Sunday, December 2, 2012

Royal Kathina – A Humbling Experience

Still vividly remembered when a very kind Buddhist sister , Ruby Pan suggested for me to visit Amaravati before I leave for London and at that moment, I had an aspiration to visit this renowned Buddhist monastery in the tradition of Ajahn Chah (Ajahn Brahm’s teacher) and Ajahn Sumedho. Well, it was not until I reached my 8th month mark here in London that I decided to realize this little aspiration of mine and to my joy having the blessing to celebrate Royal Kathina Day at Amaravati one day after my birthday.

It was such a beautiful place that I felt almost instant peace and calmness the moment I stepped into the monastery. And within a couple of minutes, I thought I was in Thailand as there were so many Thai devotees there conversing in their local language. So much friendly smiles exchanged and the entire atmosphere felt so joyful that I can sense how much the Kathina celebration means to each and everyone of them.

I recalled back in SBM, Bhante Dhammika always shared that having the Sangha members grace the Kathina celebration and in return giving the lay devotees the opportunity to make offerings to the Sangha after the Rain Retreat is a great blessing in itself. Hence, when the volunteers made an announcement about lay devotees participating in the Rice Pindapat (Alms Giving) after the Paritta Chanting session, I was so excited for I always read about alms giving ceremony in books – having the opportunity to participate in the ceremony together with my mum means a lot to me and definitely a humbling experience that I would like to share with the beautiful pictures that I hope speaks a thousand words.

Sadhu sadhu sadhu :)

Kathina Celebration at Amaravati

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Rice Pindapat (Alms Giving) to the Monks

Rice Pindapat (Alms Giving) to the Nuns

The lovely interior at the Main Shrine

The flower design on the ceiling of the Main Shrine

My favourite picture - a very young Buddhist girl paying respect to Ajahn Chah

Amaravati when the sun sets



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