During the Rains Retreat many lay Buddhists spend an increased amount of time contemplating the Dhamma and adhering to more ascetic practices, like longer meditation sessions.
The Rains Retreat is called Waso in Burmese and Vassa in Thai. Both words come from the Pali word “vasso” meaning rain. Some people refer to Waso as “Buddhist Lent”. The timing of Waso is based on the lunar calendar, and also coincides with the wet season in South East Asia. While Sydney may not have a wet season Waso is still observed.
The Panditarama Sydney Meditation Centre (PSMC) celebrates the start of Waso with a Robe Offering Ceremony. The day starts with a luncheon offered by the lay community. Blessings are then offered by the Monks and they lead the lay people in chanting in Pali. A Dhamma talk is also given (a discourse from the teachings of the Buddha) and the lay people renew their will to adhere to the Five Precepts.
New robes and other essentials (like rice) are offered to the Monks, in a ceremony that is similar to alms giving in SE Asia.
|Knows Pali better then me!|
The PSMC will also hold some group meditations and a retreat for lay people over the coming months. Visit their website for more information here.
|Wonderful lunch offered to all|
Thanks to Min Thein for the photos.