Festival of Avalokiteshwara
Sat. 2nd Feb., 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Avalokiteshwara (Japanese: Kanzeon, Chinese: Kwan Yin, Tibetan: Chenrezig) is the Bodhisattva of Compassion, and this festival day will focus on this centrally important aspect of Buddhist practice. The name Avalokiteshwara is Sanskrit, and means “The one who hears the cries of the world”. To live with compassion is to hear the cries of suffering within ourselves and within all beings, and to be willing to respond.
During the festival, a wide variety of different images of Avalokiteshwara are placed around the walls of the meditation hall, and we circumambulate the hall and bow to each image as we pass it. This symbolises the fact that compassion can appear in many different forms, sometimes in a way that we least expect, and that if we are to know stability and contentment in our lives we must accept, and bow to, all these different appearances of the nature of reality. This is one way in which we ourselves express compassion for all living things.
The day will start at 10am with a meditation period, followed by the ceremony. After the ceremony there will be a Dharma talk, and at about 1pm there will be a bring-and-share vegetarian lunch. In the afternoon there will be two periods of meditation from 2pm, followed by tea. You are welcome to come for any part of the day.
10.00am Meditation (30 minutes)
10.35am Ceremony rehearsal
11.00am Festival Ceremony
Dharma Talk and discussion, with tea.
This will be followed by a bring-and-share vegetarian lunch at approximately 1pm.
2pm Meditation (30 mins)
2.30pm Walking Meditation
2.40pm Meditation (30 mins)
3.15 Questions and answers/ discussion, with tea.
As well as these events the temple also has a regular daily schedule.
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