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Bathing the Buddha has a profound meaning.

While pouring fragrant water over the statue of Prince Siddhartha, we must sincerely pray: “I now bathe all Tathagatas, pure wisdom as adornment and with the accumulation of merit and virtue. May sentient beings in the world of Five Turbidities leave behind defilements and soon realize the pure Dharma-body of the Tathagata.”

Through the merit of bathing the Buddha, we should aspire to purify our bodily, verbal, and mental actions by eliminating our greed, hatred, and delusion. This is the real meaning of bathing the Buddha.

The birth of Buddha into the world brought spiritual serenity and a path to liberation for confused and lost sentient beings. Therefore we hold the Bathing the Buddha Dharma Assembly to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday, showing our gratitude to his kindness.
Why do Buddhists perform the ritual of bathing the Buddha on Shakyamuni Buddha’s holy birthday, and why is it called the “Bathing the Buddha Festival”?

Legend has it that over 2600 years ago Queen Maya of Kapilavastu gave birth to Prince Siddhartha, who later became Shakyamuni Buddha, under a sala tree in the Lumbini garden.

Upon his birth, there were nine dragons pouring fragrant water to bathe the infant prince’s body. Then he took seven steps, with one hand pointing towards the sky and the other towards the earth, and said, “In heavens and on the earth, only I am singularly supreme.”

This indicates that, having gone through three great incalculable eons of practice and about to attain Buddhahood in the human realm, he was the most superior among all the heavenly and human beings. Since then, Buddhists have been celebrating the Buddha’s birthday as a tradition by performing the Buddha bathing ceremony.
Based on the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva, the assembly reflects the Buddhist spirit of great filial piety.

As a way to show gratitude and repay kindness, the seven-day Amitabha Recitation Retreat is a popular event for many practitioners during the Tomb-Sweeping Festival. Of various Buddhist methods of practice, reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name is a most straightforward and effective way to help us gather our mind and live in the present. By reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name in one-minded concentration without confusion and distraction, we will be more able to calm and settle our mind.
The Concept of Repaying Kindness: To Benefit All Sentient Beings through Actual Practice

Purifying our minds and society through diligent practice of the Dharma at the Dharma assembly:
In Chinese culture, the Tomb-Sweeping Festival is a time to pay respects to one’s ancestors, by remembering their kindness and the value of filial piety.
Exactly 15 years ago I met Master Sheng Yen, and started to practice the method of Silent illumination (Mozhao Chan-默照禪). For several reasons, Ven. Master Sheng Yen remained my favorite and closest teacher.
I am very glad that I visited this retreat! For me it was the first great encounter with Ch'an Buddhism. Of course, I was a little interested in this before. When I was reading the book "Wisdom of Chan" of Master Sheng Yen, I was attending a retreat only for a half day. Also, I heard something somewhere in conversations, but I did not really understand their meaning. And I'm glad that I become more familiar with this tradition in such an atmosphere and with such a leader.
Life is such an amazing and colorful game of reflections. Wherever we are, we carry out the experiences from within ourselves, painting everything with various colors. Do you notice that the mind, even in its most beautiful, magical places, can bring an unpleasant sense of complaints, past grievances and sufferings?
I was one of the in-charge for the seven-day retreat arrangements, working with Guo Xing Fashi (果醒法師) from the 30th of April until the 7th of May. It was the first time for me to take care of so many things like location (Chan Hall, participant rooms, toilets, kitchen and so on), special issues of some participants, rearrangements after the arrival of Venerable Guo Xing Fashi and two other monks (Venerable Yan Jian Fashi (演建法師), Venerable Yan Guang Fashi (演廣法師)), who helped him to conduct the retreat.

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