Home Buddhist space Society Land of Medicine Buddha draws hundreds to eighth annual festival

Land of Medicine Buddha draws hundreds to eighth annual festival


A procession of hundreds of people led by the chimes and bells of traditional Tibetan music marked the eighth annual Land of Medicine Buddha festival in the Santa Cruz Mountains on 5th june.

Among towering redwood trees, the 30-minute procession winded up a paved path to the top of the 108-acre property. Once at the top, a 24-foot Medicine Buddha thangka, or a painted scroll, was raised at the Wish Fulfilling Temple.

The ceremony, which is carried out only twice a year, coincided with The Heart Shrine Relic Tour this year, featuring ancient and sacred Buddhist relics that draws crowds from around the world.

“It’s a day of art and culture”, said Denice Macy, Land of Medicine Buddha executive director. “Eight smaller thangkas have been raised for the festival this year. The artist lived here for two years to paint them.”


The thangkas feature the eight great bodhisattvas, or someone motivated to attain enlightenment, said Jon Landaw, who teaches a Discovery of Buddhism class at the center.

Landaw said the day of the festival is an opportunity to open up the Land of Medicine Buddha to the whole community to spread awareness of the various activities that take place at the retreat.

“We find people in the whole area that don’t even know we exist”, Landaw said. “This is a way of connecting with the community to let the community know the things that take place here.”

Mai Phuong Tran and Ngoc Tran of San Jose came to the Land of Medicine Buddha as a part of a monthlong tour of visiting Buddhist temples in the Bay Area to celebrate the birth of Buddha. The trip was Mai Phuong Tran’s third visit to the Soquel center.

It is a tradition in our culture during this month to visit every temple we can to celebrate the birth of Buddha,” Mai Phuong Tran said. “It is important to respect the culture at every temple because each has a unique way to celebrate.”

Discovery of Buddhism student Cheryl Vandeveer of Santa Cruz took up the rear of the procession up the hill with her classmate Suzi Morgan of Aptos.

>”I retired three years ago and was always interested in studying Buddhism but felt like I never had the time,” Vandeveer said. “I made a promise to myself that I would commit myself to do it when I retired. Once I started, all I wanted was to learn more and more. There is so much to learn.”

Source: www.santacruzsentinel.com

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