Come learn about the annual Rains Retreat Ceremony, which marks the end of Buddhist lent. The Lowell Folklife Series has organized a guided visit to the Wat Buddhabhavana led by the Head Abott, Venerable Ajahn Mangkone on Sunday, October 16, 2011.
The End of Rains Retreat ceremony, which is held close to the first full moon of October, marks the end of a 3-month period of time coinciding with Asia’s rainy season. Traditionally, it is a time when monks must refrain from traveling and remain at the temple. It has evolved into a time of intense spiritual practice for the monks, as well as a time when the laity has more access to the monks.
During the ceremony, lay people bring offerings to the temple, in gratitude for a good harvest. Attending the End of Rains Retreat ceremony is both a chance to make offerings to the temple and to receive blessing from the monks. People bring offerings in the way of home cooked food, fruit, packaged food, candy, gifts, donations, and money.
As outside guests, we will be invited to observe the ceremony, which includes chanting, an offering, a potluck lunch, and blessings from the monks. We are also invited to end the day with a walk on the beautiful grounds which include a bird sanctuary. Participants are encouraged to bring a donation of food, money, or gift for the temple.
Schedule: October 16, 2011
9:45 am Welcome and overview of ceremony by Venerable Ajahn Mangkone
10:00 am Auspicious chanting and taking Three Refuges and Five Precepts
10:30am Thuk Baht (offering food to the monks) followed by a Dhamma talk (sermon) and the monks commence to eat their meal
12:00pm The lay people select their lunch (buffet style) and can eat either in the Hall or, weather permitting, outside
Due to limited space at the temple, reservations are required. Wat Buddhabhavana is located at 25 Milot Road in Westford, MA. Transportation is not be provided.
Reservations and directions, contact David Blackburn at 978-970-5055
The Lowell Folklife Series is co-sponsored by the Lowell National Historical Park and the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Folk Arts & Heritage Program.