This past week I attended an annual robing ceremony for the Buddhist monastics in my local area. I go every year because it is a simple gesture of gratitude for all that they do and forsake to make the world a better place and it's an amazing ceremony. Literally, you purchase the robes they wear and bestow them upon the monks as a gesture of gratitude and that's what they wear for the next year. Imagine wearing the same robes over and over? Perhaps it's liberating to not have to make a decision. I suppose I am grateful some mornings to just throw on scrubs and not have to use brain power to dress myself.
About half a dozen or so monks gather for the celebration and chant an amazing chant in Pali for World Peace. While no one else in the room speaks Pali (the language of the Buddha), the peace that blankets the room is evident just by watching the onlookers faces. The little lines of tension between the brows dissipate and corners of the mouth turn up as everyone soaks up the peaceful vibrations--all despite having no idea what is actually being said. This moving celebration is one of those examples that I love; it proves that it's not what you say, but how you say it in terms of intent and tone. There is a bigger part of us than our brains that absorb this kind of information and react instantly.
As the monks chant harmoniously, there is a spool of string that is unwound through the room. The spool unwinds and unwinds until it touches every single person. After the chanting ends, everyone is blessed with a piece of the string in the form of a bracelet. This bracelet serves as a reminder for the rest of the year of the peace and unity that was experienced that day.
If you are interested in learning more about buddhist teachings and live locally in the Tampa Bay Area, check out the Dharma Wheel Meditation Society or have a listen here. Find a peaceful spot and open your mind for about 10 minutes and allow the soothing vibrations take over you.