Vesak 2011 at DDM Sydney
On May 14, 2011, Vesak Day was celebrated in Hornsby Mall. The event was organised by Venerable Ban Ruo, a Sydney-based Chan Buddhist monk, who has been the Buddhist chaplain in the NSW Police for five years.
The celebrations included market stalls, food and presentations by Hornsby Mayor Nick Berman, Federal Members of Parliament Paul Fletcher and Phillip Ruddock and senior police officers. Each presentation emphasised the positive contribution made by the Buddhist community to the local area and expressed their support for the future.
After the presentations, there were several chanting sessions by monastics from the Theravada, Tibetan, Korean and Chinese traditions.
The formalities concluded with an invitation extended to all present to bathe the baby Buddha at an alter that had been specially constructed for the day.
DDM Sydney contributed to the celebrations by taking a stall in the Mall.
Starting at 9 a.m. and finishing around 4 p.m. many volunteers helped out. The stall generated a great deal of interest from the public and many copies of free DDM booklets were handed out. Particularly popular were 108 Adages of Wisdom, Volumes I and II, by Master Sheng Yen. Also popular was "the grape game" in which members of the public were invited to eat a grape in no less than 3 minutes, a simple and effective introduction to mindfulness.
All in all, it was a happy and fruitful day and DDM Sydney is looking forward to the same event in 2012.
(by DDM Sydney)