Thursday, May 01, 2008

Buddha's Birthday~Victoria Zen Centre

What: Buddha’s Birthday Party
Who: Victoria Zen Centre, University of Victoria Interfaith Services
When: Sunday May 25th, 2008 at 1-3pm
Where: University of Victoria, Interfaith Chapel – Parking lot 6 (free on Sunday)
A Buddha of a Birthday Party!
On Sunday May 25 from 1-3pm, Victorians will be celebrating the birth of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, in the traditional way… by having a Birthday party! This event, co-sponsored by the Victoria Zen Centre and the University of Victoria Interfaith Services, now in its 4th year, is open to the public and all children (with well behaved parents) are welcome! This event is free, and for those that wish to, a donation of $5-20 is suggested.

The Interfaith Chapel at UVic, amidst Finnerty garden, will be decked out in flowers provided by Yukiyasu Kato, a master of Sogetsu Ikebana, and the owner of Zen Floral Studio. The event will offer families the opportunity to hear the story of the Buddha’s birth, and to experience a brief Buddhist ceremony in a relaxed and welcoming community environment. Of course, there will also be a piñata, birthday activities for the kids, a display of Buddhist resources for families, cake, and music! Uminari Taiko, Victoria’s taiko (“big drum”) troupe, will help to ensure that everybody knows its Buddha’s birthday!

Venerable Eshu Martin, abbot of the Victoria Zen Centre, and the University of Victoria’s Buddhist Chaplain will preside over the ceremony and celebration. “From the beginning, the teachings of the Buddha tell us that just as we are, we are whole and complete.” Says Eshu, “There isn’t anything missing, and you don’t need to improve upon True you. As we get involved in careers, and feel the responsibilities of family and society, we lose sight of this underlying principle, and start trying to “fix” things, often with terrible results!”

In its first years the ceremony was held as a formal event, an opportunity for the community to learn about Buddhism, “…but it wasn’t the grown ups that got the most out of it” adds Martin, “it was the kids. There was a natural understanding and joy in the celebration of just being... I never expected that!” This year, Ven. Eshu hopes that many families will attend, and that parents will come ready to learn from their children.

For the Victoria Zen Centre’s supporters, this years event will also see the inauguration of the “Wall of 1,000 Buddhas” which is a fundraising event aimed at establishing a permanent home for the Zen Centre in the Greater Victoria area.

For more information, please contact the Victoria Zen Centre.
Ph. 250-642-7936

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