DDM Global News

Bathing the Buddha with a Beginner’s Mind on Buddha’s Birthday

On May 14 from 10 am to 3 pm, Chan Meditation Center hosted the Bathing the Buddha with a Beginner's Mind event in-person to commemorate the birth of Sakyamuni Buddha. It was also Mother's Day on the date. Over 140 participants attended. During the ceremony, everyone chanted with respect and concentration. Then they bowed to the Buddha and took clear water to bathe the statue of Prince Siddhartha, cleansing their own bodies and minds through the ritual, transferred the merit for the peace and purification of the world, and wished sentient beings reach Buddhahood soon.

CMC also held the Three Refuges ceremony. The Director, Venerable Chang Hwa, was the master of ceremonies. Eight practitioners took the Three Refuges and Five Precepts and became Buddhists, starting their journey of cultivation. Before lunch, everyone sang the Birthday Song to celebrate Buddha's birthday, and the new Buddhists were invited to cut the vegan cake, taking this date of refuge as the date of rebirth, leading their lives positively through practice.

During the special Dharma talk, Venerable Chang Hwa said the Buddha Bathing Festival this year coincides with Mother's Day. When we commemorate the birth of the Buddha, we also commemorate his mother, Queen Maha Mayadevi. We are very grateful that Sakyamuni Buddha came to this world and revealed the Four Noble Truths to sentient beings, teaching the truth of suffering, the causes of suffering, the ending of suffering, and the path to end all suffering. Meanwhile, we should also be grateful to our mothers for giving birth to us and raising us so that we are able to hear the Dharma. Venerable wished all mothers in the world a Happy Mother's Day with peace and joy.

Venerable Chang Hwa shared that Master Sheng Yen once explained that a practitioner is like a warrior trying to climb to the top of a glass mountain with bare feet. This mountain is so steep and slippery that the climber would slide down again and again. Despite their exhaustion, they never give up. Venerable encouraged everyone to repent frequently, purifying the three karmas of body, speech, and mind in daily life and gradually dissolve self-centeredness, transcend karmic obstacles, vexations, and attachments, and see the intrinsic pure Buddha nature that all of us equally have.

In the afternoon, there was a Movie and Mind activity led by Venerable Chang Zhai, assisted by Dharma Drum Young People (DDYP) volunteers. Participants watched the 2023 Oscar-winning short film, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse. Following the ups and downs of the heart-warming plot, the audience thought about what the roles of each character mean to the world. The characters learned to face difficulties with wisdom. Even if they encountered obstacles, they would never forget to have courage, kindness, and hope. Everyone shared their feelings freely during the discussion and encouraged each other.
Article:Amanda Yeung
Photos:Yin Ting