Tuesday, Oct 24th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 02 May 2015 15:41

Promoting Buddha Bathing Ceremony in Schools

Written by  Tan Pui Lee, Kuching / Translated by Goh Ming Fang

Despite the scorching heat, volunteers went house-to-house to invite the public to join theBuddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Ng Hsiung Hsiung]

Volunteers from Tzu Chi Kuching have been actively inviting members of the public, Buddhist group and schools to participate in the 2015 Buddha Bathing Ceremony, to be held at Stadium Perpaduan Negeri. Some volunteers shared with the public at a parade, some spoke to parents who were waiting for their children at schools, and some conducted house-to-house visits.


 
First publicity at nine schools in Bau District
 
For two consecutive years, the Head of the Education Department, Bau District, has hoped that the nine Chinese primary schools in the district will hold events of religious nature in the month of May to celebrate together with Teacher’s Day. This year, it materialized. With the help of Tzu Chi volunteer Chen Chee Keong, Principal of SRB Chung Hua Musi, in coordinating and liaising, Tzu Chi volunteers had the opportunity to visit all the nine schools. Information on the Buddha Bathing Ceremony was shared to about 180 school teachers, in the hope of breaking the religious boundaries and shed the light of celebrating both Teacher’s Day and Buddha’s Bathing Ceremony together.
 
Principal Chen Chee Keong expressed, “I am touched that so many volunteers are willing to come over to small-scale schools like ours. I just wish to spread the seeds of love, and hope that the teachers will invite their families and friends to take part in the Buddha Bathing Ceremony and learn more about Tzu Chi. Hopefully by experiencing the dignified ceremony themselves, they will make an effort to attend this annual event in the future.”
 
Through their sharing during recess and after school, volunteers have successfully invited over 60 people, including 14 school teachers and their families and friends, to the ceremony.
 
Another teacher, Luo Kang Ru, who had participated in Buddha Bathing Ceremony in Penang shared, “I was deeply touched by the sight that the Dharma Masters, and leaders from different religious backgrounds, such as Christian and Sikh, were all present in the ceremony. It was a moment of pure harmony. When the event ended, I called my mum immediately and promised that I will bring her along to this meaningful event if there is one in Kuching.”
 
The Senior Assistant of SJK Chuang Hua Tondong, Liao Cai Feng, had been following her sister to temple for Buddha bathing ceremony in the past years. She felt that Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony has given everyone an opportunity to participate in this event regardless of their religious background. It enables everyone to feel and spread the seeds of love, hence she said she is keen to experience herself so that she can share and invite more people to join next year.
 
First publicity at Chinese independent high schools
 
Volunteers visited two of the four Chinese independent high schools in Kuching, namely Chung Hua Middle School No.3 and Chung Hua Middle School No.4, and had great interaction with the teachers and students. Besides introducingTzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony, volunteers also showed the 600 over teachers and students videos on the solemn ceremony held by Tzu Chi chapters around the world. About 50 teachers and students, majority from Chung Hua Middle School No.4, accepted the invitation to join the ceremony.
 
During the weekly assembly, Principal Lee Chee Beng of Chung Hua Middle School No.3 had set aside 15 minutes to inform students about Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. He believes that all religions guide us to do good deeds. He hopes that the students can learn and benefit from this life enriching experience, which would possibly lead them to become a volunteer and contribute to society one day.
 
After the briefing, Weng Jia Qi, student from Chung Hua Middle School No.4, happily shared that the formation of Bodhi Leaves is beautiful and meaningful. It was echoed by her classmate Zhang Jia Yue, who signed up for the formation and would like to invite her mother to join her.
 
Although some were not familiar with Tzu Chi and its Buddha Bathing Ceremony, through the volunteers’ visits, the seeds of love have been sowed in the students’ hearts.
 
Three rehearsals were held at 101 Phoenix Community Centre, Sungai Apong basketball court and Jalan Arang basketball court respectively on Labour Day, with participation from over 300 volunteers and members of the public. On May 2, volunteers conducted rehearsal for fellow Buddhist practitioners at the LUNDU Buddhist Society. The latter also made contributions for the Nepal earthquake victims through Tzu Chi.
 
Volunteers had made their best efforts to engage members of the public for the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. Hopefully in expressing our gratitude to the Buddha, our parents and all sentient beings, we can also unearth our pure innate nature and propagate the Dharma with utmost piousness.
 
 
Volunteers walked into the crowd to share on Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony during a parade. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   Buddha Bathing sharing session with over 350 teachers and students from Chung Hua Middle School No.3. [Photograph by Kho Chee Hui]

Volunteers walked into the crowd to share on Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony during a parade. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Buddha Bathing sharing session with over 350 teachers and students from Chung Hua Middle School No.3. [Photograph by Kho Chee Hui]
 
Volunteers shared with teachers from SRB Chung Hua Musi on Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   On Labor Day, more than 100 people attended the rehearsal at 101 Phoenix Community Centre. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

Volunteers shared with teachers from SRB Chung Hua Musi on Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
 
On Labor Day, more than 100 people attended the rehearsal at 101 Phoenix Community Centre. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
Fellow Buddhist practitioners from the LUNDU Buddhist Society made contributions to the Nepal earthquake victims through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]   Principal Chen Chee Keong from SRB Chung Hua Musi, who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer, made the efforts to coordinate and liaise with principals of Chinese primary schools in Bau District, to promote Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]

Fellow Buddhist practitioners from the LUNDU Buddhist Society made contributions to the Nepal earthquake victims through Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]
 
 
Principal Chen Chee Keong from SRB Chung Hua Musi, who is also a Tzu Chi volunteer, made the efforts to coordinate and liaise with principals of Chinese primary schools in Bau District, to promote Tzu Chi’s Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph by Tan Pui Lee]