This year our celebratory ritual centred on a long spiral procession around the offices and warehouse, chanting the Shakyamuni Mantra along the way. We accompanied it with a wide range of drums, bells, conchs and flags, as we walked inside and outside the building. We started in one sacred space – our Shrine Room, and concluded in another – the Stupa Area. The procession stopped at eight beautiful specially made shrines, placed around the building. At each we heard readings about the Buddha’s journey towards Enlightenment, followed by rousing call and response verses.
Before entering the Stupa area, we heard the story of the Buddha’s first teaching of the Dharma. Here, everyone picked up a Buddha Rupa, and whilst chanting the Shakyamuni Mantra completed their journey to the Stupa. There each person placed their Rupa in a niche, producing a vast wall containing over sixty Buddhas. We finished in a more reflective devotional mood, with a meditation led by Kavyasiddhi, and a Sevenfold Puja led by our Managing Director, Keturaja. The morning’s celebration concluded in time-honoured fashion, with a delicious festive shared lunch!
Many thanks go to Vidyavajra and Samudraghosha for all the work they put in to organising this for us.