Buddha’s Birthday Virtual Celebration

April 8th is the day where we traditionally celebrate the historical Buddha’s birthday. The legend is that the was a sweet rain of flowers when the Buddha was born. He immediately took seven steps representing the seven cardinal directions and pointing up to the sky and down toward the earth said “Above the heavens and below the earth I alone am the world honored one!”

We honor this event with a ceremony where we bath a statue of the baby Buddha with sweet tea and offer incense. In these times where we all must stay at home and such gatherings are discouraged we will observe this ceremony over the internet.

We will begin at 6am with a period of zazen, followed by a short chant service and then the ceremonial bathing of the baby buddha and offering of incense. We will conclude with chanting of the four great Bodhisattva vows and sampai (prostrations). You will need to have a copy of the Tahoma Sutra Book and the Ceremony Booklet which contains the Verse of Ambrosial Nectar.

Order of events
6:00am Zazen
6:30am Ceremony
Hannya Shingyo (page 5)
Sho Sai Shu Dharani (page 6)
Dai Hi Shu Dharani (page 9)
Eko (read by densu)
Verse of Ambrosial Nectar (pdf)
Bathing of the buddha and offering of incense
Chanting: Four Great Vows (page 16)

We will conclude with a few minutes of casual conversation where any participants are free to make comments and talk amongst the group. If you have some tea on hand, it would be an appropriate time to have a cup!

The Zoom Link for this event is:

Please follow these guidelines for taking part in this meeting:

  • If this is first time taking part in a Zoom meeting with your computer, Zoom will automatically install the needed software. For tablet or smart phone users, you will need to download “Zoom Cloud Meetings”.
  • Microphones will be muted for the sitting. During the informal discussion at the end, wear ear phones (if you have them) to help reduce feedback noise. Otherwise, unmute your mic only when speaking. Mute again when done. You can use the Tap to Speak option for this.
  • Turn up the volume on your speakers to clearly hear the bells and announcements.
  • Position your camera so we can see you sitting with us. Not directly in front, though; that will likely be too distracting.
  • If you have a poor internet connection, turn off your video.