Approximately 30 people came out to the D.C. dojo on Saturday April 21st to celebrate Hana Matsuri, the Buddha’s birthday.
Hana Matsuri or flower festival is celebrated each year in April or early Spring to commemorate the birth of the Buddha.
On this day approximately 2,600 years ago Buddha was born and immediately following his birth took seven steps in each of the four directions and proclaimed that he would dispel suffering and bring peace to all sentient beings.
Hana Matsuri is celebrated by offering food and flowers to the Buddha and then bathing the baby Buddha in sweet tea.
After prayers and the bathing of the Buddha, Kato Shonin from the New England Peace Pagoda gave a Dharma talk followed by a hopeful excerpt of Nichidatsu Fuji’s read by Sister Clare. (Dharma talk)
Guests included members of the Dorothy Day DC Catholic Worker House, participants in the “No More Fukushimas Walk” from New York, cellist Benjamin Hundley and neighbors in the DC area.
The group shared a meal together before ending the day.
Jun san of the Grafton Peace Pagoda left with her group of veteran peace walkers to Tennessee to take part in the Atlanta dojo’s Hana Matsuri and a two week work camp to continue construction on the Smoky Mountains Pagoda (Atlanta dojo)
Kato Shonin and people from the New England Peace Pagoda drove back to Massachusetts.
Hana Matsuri will be celebrated in New York and Massachusetts on the weekend of May 27th. Anyone interested in volunteering or attending either ceremony should contact Vanessa Zorlu at 978 696 1312
Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo