DDM Global News

Buddha Bathing Ceremony Held In-Person and Online at Dharma Drum Mountain San Francisco Bay Area Center

Updated May 25, 2022

The Buddha Bathing Ceremony was held at the Dharma Drum Mountain San Francisco Bay Area Center on the afternoon of May 7th, with Director of San Francisco Center Venerable Chang Xiang officiating and the resident monastic Venerable Chang Xing as the proctor. The ceremony lasted for two hours, with over 50 participants on site and over 250 participants online. Venerable Chang Xing first explained the origin of Bathing the Buddha and the five benefits mentioned in the "Sutra on the Merit of Bathing the Buddha" as follows: 1) To experience wealth and well-being in this life, including a long life and freedom from illness; 2) To have all of one's wishes fulfilled; 3) To have all of one's family and friends safe and living in harmony; 4) To be forever free from the eight difficulties, and all karmic conditions that result in suffering; 5) To be free from rebirth as a female, and to attain enlightenment quickly.

In his Dharma talk, Venerable Chang Xiang explained that bathing the Buddha is symbolic of cleaning the dust and dirt off one's own mind, while wishing all sentient beings to also cleanse themselves of mental dust and dirt and practice the Buddha's teachings to be free from suffering and obtain happiness. He also encouraged everyone to practice the Threefold Training, Precepts, Samadhi and Wisdom, with correct knowledge and views on Buddhism. In doing so one can eliminate vexations and worries, be free from suffering and obtain happiness, and be free from the six paths of samsara. Venerable Chang Xiang also mentioned that "Bodhisattvas fear the causes while ordinary sentient beings fear the effects". If one believes in cause and effect and understands cause and condition, one will not create causes that would lead to suffering.

In the midst of the sincere chanting of Shakyamuni Buddha's name, the devotees at the ceremony bathed the statue of Prince Siddhartha by holding clean water in their hands while simultaneously purifying their own body, speech, and mind. Through the merit of bathing the Buddha, all participants cleansed their mental vexations and dedicated the merits to all sentient beings to cultivate blessings and wisdom together.

Text: Xiao-ying Shi (史曉瑛)
Photos: Bill Liu
Translation: Glen
Editing: YKL, Keith Brown