Buddha’s Birthday Celebration at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center

Buddha’s Birthday Celebration at Dharma Drum Vancouver Center

On Sunday, May 24, 2015, Dharma Drum Vancouver Center (DDMVC) Celebrated Buddha’s Birthday. The entire Center was filled with guests, many of whom were visiting for the first time.

The day began with a welcome and blessing from Ven. Chang Wu, the director of the Dharma Drum Vancouver Center. She explained that the goal of the Center is to strengthen our connections with our community and to spread the Buddha’s teachings in simple and joyful ways. She also emphasized the Center’s determination to strengthen its friendly relationships with local Buddhist organizations, including Thrangu Monastery and Ling Yen Mountain Temple, both of which sent representatives to this event.

Ven. Chang Wu reminded everyone not to forget the Bathing of the Buddha ceremony, in which a ladle is used to pour water over a figure of the Buddha. This ritual signifies purification of our physical, verbal, and mental activities. There were five imaginatively designed bathing stations, including one made of Lego that was especially popular with the kids.

Beside the Bathing of the Buddha stations was an area that explained the seven steps Buddha took after his birth. Each of these steps relates to spiritual qualities that we need to apply and practice in our lives, starting with the cultivation of Bodhi mind, and the qualities of giving, precepts, patience, diligence, meditation, and wisdom. Also in this area was a Wishing Tree where guests were invited to write down what we can do to make ourselves a better person and the world a better place.

Inside the Center, traditional Chan activities were offered, such as meditation sessions and Chan tea ceremonies. However, much of the activity happened in the parking lot in front of the centre, where there were booths for face painting, crafts and calligraphy, as well as a stage set up for performances. The performers were excellent, even though the majority were volunteers rather than professionals. There were a number of musical performances – ranging from traditional Chinese instruments such as the erhu, guzheng and pipa, to western instruments such as the guitar, cello and violin. There was also tai chi, lion dancing, yuan ji dance, and tap dancing. One of the most memorable and energetic performances was by San Taiko, a youth Taiko drumming group with roots in East Vancouver. Another crowd-pleaser was a magic show by Chris Yuill, an award-winning magician. The kids, especially, were enthralled by his performance.

Throughout the day there were blessings from distinguished visitors, including the Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, Ven. Guo Dong, who had come to Vancouver to attend the event; Lama Pema Tsewang, Abbot of Thrangu Monastery; and Ven. Xiu Pei of Lingyen Mountain Temple.

Ven. Chang Wu closed the day by thanking everybody for coming and making the event a great success.

(by Paul Hancock)

the Abbot President of Dharma Drum Mountain, Ven. Guo Dong one of the imaginatively designed bathing stations one of the imaginatively designed bathing stations one of the imaginatively designed bathing stations one of the imaginatively designed bathing stations holding water bowl Chan tea ceremony calligraphy experience the seven steps Buddha took after his birth - cultivation of  wisdom
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