Phap Lam Temple (The Vietnamese Buddhist Temple of Rockford) will host an opening reception to “Maitreya Project Heart Shrine Relic Tour,” a public display of rare and sacred relics of Buddha and Buddhist masters, at 6 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24.
Admission is free, and the opening ceremony runs 6-8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 24. The display will be open to the public 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 25, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 26.
This is a rare opportunity to view sacred relics found among the cremation ashes of the Buddha and other spiritual masters. The relics resemble beautiful pearl-like crystals and are said to embody the masters’ spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom. These were deliberately produced by the masters at their death so all may share in their blessings.
Until this tour, most of these relics have been enshrined inside statues and stupas unavailable for viewing. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has offered eight relics of Shakyamuni Buddha relics to the tour.
The event encourages people of all traditions to gather in harmony focusing on common values. Visitors of every faith often report inspirational experiences when in the presence of the relics. While some are inspired to pray for world peace and to develop their inner wisdom, others are overcome by emotion as the powerful effects of the relics open their hearts to compassion and loving kindness.
The relics are clearly visible inside display cases. Visitors may receive a personal blessing — relics of the Buddha are gently placed on their crown.
The relics are destined for a large Maitreya Buddha statue being built in India. Maitreya is the Buddha of loving kindness.
Phap Lam Temple is at 518 15th Ave., Rockford. For more information, call (815) 670-0774.
From the Aug. 22-28, 2012, issue