first invite the Abbess into the Chan Hall to conduct the ceremony. The
assembly joins their palms to express their deep reverence to the Three Jewels (the Buddha,
Dharma, and Sangha)
question is often asked, “Why do people prostrate to the Buddha; are they
worshipping the statue or the person?”
and prostrating help us overcome our egoism and arrogance. They show our deep
respect to the Buddha for his qualities such as compassion, concentration, and
wisdom, and inspire us to develop these qualities ourselves.
are a part of the Buddhist liturgy. By chanting the sutras together, we purify
our karma, cultivate a pure mind, dedicate our merits to all sentient beings,
and pray for world peace.
offering is a practice in giving; it reduces our greed and helps cultivate our
compassion. During the ceremony we make lamp, flower, and incense offerings.
Lamp symbolizes our
intrinsic wisdom. The light of wisdom dispels the darkness of ignorance.
Flowers symbolize the
impermanence of this life. We appreciate their transient beauty and learn to be
mindful of each moment.
spiritual cleansing or purifying as well as the fragrance of pure moral
conduct. The fragrance of the incense permeates all the worlds, imparting
blessings to all beings.
ceremony is an opportunity to cultivate our Buddhist practice and to dedicate
merits to all sentient beings. Reverence and gratitude for the wisdom and
compassion of the Buddha are integral aspects of Buddhist etiquette.