There is something special about being at the temple at night. Our regular services start at 10am on Sundays, but few times a year, we have services that are held in the evenings. December 8th, Saturday, was Bodhi Day at the temple. Bodhi Day commemorates the enlightenment of the historical Buddha. The special service started at 5pm, followed by the potluck. The Onaijin, the pictures on the walls, the lamps hanging from the ceiling, all looked solemnly different from the usual Sunday morning views we are used to seeing.
Avery chaired the service. It was a busy evening for him, as he is also a part of the Dharma School choir. He chaired very calmly, confidently and so well that no one could tell it was his first time!
Two other Dharma School students shared presentations on the Art project of Pureland Buddhist Portraits. For over a month, Dharma School students have been working on making a portrait on 16 important Pureland Buddhist figures. Each student get to choose one famous Pureland Buddhist, study about him / her, and then create a portrait of the person. Mika created a portrait of Kakushinni, Shinran Shonin's daughter. Mayu's portrait was that of Eshinni, Shinran Shonin's wife.
Reverend Yuki gave his Bodhi Day Dharma message that gave Sangha a chance to think about community, sharing, and peace -- tranquility of self and others. Please check out our Youtube Channel if you have missed it! By the way, the music at the end of our Youtube channel videos, is an excerpt from a piece titled "Vandana", composed and performed by Rev.Yuki Sugahara!
After the short but very thoughtful and meaningful message, the OBT Choir and Dharma School Choir, together, sang "One Candle". The Choirs had been practicing for weeks, and the performance proved that!
The evening service was followed by the potluck -- with lots of delicious food! Piping hot casseroles, delicious chicken dishes, lots of different and colorful salads, rice prepared in different ways -- to name just a few! Kids got to decorate cupcakes and cookies with holiday color icings and sugar stuffs...
It was a fun, sweet evening, that made you think of happiness you get through community, togetherness and peace. Here are some of the moments of preparation, during and after the Bodhi Day service.