Last month was our Annual Sangha Celebration, held here at the Hermitage Buddhist Retreat Centre near Criccieth. It’s always held at the weekend closest to the full moon of Saga Dawa – the important Tibetan Buddhist festival that celebrates the birth, enlightenment and parinirvana (death) of the Buddha.
One of the main parts of the celebration is the vows ceremony where our sangha members take the Refuge and Bodhisattva Vows with Lama Shenpen. We we’re lucky with the weather, although there were a few showers we we’re able to have the ceremony outside under the gazebo!
As well as the vow ceremony, Lama gives teachings and we recite prayers and mantras while circumambulating the stupa.
It’s a really joyful occasion that’s followed by a big feast and then entertainment provided by sangha members.
It has a different feel to attending a meditation retreat at the Hermitage, where there is often long periods of silence, as there were three young children and two dogs present all enjoying themselves along with the rest of us! Looking forward to next year already!