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Vesak Celebration at DDM Sydney

Vesak celebration is a significant day for Buddhists which recognize the birth, enlightenment and passing of Gautama Buddha. On Saturday, 10 May 2008, DDM Sydney held a beautiful ceremony to mark this event.

The day began with volunteers arriving early, bringing with them mindfulness while working together to set up the venue. Following the chanting of The Great Compassion Mantra; a regularly run activity, the Vesak ceremony proceeded with an opening speech given by Agnes Chow, Convener of DDM Sydney, addressing the meaning and significance of Vesak celebration.

Everyone then lined up with a soft flame candle in their hands, one by one carefully made their light offering to the Buddha. These candles which were purposely selected for the occasion carried a distinctive Chan flavor. The powerful visual impact of the collective candles set a majestic ambience, appropriately paving the way for the next part of the ceremony to follow.

The bathing of the Buddha which was set up in front of the main alter was adorned with beautiful fresh flowers, such as proteas and camellias. In an orderly fashion, each person took turn and knelt down before it, taking a moment of silence to reflect. After making their wishes and vows, each person ladled water on to the Buddha. The ceremony concluded with everyone enjoying a healthy and delicious lunch catered for by SooSee Yeo and Shirley Lau, as well as a celebration of Mother's Day by reflecting on the endless compassion of their mothers in caring and supporting them.

(By Joyce Wong in Sydney)

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