The Dalai Lama came to Niihama today to consecrate a new stupa! Here he is walking into the temple courtyard. Emily and I got to participate in this event and meet him afterwards! It was...
Everyone chanted the Heart Sutra with the Dalai Lama as part of the consecration. The Heart Sutra, (which represents the heart of buddhism and the heart of existence, "Emptiness is none other than Form, Form is none other than Emptiness") they say was expounded by Avalokiteshvara itself, (the bodhisattva of compassion). The Dalai Lama, if you forgot, is believed to an embodiment of this very deity, so I found it interesting to be able to chant the heart sutra with it's original author. =)
After the consecration he invited the monks up for a group photo. It was adorable! He also went around and met everyone who participated. The Dalai Lama held my hand, looked into my eyes, and said,
"Hah, where are you from? Europe?"
"America." I replied. He then looked into Emily.
"And you?" he asked.
It was amazing. I am so happy.
Consecration: first he unveiled the stupa, and placed a kata (holy scarf) around it.
Then, while the Dalai Lama chanted, a monk put a buddha and relic (tiny bone) into the stupa.
This was the first stupa inJapan to have a hand-delivered relic from the Dalai Lama.
I can't wait to see him again tomorrow!!! I am so lucky!!!