On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Bodhi Manda Zen Center hosted the festive celebration of Hanamatsuri, a Buddhist ceremony honoring Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday and his teachings on limitless compassion and unconditional loving-kindness towards all beings.
Guests arrived from the local communities of Jemez Springs, along with students and friends from Albuquerque, the village of Cuba, New Mexico, and other locations around the United States and world. The community was treated to a special solo chant by Rabbi Sheffa Gold, director of CDEEP (Center for Devotional Energy and Ecstatic Practice), in honor of Buddha’s birth.
Words of welcome were offered from the abbess, Jiun Hosen Osho, who shared the significance of Hanamatsuri, and explained the tradition of washing the Buddha statue with honey tea and rose petals. Everyone was invited to come forward to the shrine to make their own offering.
The ceremony concluded with a talk about the importance of coming together as a community and a delicious potluck lunch in the dining hall.