Friday, August 3, 2012

Buddhist from all Faiths Welcome! Alms Offering for Monks before Rains Retreat.

Buddhist from all Faiths Welcome! Alms Offering for Monks before Rains Retreat.
I sent this email out yesterday to our meditation members.  I believe in merit and when you believe in merit you want to invite others to generate good deeds together. As we have learned in class in terms of merit when you do an act of good deeds such as generosity or giving, the giver must have good intention and faith in their act of good deed being performed, and the receiver should be worthy of your gift.  What does “worthy” mean? “Worthy” the more precepts the receiver upholds, the more intensified the fruits of merits are for the giver. Monks uphold 227 precepts so an act of kindness that goes to a monk such as giving food is considered meritorious. Below is the email I sent out about the event this coming Sunday. We meet every Sunday for Alms Offering Service, but  This Sunday is a special alms offering, because it is the alms offering right before the monks go into their 3 month of meditation practice and dhamma study which is called the rains retreat or Buddhist lent

Dear Meditation Members:

Thank you and rejoice in all merit of those who join us weekly to meditate or have participated in food offerings on Sunday, and all meritorious activities at the Dhammakaya Georgia Meditation Center.  Our upcoming big meritorious event this month is "the Asarnhapucha and Buddhist Lent Ceremony" please join us this Sunday for Alms Offering to the monks before Buddhist Lent begins, the schedule can be found at the end of this email or visit our website for the Sunday Service Schedule 

Buddhist from all faiths welcome! Asarnhapucha is the day the Buddha gave the first sermon "Dhammakacaccavattana Sutta" to the five ascetics at the deer park.  It signifies the completeness of the Triple Gems in Buddhism.  The Buddhist lent is the three months period during the rainy season that Buddhist monks retreat themselves into Dhamma study and meditation practice in their monasteries and refrain from travelling.  

After the completion of the rains retreat monks receive new robes from the lay community, called the Kathina Ceremony, or robe offering ceremony. The Kathina ceremony marks the end of the rains retreat; this ceremony is over 2600 years old. During the robe offering ceremony robes are presented to monks who have completed their 3 months rains retreat period. Keep in mind that every Buddhist center has their own Kathina ceremony and the actual date varies depending on when Buddhist Lent officially starts for each individual center. 

Please join us to initiate this auspicious period for the monks at the Dhammakaya Georgia Meditation Center this Sunday August 5th.

The schedule for Sunday Service Alms Bowl offering is below, feel free to come at any time that is convenient for you, but I would recommend to come before the alms offering portion of the day, which is where lay people offer food to the monks and there is always plenty of food prepared by many to offer to the Venerables, so please join us!

9:30am Meditation
10:30am Observe 5 precepts, Food Offering ceremony, Blessing from Monks
10:45am Alms Bowl Offering
11:00am Morning Chanting
11:30am Lunch

~GMC Team & Venerable Boonchoo (Dhammakaya San Jose Meditation Center)

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