In May 2015, The Meditation Room program hosted the Loving Kindness Buddha Relic Tour in conjunction with the Compassion Course. The event gave a rare opportunity to be in the presence of relics found among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters, including the Buddha himself. The relics are believed to embody the master’s qualities of universal compassion and timeless wisdom, and to be produced deliberately by the master at death for benefit of disciples and the world at large.
A week before the Exhibit, we heard a presentation from Nisha Manek, M.D. (Mayo Clinic) about her published research into the healing effects of the relics on visitors to the Exhibit, and a talk from Professor Karen Derris on the role of relics in Buddhist traditions.
Visitors to the event numbered 2,000 and included college students, university staff and faculty, and diverse people from around S. California, with groups coming many different Asian immigrant communities. The Opening Ceremony expressed the interfaith principle that compassion and loving kindness are common to all religions.
Special thanks to the Asian American Resource Center and the Khmer Buddhist Society for the performance of traditional dance and blessings.