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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.
Abiding by his last wish, the ash burial ceremony of the late Eighth Vice President of Republic of China, Mr. Lee, Yuan-Tsu, was held at 2.00 p.m. on March 31, 2017 at the Eco-Friendly Memorial Garden of Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education. Led by honor guards, representatives of the family held his ash box and slowly filed along the winding trail lined with cherry blossoms and banana magnolia trees. Late Mr. Lee’s wish for a natural burial was fulfilled after the hundred participants made their silent prayer and shared their recollections.
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.
We arrived in the 8th of January to Fagushan Monastery (Dharma Drum Mountain World Center for Buddhist Education) and stayed in Taiwan until the 23rd of January. Our Russian group consists of 7 people, six from Moscow and one from St. Petersburg. In addition, there was one person from Switzerland and he was already at the lay people’s quarters at the monastery when we had arrived. Therefore, our pilgrimage program can be called International Pilgrimage.
I had no preconceptions entering into this experience. I have attended many retreats at DDRC, but this was the first ritual function I participated in. I had heard that this ceremony was only conducted every few years, so when I saw it listed on the website I had to go for the opportunity.

The first impression that landed had to do with its size. It was easily more than twice the size of any DDRC retreat I had attended in the past. The whole hall was filled with participants and volunteers.

Many things were similar to previous experiences. The food was still some of the best in the whole wide world. The volunteers and monastics brimming with compassion, always on hand to be of assistance whenever it was required.
Among the natural farming approaches that I know of, only Mr. Masanobu Fukuoka's approach is based on the philosophy of Buddhism. He emphasized that the philosophy behind farming is the most important thing.

When Mr. Fukuoka was 25 years old, he had an awakening experience. His thoughts therefore concur with Buddhism's dharma. In his books, "The One-Straw Revolution" and "The Natural Way of Farming", Mr. Fukuoka emphasizes that farming should be guided by Buddhist philosophy. He named his natural farming approach as Farming method of the Dharma or the Buddhist farming method.
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