Buddha's Birthday 2017

 The LGBT Rainbow Flag crossed with the Buddhist Flag

The LGBT Rainbow Flag crossed with the Buddhist Flag

The NBZ Sangha commemorated Buddha's birthday this year on April 15th.
April 15th also happened to be during Gallaudet University's COLORfest weekend; a celebration of Deaf LGBTQ+ communities. It was also a simply gorgeous spring day in DC. The campus was just in bloom in so many ways! What a wonderful day it was to gather as a community and celebrate what is blooming in our heartminds!

 The  hana mido , flower altar, with a statue of Baby Buddha surrounded by spring flowers.

The hana mido, flower altar, with a statue of Baby Buddha surrounded by spring flowers.

Ōshin gave a Dharma talk about the Buddha's birth and life, during which he encouraged us each to see, "what is being born in this very moment." He also told us how while collecting flowers just outside the campus chapel, to supplement our hana mido --or flower altar-- he observed a beautiful moment. He witnessed a father teaching his son how to ride his bike in the middle of the campus quad. With the training wheels strewn in the grass the boy and his bike wobbled free of his father's hand and pedaled independently for the first time amid cheers from on-lookers. "Will this young boy also grow up to be a great sage?", Oshin asked. "What causes and conditions of our lives have lead us here to to this place? And how lucky are we to have our sangha and this space to be able to practice together! And what are we fostering in our lives and communities to to awaken our collective Buddhanature?"

The sangha took turns "bathing" the Baby Buddha statue, and afterwards we shared all kinds of sweets before signing and singing "Happy Birthday Buddha" and cutting a large cake decorated with flowers. Certainly today our hearts were awakened and new friendships were born.

 A composite image of the  Hana Mido , Sangha members ladling tea over the statue of Baby Buddha, Mo and Erica hugging, and Oshin and Mo in front of a Pride Flag, with the text "Buddha's Birthday 2017" overlaid. 

A composite image of the Hana Mido, Sangha members ladling tea over the statue of Baby Buddha, Mo and Erica hugging, and Oshin and Mo in front of a Pride Flag, with the text "Buddha's Birthday 2017" overlaid.