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Happy Vesak Day! The 2558th Buddha Birthday Celebrations!

May 11, 2014

072_truths_as_action  “The Four Noble Truths are pragmatic rather than dogmatic. They suggest a course of action to be followed rather than a set of dogmas to be believed. The four truths are prescriptions for behavior rather than descriptions of reality.” Stephen Batchelor, Confessions of a Buddhist Atheist

Vesak, or the Birthday of the Buddha, is on the Full Moon of May which in 2014 is Wednesday May 14 (5/14/14).

Which means that this weekend is the 2558th Buddhas’s Birthday Celebrations!

In Ventura, CA events will be held at An Lac Buddhist Mission, 901 So. Saticoy Avenue, Sunday May, 11 from 10am-3pm and include a ceremony to honor  mothers including the mother of Prince Siddhartha.

10322668_10152105091835924_2772566539474892901_nI was at the temple on Friday for yoga and stopped in the garden briefly for photos.

Everyone was busy making ready for Sunday’s big event which will include:

Dharma Talk.

Opening Remarks by Venerable Hoa Thuong Thich Thong Hai & Devotional & Blessing Ceremonies including Bathing the Baby Bodhisattva Prince Siddhartha.

Lunch: Vietnamese and Sri Lankan vegetarian food. (Sri Lankans join this with their custom to organize free food stands – DANSALA during the Vesak for pilgrims.)

Music and entertainment
Including devotional songs blend with chantings such as ‘Oom Mani Padme Hum’

Formal Ceremony for taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, & Sangha and precepts.

Closing Remarks.

All welcome !
May the blessings of the Buddha be with you.

Like the silk thangka aboe? It’s by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo,  one of the only westerners trained in the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Leslie’s fascinating story is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas. The image above is one of her Weekly Wake-ups which provide a thread of inspiration to set your week on the path to awakening.

 You might want to go see the HUGE appliqué thangka on display at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, CA. Commissioned by the 8th Dalai Lama in 1793, this rare and impeccably preserved example of Tibetan appliqué is 20′ tall and only displayed once a decade. Leslie is leading a group to see it Sunday, Mother’s Day. She’ll answer questions and share insights with you while there. Bring your mother along and have lunch or tea in the museum’s garden café. It’s a beautiful spot!

Sign up here. Then meet at the front entrance a few minutes before 2:00 on Sunday afternoon! 

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