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Bathing the Buddha Ceremony

Venerable Abbot bathes the Buddha



The three-week Great Repentance Ceremony of Bowing to the Ten Thousand Buddhas came to an end, and the merit and virtue was complete. The next day was the biggest annual holiday on the Buddhist calendar-the birthday of Shakyamuni Buddha, the founder of the religion. From Asia, from Europe, from Canada, and America, the multitudes of disciples came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Since many of them had joined in the repentance beforehand, the bowing this year was made even more meaningful.

Sunday was to be the official day of the celebration, according to the Mahayana calendar, and people came from all over California, starting their travel in the wee hours of the morning. Even as they arrived in the parking lot, volunteers were enlisted in the preparatory activities.

The scene in the 10,000 Buddha's Hall on Buddha's birthday


Students adorning the Buddha image for the Celebration


In front of the plaza were myriads of fresh flowers. Knots of children ran busily around the Buddhas' lotus thrones, placing the fragrant flowers atop the Buddha images.Dharma Master Heng Lai said "We give birthday presents on birthdays, but the Buddha already has everything. What is the best gift we could give to the Buddha? The best offering we could make to the Buddha is our greed, hatred, and stupidity, as well as our bad habits. Since this is the Buddha's birthday, we should be really patient and not get angry."

Mendocino County Supervisor Marilyn Butcher was the day's special guest. In her remarks after lunch, she expressed a concern for education and discussed her distinguished educational background. Mrs. Butcher said she placed supporting schools high among her priorities.

Bowing to the Buddhas

Amaro Bhikku from England spoke about how to walk the Bodhisattva Path, saying that we should travel from within our minds, to begin practicing Bodhisattva practices. We do this by getting rid of the Three Poisons, transforming our anger, and paying attention to our motives. We practice not attaching to our doubts, rather just letting them wither away by themselves. This is the initial movement along the Bodhisattva Path.

In the afternoon there was a Liberating Life Ceremony outside the Long Life Hall. Many small animals were set out in cages, bunnies, turtles, and small birds, who having met the Buddha's kindness, were on their way to another chance at freedom. Simultaneously, the Ven. Abbot held a Refuge Ceremony and Five Precepts Transmission inside the Buddha-hall. 


"Future Buddha" lines up for a blessing by the Master's cane

接下來英國的 Amaron 比丘開示。他表示我們行菩薩道要先從內心修菩薩行,去三毒,化解氣,要注意自己的起心動念,莫執著及疑惑心中的念頭,讓它自然退失。





The Ven. Abbot instructed the new disciples that they should bow 10,000 bows if they wanted to be considered his genuine disciples.

Five people took the Five Precepts following the Refuge. After the Precepts, the group of new disciples gathered in a circle around the Ven. Abbot to make offerings to him. The Master compassionately fulfilled the wishes of those who came seeking a blessing from his walking stick. He said, "You all want me to hit you. After having bathed the Buddha on the Buddha's birthday, who can really wash clean the defilements from the mind, and can protect its purity? The person who can do so is the one who brought back the most gifts from the Buddha's Birthday at GTTB. Tell me, who can I ask to hit me?

Bhikku Ajahn Amaro from England's Amaravati Buddhist Centre gives talk during lunch.
來自英國 ABC 佛教中心的 Ajahn Amaro 比丘

Instilling Goodness boys sing Dharma songs

Girls' school students' recite "Standards for Students"

Bunnies waiting to be liberated


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