Buddha's Birthday and Open House

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Event Information

On Sunday June 5th from 2:00pm - 3:30pm Eastern, we are celebrating Vesak, the day of the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and parinirvana, which is traditionally observed during the month of May. For those of you in Tallahassee, please come to the Center for food, celebration, music, and Dharma talk. For those of you from afar, please join us through Zoom. Vesak is perhaps the most important Buddhist holiday for Buddhists of all traditions, a day that signifies the Buddha’s gift of wisdom and compassion to humanity.

Wisdom is free from selfing—the cause of one’s suffering. Compassion is not othering—the source of others’ distress. The Buddha has laid out a path to wisdom and compassion through his personal example in the way he lived his life and related to others. Vesak is a reminder for us to embrace this teaching to bring forth our own wisdom and compassion, to help ourselves and heal the world.

The foundation of wisdom and compassion is selfless giving. This is illustrated in the Jataka Tales about the many former lives, of the Buddha, in which he gave away material wealth, his labor, his body and life, and his wisdom to help the wise and the ignorant, humans and nonhumans, the privileged and the destitute. He helped all beings. One could say it was his selfless giving that led to his buddhahood.

In Chan, to let go of the self is to offer the self. Whatever we cannot offer is inextricably tied to our grasping onto self-referencing. Thus, giving in Buddhism has always been a powerful way to perfect wisdom and compassion. When we have something, we think of the have nots; if we are privileged, we reflect on the deprived; if we have benefited from Buddhadharma, we offer it to those who need it.

All of us can practice wise giving, and there are many ways to do it. One way is through Dharma Relief 2 (DR2), which aims to make a positive change in the racialized landscape of Buddhism in America by supporting Black Dharma teachers so they can offer Buddhadharma to the communities they serve. Please consider making a generous donation to DR2 during the month of Vesak. This will be your way of honoring the Buddha and fostering your own wisdom and compassion.

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Program:

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2:00pm - 2:10pm: Welcome and introduction by Guo Gu, the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center

2:10 - 2:55pm: Flower Ceremony with Bathing the Baby Buddha

2:55pm - 3:10pm: Short Break

3:10 - 3:30pm: Musical Performance of the Guzheng and Shakuhachi Flute

Stay after for gifts, refreshments, a silent auction of hand-drawn calligraphy of Bodhidharma by Guo Gu, and a social!

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