~Buddha~ Happy 3,038th Birthday! Do you know when Buddha’s Birthday is? Do you know why Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s Birthday by bathing the Baby Buddha? Do you know the true meaning behind it? Do you know what else we can do in honor of Buddha’s Birthday? The original story Over 3,000 years ago, the great compassionate Buddha came to this world to awaken our Buddha nature… 3,038 years ago, in one of the Indian kingdoms, Queen Maya became pregnant. Ten months later, on April 8th of the Lunar Calendar, the Queen gave birth to the Baby Buddha. At Lumbini Park, she took a rest on the way back to her mother’s home. There, she reached for the lower branch of a tree and grasped it with her right hand. At this moment, the Baby Prince emerged from her right side. He walked seven steps toward each of the four directions. For each step he took, a lotus flower bloomed below his feet. With one hand pointing to the heavens, and the other to the earth, Buddha announced, “From the heavens above and to the earth below, I am the most honored one.” This “I” means the Buddha Nature of all sentient beings. The heavenly maidens showered flowers from above. The four emperors of heaven used fragrant water containing different kinds of flowers to bathe the Buddha. The nine dragons poured water to bathe him as well. Buddha started the journey of showing the Way to true freedom for all sentient beings. What can we learn by bathing the Buddha? We are now bathing all Buddhas, Pure and grand, complete in wisdom and virtues; May sentient beings be cleansed of the five impurities, All attaining Tathagata’s pure Dharmakaya.” To commemorate the Buddha’s Birthday, Buddha’s disciples usually hold a "Bathing the Buddha" Ceremony by setting up an altar with flower arrangements, placing a statue of Baby Buddha in the center, and making offerings while bathing the Buddha statue with fragrant water to show their great respect. However, the true way of showing our respect is to purify our mind. By bathing the Buddha outside, it reminds us to cleanse away our worries, defilements, and delusions to reveal our intrinsic Buddha nature and become enlightened. Learning from the Buddha, following his teaching with right thought, right speech and right action, we are creating a Pure Land. Let’s bathe our Inner Buddha at Buddha Mind Monastery on May 8th (Sunday)! On May 8th, Buddha Mind Monastery will have several events: the Buddha Bathing ceremony, Three Refuges Transmission Ceremony, and the Charity Bazaar. The Bazaar will consist of food stands, Vegetarian BBQ, tie-dyed T shirts, candle making, Origami, and educational themed Buddhist activities. Time Program *Three Refuges Transmission -call or email us for details 10:00am ~ 10:30am (Please read more information below.) 10:30am ~ 11:30am Buddha Bathing Ceremony 11:30am ~ 12:00pm Grand Meal Offering, Blessing Service 12:00pm ~ 2:00pm Vegetarian BBQ, Charity Bazaar (Fundraising for the NEW monastery) Books of tickets will be used in lieu of cash donation and will be available at the information desk. The booths will open at approximately 11:30 am. All the tickets donations will be used to fund the New Monastery .The Donations for the New Monastery Building will not only support the Three Jewels but also help propagate and retain the Buddha’s teaching in the future. Please help us to be ‘Green’ by bringing your own utensils (such as a bowl, cup and fork). There will be a discount for bringing your personal utensils. If you are unable to bring your utensils, you may need to borrow a set of utensils with a one point ticket. Our Planet will appreciate your cooperation. All events are open to the public. We sincerely invite your friends and family! Please join us in honoring the birth of the Buddha and supporting the NEW Buddha Mind Monastery’s fundraising as you enjoy the delicious vegetarian food and fun activities! For our planning purposes, please RSVP to BMM at 405-869-0501 or via firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people you expect to attend. Looking forward to seeing you all! Buddha Mind Monastery * About the Three Refuges Transmission: Three Jewels What is truly precious in life? Worldly treasures do not last, nor do they necessarily bring us happiness. In Buddhism, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha are the truly precious ones that can bring us wisdom, peace, and happiness. Therefore, they are called the Three Jewels. As we study and discover the wisdom and practical values of Buddhism, we may want to lead a life as Buddhists, a life leading toward Enlightenment. In order to formally become a Buddhist, a person takes the Three Refuges in the Three Jewels: taking refuge in the Buddha, taking refuge in the Dharma, and taking refuge in the Sangha. On a deeper level, Buddha represents the Enlightened mind, Dharma represents Truth, and Sangha represents purity and harmony. Taking Three Refuges Taking refuge has two meanings: to return, and to rely. By taking the Three Refuges, we reflect inwardly to understand ourselves. Now we wish to return to the purity of our Buddha Nature, and we need to rely on the wisdom and guidance of the Three Jewels. For the Three Jewels are what we can truly depend upon on our Bodhi path, providing us the right direction, bringing out the right faith, courage and wisdom needed to conquer the obstacles to Enlightenment. To take the Three Refuges under a Dharma Master (Shifu) is to formally become a Buddhist. Even though one can study the scriptures and practice on one’s own, one is still not committed to the Bodhi path, like a student who audits a class instead of formally registering—he has not made up his mind. The path to Buddhahood requires determination, guidance, and effort. Conclusion The Buddhist practice emphasizes introspection and purity of the mind. Our actions and behavior in daily life are reflections of our mind. Taking the Three Refuges is an explicit affirmation of our inner commitment to the Buddhist teaching and principles. Please sign up to take part in this rare opportunity! Please call or email us for more details.