The Dharma is sometimes said to be ‘caught not taught’ and our Dharma Day celebration this year is an invitation to join us in recalling and celebrating whatever it is about the Dharma that has ‘caught’ you – it might be a glimpse of vision, the ‘taste of freedom’ or perhaps more like a whiff of a beautiful perfume. We’ve called the celebration ‘The Perfume of the Dharma’ as we loved the image of Dharma being carried silently on the wind, far and wide – ‘the fragrance of the perfect life, sweeter than incense, spreads in all directions throughout the world’.
In the Dhammapada chapter on ‘Flowers’ the Buddha describes how the fragrance of flowers cannot travel against the wind, but the fragrance of the Dharma can do this. In these times when the ‘worldly winds’ are blowing strongly all about us, it’s more important than ever that we cherish and share every whiff of the Dharma that comes our way, and that we reflect and meditate on it. Our Dharma Day celebration is the opportunity to do just that. We’ll share our personal experiences of this, and invite you to bring to mind what it is about the Dharma that ‘catches’ you. We’ll also have some meditation, a simple workshop to make our own prayer flags, family-friendly activities and a celebratory puja, including the ritual offering of our prayer flags for the benefit of the world. There’s the opportunity to stay on for a shared supper and round the festival off with an evening of Dharma dancing. Do join us!
What is Dharma Day?
Dharma Day is one of three main festivals celebrated right across the Buddhist world every year (along with Buddha Day in May and Dharma Day in November). It marks the occasion when the Buddha first succeeded in communicating something of his Enlightenment experience to his friends. It is traditionally described as the Buddha’s first teaching of the Dharma, tho’ we know from the scriptures that his friends also ‘caught’ something from his whole way of being, even before he spoke.
1:30-2pm – Arrival
2-2:45pm – Welcome, intro, storytelling, desert island Dharma talks (from Fi, Hannah and Esme)
2:45-3:15pm – meditation
3:15-3:25pm – tea / comfort break
3:25-4:40pm- workshop (making prayer flags and origami lotuses)
4:40-5:10pm – teabreak
5:10-6:10 – puja & offering of prayer flags outside
6:10-7:10 – dinner (potluck / light dinner)
7:10-8:30 (onwards) – dancing / chill out space
With Satyalila, Hannah, Fi and Esme