Archive for April, 2010

Special Program: Buddha’s Birthday, May 2, 2010

On May 2nd we will celebrate Buddhas Birthday with an early start for the Sunday schedule, 7 am. There will be sitting until 9 am, followed by a break with informal, self-serve silent breakfast. The schedule will resume with the usual 10 am sits, and end early at 11:15 am to prepare for the Hanamatsuri Ceremony, which will follow around 11:30 am.

Hanamatsuri (Flower Ceremony) commemorates the birth of the historical Buddha. It is usually held on or around April 8, but some temples delay it. Shuko and Dokuro had the pleasure to participate in Hanamatsuri at Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles on April 8. The CBA Hanamatsuri has been a tradition since Houn-an Dharma Cloud Hermitage started to attend the Zazen-kai.

The ceremony involves lots of flowers, petals on the altar, and the standing baby Buddha in a bowl of sweet tea. In the beginning the Abbot opens the ceremony with prostrations while everybody chants, then four celebrants circumambulate the altar and chant. After each line of the chant the baby Buddha is bathed with a scoop of sweet tea. When the circumambulation ends after the third repetition of the chant, everyone in the community is invited to bathe the Buddha. This is especially popular with the children, who love the color of the flowers and the bathing.

After the ceremony there will be an informal light lunch served. To offset the cost of the food and the flowers a donation for the participation in the ceremony and the early schedule is requested. No sign-up is required, but let us know that you will come so we can prepare enough food.

April 2010 Update

On April 1, 2010, Joshu Roshi celebrated his 103rd birthday. To commemorate the occasion and Buddha’s birthday a Hanamatsuri Dai-sesshin at the root temple Rinzai-ji in Los Angeles was given. Roshi gave Teisho on Case 1 from the Blue Cliff Record (Hekigan-roku). Shuko and Dokuro were participating in the Dai-sesshin and the Hanamatsuri ceremony, which was on April 8. The following Saturday, April 10, Roshi ordained Kumiko Yasukawa as a Zen nun and gave her the dharma name Myoren. Congratulations!

The Zendo, in conjunction with a personal donation from the abbot and vice-abbess, gave Roshi a 27″   HDTV/Monitor and a five DVD set “Earth” from BBC as a birthday present. Roshi enjoyed watching the entire first presentation, taking in the wonderful visuals from the BBC production. For an hour and a half he was completely absorbed by the images, temporarily forgetting about the sciatica and other pains that come with a 103-year-old body. Roshi is in good health for his age and his mind is still as sharp as ever. We all wish him good health for many more years. The monitor will enable him also to see digital pictures sent to the Inji via email on the large screen.

On Saturday, April 24, Dokuro was invited to lead a retreat for the Harvard Buddhist Community. The retreat drew some nine participants; it was held at the Center for the Study of World Religions on Francis Avenue. Zazen, walking meditation, discussion, and a dharma talk made up the program. Laura Votey, who organized the retreat for the HBC, also helped facilitate a lunch with contributions from other members of the HBC. The overall consensus was that more such retreats should be offered throughout the year.

We are planning on the Hanamatsuri ceremony at the CBA sometime early in May. A separate announcement will be sent out via the email list. If you would like to be on that list please send us a quick note via the contact form on this site.

May 5, Open House

Please come by the Cambridge Buddhist Association on the evening of the first Wednesday of the month.  We will start around 7:30 pm. If you arrive earlier we can send one of the sangha members to give you a tour of the house; otherwise, please come by 7:30 pm so we can start on time!