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Sunday, 08 May 2016 00:00

Buddha Bathing Ceremony In Miri

Written by  Choung Mou Hin, Miri / Translated by Tan Heang Shin

Over 700 public members participated in the solemn Buddha Bathing Ceremony. [Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]

The Buddha Bathing Ceremony in Miri was coincidentally held on the following day after the 11th State Election. After 12 days of tensed atmosphere, the event helped calm people’s minds and bring them peace of mind.


On the Sunday afternoon of May 8, Miri City Fan was bustling with activity and singing. Passers-by and exercise enthusiasts stopped and watched the Buddha Bathing Ceremony held at the centre of the park.

The event was attended by 719 participants whose sincerity had led to a solemn and harmonious atmosphere. The formation team, comprising 160 volunteers, teachers, students and spiritual friends, encircled the Buddha bathing platform. The formation represented light and filled the air with humanistic values.

After six o’clock in the evening, Venerable Jue Pu, Abbot of Yuan Chuan Monastery, and Venerable Shi Wei Zhi, Spiritual Advisor for Miri Buddhist Society, arrived and guided the devotees to chant the “Incense Praise”. This was followed by chanting of “Praise to the Buddha”. The dignified and peaceful ceremony touched everyone’s heart.

Tamed the mind with chores

Lim You Wei, Event Coordinator, shared that every activity presented opportunities to train the mind. The team spirit and overall beauty brought out an air of spiritual refinement. He said, “We are cleansing our mind and returning to our Buddha-nature.”

He had assumed the coordinator role for the fourth time and was moved by everyone’s thoughtfulness. He felt that everyone has improved and would take the initiative to make the event a success. It was no easy task to call on more than 200 volunteers to take on the offering and ushering duties. Fortunately, they were successful in completing the various duties.

Gan Sheao Min, who took care of the ushering tasks for the first time, shared on the challenges faced right from the recruitment of volunteers to the rehearsals of duties. However, she was quick to adjust her mindset and give her best to every detail. She learnt most about people relationship, and especially in building a common understanding and contributing joyfully together.

Sheao Min remarked, “Actually each one of us has the ability to lead the functional group. The key is making time for it and doing it wholeheartedly. In addition, guidance from experienced volunteers and the willingness to listen would encourage more people to assume leadership roles.”

Opened the door to kindness

Volunteer Lim Lin Lin felt grateful with everyone’s earnestness. The overall beauty of formation was maintained albeit a smaller participation from over 200 to 160 people. As there were limited Tzu Chi volunteers, invitations were sent to Buddhist society in schools over past two months.

After learning that numerous volunteers were needed, two teachers from SMK St Columba managed to bring with them 16 students to join in the formation team.

Teacher Wei Si Feng shared that there are weekly religious classes held in the school and she is the teacher in charge of the Buddhist classes. She appreciated the personal coaching from Tzu Chi volunteers and cooperation from school management, which had enabled them to practise during extra-curricular activities.

Initially, the Teachers’ Training College had less than 30 participants, which fell short in forming one circle. “When we went there to coach, participants were moved by volunteers’ efforts hence, they asked for more Buddhist friends to partake. In the end, we achieved the desired number,” expressed volunteers. Indeed with great vows, come great strength!

Many of the participants in the formation were new to Tzu Chi Foundation. Thus, the event has been an awesome opportunity to open the door to Tzu Chi’s missions.

 

Venerable Jue Pu (right) and Venerable Shi Wei Zhi (left) led devotees in chanting the “Incense Praise” and “Praise to the Buddha”.[Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]   Photo shows a child folding her palms. With a pure mind, one cleanses the Buddha image and also one’s heart. [Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]

Venerable Jue Pu (right) and Venerable Shi Wei Zhi (left) led devotees in chanting the “Incense Praise” and “Praise to the Buddha”.[Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]
 
Photo shows a child folding her palms. With a pure mind, one cleanses the Buddha image and also one’s heart. [Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]
 
Devotees had prayed for a world free from disasters sincerely. [Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]   A bamboo bank corner was set up to brief public members on the founding of Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koo Han Wu]

Devotees had prayed for a world free from disasters sincerely. [Photograph provided by Andrew Teo]
 
 
A bamboo bank corner was set up to brief public members on the founding of Tzu Chi. [Photograph by Koo Han Wu]
 
Held on the following day after the State Election, the Buddha Bathing ceremony had helped to soothe the tensed atmosphere. [Photograph by Uh Mon Siong]  

Held on the following day after the State Election, the Buddha Bathing ceremony had helped to soothe the tensed atmosphere. [Photograph by Uh Mon Siong]