Windhorse, the Buddhist gift business based in Cambridge UK is getting in the festive spirit for Wesak - celebrating the day of the Buddha's awakening.
The festivities began last Friday with a ritual around the large stupa in the centre of our warehouse. We dedicated the celebrations and invoked the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. There was circumambulation of the stupa and chanting just as used to happen round stupas containing relics of the Buddha in ancient India.
Then we got to work with your craft skills! Around the stupa a 12 pointed traditional Mandala boundary had been marked out on the warehouse floor. The aim was to turn this into a wall of lotuses by the time of Wesak day the following week. Under the direction of ritual master Vidyavajra we all set to making lotus stencils with card and craft knives. These will be used to mark lotuses in white spray paint over the following week. We also sprayed in the first of four very splendid larger lotus patterns at the four gates of the mandala.
Of course the area around the stupa will continue to be part of the warehouse with trolleys and pickers running past, but they will be aware of an extra sacred dimension as they do so.
Over the coming year the plan is to spray in a wall of vajras and one of flames to complete the Mandala wall.