke is a very valuable experience.  After completing about 180 classes, successfully finishing the homework and quizzes for each class and passing the finals for 18 ACI courses, you finally reach the maroke, the graduation ceremony.  It involves a public oral exam, where the Maroke Master and attendees ask students questions from 100 selections pulled from the 18 courses.  Following the oral exam, each student gives their first Dharma teaching on his or her favorite subject.

Why does a Dharma student take part in this ceremony?  What does it signify?

The ceremony signifies completion, finishing.  We mark our spiritual path with such a ritual to make a deep impression in our minds that we have succeeded in reaching a goal.  If the ultimate goal of the path is to realize an enlightened state of mind, this ceremony plants a very powerful seed for us achieving such a goal.  It also plants very good seeds in the minds of the people who attend and participate in the ceremony.  Lastly, the ceremony officially welcomes the graduates as fellow teachers of the Dharma.

Why type of preparation does this ceremony entail?

REVIEW.  The maroke oral exam consists of 100 selections pulled from the homework questions for the nearly 180 classes of the 18 ACI courses.  Once you’ve passed all the coursework and finals you’re given “the golden 100.”  Every marokee has his or her own method for prepairing.  Some review the 100 on their own, conduct study groups, and debate the answers to be prepared if the Maroke Master goes off-road of the original question.  Having someone ask you the questions and answering them is important becacuse it prepares you for the experience of the oral exam.

What’s next for the student who successfully completes a maroke?

Once a student graduates and receives the title of “Maroke” (guide), he or she is officially certified by the Asian Classics Institute to teach the Dharma.  Whether the maroker goes on to teach within Dharma centers or within their families, workplace and personal lives is up to them.  The commitment for each graduate is to share with others this precious and profound knowledge of what this life really consists of and how to make the best of it.  And the best way to teach is by example.

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