Buddha's Birthday Celebration
"As soon as the Buddha was born, he stood firmly with his feet on the ground; then he took seven steps to the north, and with a white sunshade held over him, he surveyed each quarter. He uttered the words of the Leader of the Herd: 'I am the Highest in the world, I am the Best in the world, I am the Foremost in the world; this is my last birth; now there is no more renewal of being in future lives.'"
The biggest celebration in the Buddhist world. It falls into 8th day of the fourth month by lunar calendar according to the Mahayana tradition. In 2024 we celebrate on Sunday of May 19.
The Sunday is dedicated to religious events. After morning meditation everyone in the service have special opportunity to bathe the baby Buddha while chanting Shakamuni Buddha. Three-refuge Taking and Blessing of Children signifies the Buddhist tradition to honor all the children for future Buddhas. In the Sunday afternoon public can enjoy the free talk; demonstration on Zen Meditation.
Buddha's Birthday Celebration ends with the lovely Lotus Lantern Lightings and Chanting Service. We encourage people to dedicate lanterns during the Celebration. This is an old traditional Buddhist custom. Buddhists dedicate their lanterns to renew their commitment to help themselves and others attain enlightenment, to gain spiritual strength for their problems, or for the peace of the world and happiness of all beings, or on behalf of or in memory of a family member or friend.
"Behold now, monks, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
On Parinirvana Day, we honor the passing away of Shakyamuni Buddha. Parinirvana Day is traditionally observed on the full moon day of the second month according to the lunar calendar. The Buddha taught us how to realize our Buddha-nature within so that we can be enlightened in this lifetime and transmit the tradition of compassionate wisdom to future generations. Therefore, it is the occasion to cultivate penitence, humility and gratitude befitting buddhas in the making. It is Sunday March 24 in 2024.
Buddha's Enlightenment Day
"Seeking but not finding the house builder,
I travelled through the round of countless births:
Oh painful is birth ever and again.
House builder, you have now been seen;
You shall not build the house again.
Your rafters have been broken down;
Your ridge pole is demolished too.
My mind has now attained the unformed Nibbana
And reached the end of every kind of craving."
Buddha's Enlightenment Day celebrates the three days that Siddhartha Gautama sat under the bodhi tree in India and attained enlightenment, or awakening. On the third day of unbroken sitting more than 2500 years ago, he awoke and saw the world and, after some prodding by associates, began to teach others. Thus, he became the Buddha (the Pali word for teacher). This sitting is a remembrance of that, a quiet, calming way to take note that one already has everything one needs. You don't have to spend the whole night and can come for as little as two hours. If you stay after midnight, we kindly ask that you stay until 4 am, to avoid disrupting others. The event is open to all; a donation or offering is appreciated.
Friday January 19, 2024
8-10 pm, first sitting
10 pm, Special Ceremony
10 pm-Midnight, second sitting
Midnight-4 am, third sitting
Ullambana Day (Memorial Service)
It is in the nature of cyclic existence that what has gathered will eventually disperse. Parents, children, brothers, sisters, and friends—no matter how much one loves others, eventually all must separate.
This life is precious and fleeting. To Buddhists, however, death is not the end; it is simply the end of the body we inhabit in this lifetime. Life continues. Our relatives and friends are still present to us not only in our hearts and memories, but also in flowers, the sky above, and the laughter of children.
The Ullambana Day service is a rite and service for the dead and others missing from our lives. We wish them a rightful place among the living and release from suffering in their next rebirth.
Ullambana Day is an opportunity to:
Honor with gratitude and love someone who was important to you.
Wish loved ones peace, happiness and spiritual growth in their new life.
Heal troubled emotions and offer reconciliation for past conflicts.
Prior consultation and appointment necessary. Please contact your local temple. In 2024, the Ullambana Day falls on Sunday August 18.