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Vaishaka Day Celebration
with Judith Simmer-brown
June 16 / 10:00 AM - June 16 / 12:00 PM
Vaishaka Day, also called Wesak, is a major Buddhist holiday which commemorates three major events in the life of Shakyamuni Buddha: his birth, enlightenment, and parinirvana. Shakyamuni Buddha is the source of all traditions, all lineages, and all yanas in Buddhism. This celebration is open to everyone, including children, friends, and family. You don't have to be a Buddhist to come.
This year, Acharya Judith Simmer-Brown will be presiding over the event. The Vaishaka Day festivities will begin at 10am with an ancient Japanese ceremony called the Bathing of the Buddha. As people enter the shrine room, they will poor water from a pitcher onto a representation of the Buddha. This symbolizes acknowledging the original purity of our own mind and making an offering to that enlightened state of mind. This will be followed by an offering of flowers and incense to the shrine.
Judith will give a talk for the children on the childhood of the Buddha. The liturgies that we will chant are "Praise to the Buddha," "Shorter Praise to the Buddha," the "Sutra of the Recollection of the Three Jewels," and the "Prostration Offering to the Sthaviras." The sixteen sthaviras or elders are the disciples of the Buddha who were entrusted with protecting and preserving the teachings. Then the children will be able to leave the shrine room to enjoy some fun activities while the adults continue with the traditional chants and praises. Judith will give additional remarks on the life of the Buddha, and then we will have a reception in the Community Room.
This year, Vaishaka Day falls on Father's Day. Please come celebrate with your whole family!