Thursday, May 17, 2007

International Buddhist Festival(Vesak) will be held at Hidden Gardens on 19th of May 2007

International Buddhist Festival (Vesak) will be held at Hidden Gardens on 19th of May 2007


Vesak is the most important date in the Buddhist calendar. This is the day when Buddhists all over the world celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha and his teachings. For southern Asian Buddhist traditions, this day also marks his birth and passing away. It is 2551 years since he attained Enlightenment or ‘woke up’ to the truth. This is the fourth year that Buddhist groups from Glasgow have come together to put on this event.

Over the centuries, millions of people in many countries have followed the Buddha’s path of wisdom and compassion. There are now many different Buddhist schools each with their own emphases and practices. At this event today you may meet people from traditions such as Sri Lankan, Tibetan, Japanese and Western. Although there is much diversity, Buddhists recognize a fundamental unity with one another. This is based on faith in the path to Enlightenment which the Buddha opened up.

Some of the ways we are celebrating Buddha day are traditional, some are contemporary. The traditional elements are
• dancing – with drummers and a highly skilled Sri Lankan dancer, Jinadasa Niwithigala
• puja - a short and accessible opening ceremony which will start the day
• the giving away of food to all comers (In the Boilerhouse12.30 – 1.30)

We give away food because generosity is crucial to the Buddhist path. We also have an animal mask-making workshop for the kids. This is to remind us all that Vesak is a time to look after the well-being of all living beings. There will be drumming for kids of all ages while others can find out a bit more about Buddhism and how to practice it today. The theme for this symposium of speakers from different traditions is “Ethical Livelihood: Buddhism at work” (Stable 4 at 2pm.) In amongst it all you can make and hang your own prayer flag incorporating a wish or prayer for yourself, your family or for the world on the back. Tie it on at the shrine in the middle of the lawn or wait until the procession and closing ritual (3.45 pm).

May all beings be well! May all beings be happy! May all beings be free from suffering!

Running Order
(Listen out for updates and announcements throughout the day)

11.00 Opening procession with traditional Sri Lankan drumming and dancers. Starts at back door of Tramway.

Followed by Puja, chanting and welcomes (Stable 6)
The opening ceremony and Puja will be attended by Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Sudantha Ganegama Arachchi.

12.00 Meditation (The rill/stable 6)
Storytelling for kids (on the lawn/stable 4)

12.30 Dana - donation of lunch (The Boiler house)
Donations will be gratefully accepted and will go towards the Scotland Buddhist Vihara Trust which is supporting projects in Sri Lanka

1.00 Dancing from Jinadasa Niwithigala (on the patio/stable 6)

1.30 Meditation (The rill/stable 6)
Drumming workshop for children of all ages. (On lawn /stable 4).

2.00 Symposium: Buddhism at Work (Stable 4)
Ethical Liveliehood, the theme of this years celebration, concerns how and what Buddhists do by way of occupation. Occupation in this context includes not just employment, but volunteering and parenting. Contributors from various traditions will be sharing their points of view. Chaired by Prof Perry Schmidt-Leukel (Glasgow Universtiy). Contributors are Karl Kaliski (Cloud Water Zen group), Dh Amitasubha (Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) and Ven Sumana Sirii (Theravadin).

3.45 Animal and flag procession bring your animal masks and flags that you made area and join our procession through the Gardens (will commence on the patio area)

4.00 Closing ritual (on the lawn around gingko tree)
Wishing all beings well! We want to hear it in as many languages as possible! We will close with ancient Buddhist chant 'SABBE SATTA SUKHI HONTU' (may all beings be well and happy)

All Day Animal mask and flag making workshops (Gardens/café area)
Stalls (café area)

Location guide: Locations for each activity are shown in brackets. Alternative bad weather locations are listed second.
Stables 4 and 6: Upstairs, inside Tramway
The Rill: Circle of water at the rear of the Hidden Garden
The Boilerhouse: Aluminium building to the left in the Hidden Gardens