Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The monk's blessing: No Fear.

On monday my Aunt Li-fan took us with her to the Red Buddha Temple.  Last time I paid my respects it was the Buddha's birthday so the temple was packed.  The crowds were thinner this time around, but not without lines.  We made an offering of fragrant jasmine flowers and received blessings from the monks. 
Holding the packet of jasmine outside the temple.
Devotees placing incense in a cauldron.
Waiting in line to receive blessings.  Tables for offerings in between lines.
A monk casting die (2 red crescent-shaped disks).  The devotee asks the god a question, and the dice reveals the god's response.  It's a funny method; the answers can mean "ask again later" or "the god is laughing at you", etc.  but the monk will continue to toss until the hoped-for answer is received. 
Monks reciting sutras.
Alex receiving his blessing from the monk (my Aunt Li-fan is on the left, also receiving a blessing).

My Aunt Li-fan said after receiving the Buddha's blessing, we will have no fear.  Watch out world!

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