Upcoming events

Asalha Puja Friday, July 27, 8:00 PM

Posted on March 28, 2018

photo of the Buddha represented by a Dhamma Wheel teaching the 5 bretheren

Asalha Puja is a Theravada Buddhist festival which typically takes place in July, on the full moon of the eighth lunar month. It celebrates the Buddha’s first sermon in which he teaches the Path to Awakening to his five former associates. This sermon is the first given by the Buddha after his Awakening, and it introduces the Four Noble Truths, the central framework of all his subsequent teachings.

To commemorate these events we will circumambulate the sala three times with offerings of flowers, candles and incense. The ceremony will begin at 8:00 PM and will be followed by a Dhamma talk and hour-long meditation.

The next day, Saturday, July 28, is the first day of the vassa, the rains retreat.

Kathina Sunday, October 28, 8:30 AM

Posted on March 28, 2018

photo of the palm leaf Naga from the 2013 Kathina celebration

The kathina is a ceremony in which donors present cloth and other requisites to the monks who have spent the Rains Retreat together without break. As it may be held only between the full moon dates in October and November, and only once a year in any given monastery, it is considered a very special opportunity for donors to join in and develop the virtue of generosity together.

In the time of the Buddha, the last month of the rainy season (October/November) was the time when monks would prepare their requisites for the upcoming eight-month period when they could wander and meditate freely in the forest. In particular, this was the time when they would patch their old robes or sew new ones if the old ones were beyond repair. Lay supporters thus took the opportunity to provide the monks with cloth at this time, and the Buddha established the custom of the kathina, in which donors would present cloth to a community of monks as a whole. The monks would then make the cloth into a robe within that day and present it to one of their members whose robes were old and worn, or who was deserving in any other way.

The alms round begins at 8:30 am. After serving the monks, the lay people can have a meal from the dozens of free food booths. The ceremonial offering of the kathina cloth will be held around noon.