One of the most important festivals for Buddhists is Sakyamuni Buddha’s birthday—the eighth day of the fourth lunar month—was May 8th this year. By sharing and learning the stories of Sakyamuni Buddha and by participating in bathing the Buddha, the students of Hsi Lai Temple TAG School gained a deeper understanding of the Three Acts of Goodness and how to follow them for the rest of their lives.
Buddha’s Birthday Celebration was divided into two parts: online and in-person. On May 1, Preschool, Kids’, and Youth classes jointly launched an online celebration with sixty people participating—including teachers, students, and parents. Students from the Youth Class took turns telling many wonderful Buddha stories: such as, the Buddha preaching for his mother, carrying the coffin for his father, educating Rahula not to lie, persuading King Virudhaka not to attack the Sakya Clan, and the Blind Turtle and One Driftwood. The Kids’ Class sang Refuge To The Triple Gem in English, and the preschoolers performed the Three Acts of Goodness song, also, in English. All students had a grand time learning and realizing the true meaning behind the act of bathing the Buddha is to purify one’s own mind. Everyone bathed the Buddha virtually, recited A Prayer for the Buddha's Birthday with Monastic Advisor, Ven. Zhi Ching, and made TAG vows.
On May 8th, students and their families came to Hsi Lai Temple to engage in bathing the Buddha. Colorful paintings of the Eight Stages in Buddha’s Life helped students learn more about Buddha. They bathed the Buddha's body with pure water, and made vows before the Buddha to do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts, and promised to keep the Three Acts of Goodness deep within their hearts.
This year's Buddha's birthday coincided with Mother's Day. Hsi Lai Temple TAG School prepared red carnations for the students to give to their mothers—-a golden opportunity for them to practice the Three Acts of Goodness on the spot by giving flowers to their mothers, and wishing them a Happy Mother’s Day. Their parents were touched and expressed what a special and meaningful day it was!