How the Pooja idea started: Shariff to Charika…
My favorite place on Earth, Breitenbush Hot Springs, has burned down.
The Lodge and the office seem to be the only things remaining on that side of the river. All of the cabins are gone. The meditation and workshop spaces are gone. The electrical generation station is gone. Even the bridge over the river is gone. (The river saved the staff community housing…)
BB just reopened a few weeks ago. I had planned to go, but had waited until they started day visits again. Now…
The news hit me hard (right in the middle of a Webinar I was conducting). BB was one of my favorite places on Earth, and my anchor to Oregon, and even to America. Right now, I’m feeling anchor-less. All I’ve got left are memories and a few photos…
PS: My thanks and prayers for the Breitenbush Fire Department (BFD). The volunteers stayed after everyone else evacuated and saved what they could. They’re still there… the fire could come back around.
The Ceremony Offer: Charika to Shariff…
My dear Shariff,
I am deeply saddened to hear what has happened to Breitenbush. This is quite shocking and unbelievable.
Shariff I know how challenging these couple of days have been for you. Just be in the present moment. Just embrace the pain and send lots and lots of loving kindness in your thoughts to yourself and radiate those loving kindness energies to Breitenbush and the entire State of Oregon and the West Coast.
I know personally how difficult it is to accept or for that matter comprehend certain eventualities that we have very little control over. That’s when Metta (lovingkindness) Meditation helps, to stay grounded in the present moment and keep whatever the wholesome energies we have intact.
I wonder how Peter [Breitenbush Business Director Peter Moore] is coping with everything. He is a man with lot of wisdom. I don’t know how he is managing the situation.
Immediately after I received your email I phoned our Vishva Niketan team and we will be holding a special Bodhi Pooja to seek blessings to you, Peter and the team at Breitenbush and Joanna [Macy] and our friends in California.
With many thanks and Metta,
Details on the “Bodhi Pooja” (Sacred Healing Ceremony)
The Sarvodaya meditation teacher Jagath will be conducting the pooja.
We will be lighting 28 lamps and incense sticks at the Bodhi Tree. (The number 28 reflects the total number of Buddhas that have come to this world to serve in terms of the Theravada tradition.)
The Vishva Niketan Sacred Bodhi Tree is a sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura. The Anuradhapura Bodhi Tree was brought to Sri Lanka by the daughter of Emperor Ashoka of India. It was under this Bodhi Tree that Gautama the Buddha attained enlightenment. [Shariff’s note: The Anuradhapura Bodhi Tree, known as Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, is the oldest human-planted tree in recorded history. The Sarvodaya Bodhi Tree is a direct sapling from this distinguished ancestor.]
In the Pooja, which will continue for about an hour and a half, we will be chanting sutras, followed by Metta Meditation.