Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Buddhist Weddings

Catherine and Elmo celebrated their wedding at the Inn on January 10, 2009. Their Buddhist senior leader prepared a marital shrine by a beautiful little waterfall presided over by a Buddha statue. It is traditional that the ceremony begins with the hymns Vandana, Pancasila and Tisarana.

Buddhism is a journey of transformation to one’s inner potential and a Buddhist marriage is part of this path dedicated to serving others, helping them awaken to all they are. Marriage is often described as a practice ground to learn how to serve others, as an equal commitment to the happiness of both partners and toward their awakening. The philosophy behind it is that our inner potential is developed through taking on challenges, not just through joy and that we need people in order to practice compassion.

The officiant gives a prayer and shares Madyan with the guests, a traditional religious drink.
The ceremony often begins by lighting the candles and incense placed in front of the shrine to Buddha and offering flowers.

Marriage is dedicated toward the happiness of all living beings, those gathered at a Buddhist ceremony are the representatives of all living beings.

Catherine and Elmo decided on Zen beauty and minimalist elegance.

Buddhist Wedding Prayer
Today we promise to dedicate ourselves completely to each other, with body,
speech, and mind.
In this life, in every situation, in wealth or poverty, in health or sickness, in
happiness or difficulty, we will work to help each other perfectly.
The purpose of our relationship will be to attain enlightenment by perfecting our
kindness and compassion toward all sentient beings.

Lama Thubten Yeshe
December 1979

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