Blessing Ceremony for Maetou Gaisorn

We missed Maetou Gaisorn at Wat Greensboro during the last few events, and yesterday her family nimon (invited) Phramaha Somsak Sambimb, Bhikkhu Pannadharo (Darrell Kitchen) and two monks from Wat in Morganton and also Wat in Lexington to perform a blessing ceremony for her. We took this opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving the Buddhist way, and the small Buddhist community of Conover, Newton, Morganton and Hickory came together to celebrate and give thanks, we are thankful for our boun and blessing.

 

One of her grandsons became a novice monk in her honor. This is definitely a proud moment for any parents and grandparents, below is an image of him asking for permission to become a novice monk.

The money tree was hung by the family and friends, and the total received was donated to three Wats or temples that performed the ceremony.

Phramaha Somsak Sambimb performed the ceremony.

Burning long candles that measured the circumference of each family member’s head and elbow to wrist is part of a blessing ceremony.

Pra Kao Tip or meal was prepared for the spirit of passed loved ones.

It’s nice to see Maetou Gaisorn giving alms.

Another Canon fan on the right hand side.

One of the guests tied a white string around Maetou Gaisorn’s wrist for blessing.

Food offering to the monks.

A buffet style for the guests.

A Thai dessert called Bua Loi.

There were plenty of good Lao foods.

One of the monks went around to sprinkle blessing water for good health and fortune.

I loved her outfit and asked if I could photograph her, she hesitated at first but finally agreed. She shaved her head and I would love for her to take her Beanie off, but since it was cold I didn’t have the heart to ask her. She is beautiful in her traditional outfit.

Here is a picture that I took of her inside during the ceremony.

It is always a good idea to ask the homeowner for permission to photograph the event. I asked Por Sing if I could photograph the event for my blog and Wat Greensboro’s Facebook and he said okay. I posted more photos at Wat Greensboro’s Facebook, click here to view more photos.

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Kathin Ceremony at Wat Greensboro

Yesterday we had Thot Kathin or Kathin Ceremony at our local temple, Wat Greensboro of North Carolina.

Dork Champee, I’ve not seen one in a long time. The aroma is incredible and it’s one of the offering flowers.

In most Southeast Asia countries, where Buddhist monks live in one place for 3 months known as Punsa or Rain Retreat, and after the three months of Retreat observance, people have a very grand festival of offering food to the monks in various Wat (Temples), each Wat could only Thot Kathin once a year. At this same time, they prepare special yellow robes that are offered to the Sangha .

This special yellow robe offering is called the Kathin Offering Ceremony. It can be done only during the period from the end of the Rain Retreat to the first day of the Waning Moon of the 12th Lunar Month, which means only within 29 days after Ork Punsa. There must be at least 5 monks for a Wat to Thot Kathin, and in the United States, it’s hard to have that many living in one Wat, but we have 6 monks at our Wat for the Kathin Ceremony. This year we have a Kathin Samakee, which means that it’s being hosted by many and not just one person, we had the Khmer, the Lao, and the Thais and raised over $10,000.

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Bung Sa Goun in Remembrance of Our Passed Loved Ones at the Temple

Bung Sa Goun Ceremony

Sunday I attended a Buddhist ceremony at one of the temples in Charlotte, NC, quiet a bit drive from our house. This ceremony is called Bung Sa Goun, which is a memorial service ceremony in remembrance of the passed loved one and in this ceremony, two families held the ceremony together, one family was for their father, and his son and daughter in-law, and another family was for their uncle.

What is unique about this ceremony is that there are four beds (one for each deceased person) that are called Gong Bung and on them contain items that we want our passed loved ones to have in their afterlife. The Buddhist believe that in the spiritual world, our passed loved ones still use these items, we want them to have the necessities of the daily life convenient such as pillow, blanket, plates and bowls, and other items. As for item of personal clothing article, many would also offer this, but ask to get it back by offering donation called Busar, and the monetary amount offered is up to the offered because there is no set amount.

Gong Bung

Gong Bung

Meal is also offered to the deceased, this is called Pra Kao Thip.

Pra Kao Thip

I’ve been working hard in my garden, but my trees don’t look anything like this, might be because I water my trees with water (Nom in Lao language), but I do wish that I have a money tree at home. The money tree here is called Tonh Ga La Pirk, this would give friends and families the opportunity to Tum Boun (merit making) with the host families, offering their money by hanging it on the tree, this tree is obviously watered with Nom Jai, water that came from the heart (Jai). The money is then donated to the temple.

Money tree

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Lao New Year Celebration at My Local Temple

Lao New Year 2009 in NC

One of the good things about living in Laos is that the local Wat (temple) is within a walking distance, I can’t say the same here in the United States. We have so many temples here in North Carolina, but all are about 45 minutes to 1.50 hours drive, as for this one, Wat Greensboro is about 1 hours and 25 minutes drive for us.

We had a good turn out, this is the line for morning Almsgiving.

Lao New Year 2009 in NC

Lao New Year 2009 in NC

Almsgiving

Jaydee Cide or sand stupas are still very fascinating to me. As for this year, my wish is still the same as last year, when I built the Jaydee Cide, I made a wish and donated the good merits for my mom that is no longer with us.

Sand stupa

Sand stupa

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