On May 27, Saturday, we celebrate Buddha Day to think of Buddha as an infinite source of inspiration and spiritual strength. We welcome you to join us for a Dharma assembly at 10AM ET for a blessing ritual, followed by tea and Chinese calligraphy class.
At the center of the Prayer hall at Jinyin Temple sit three colossal Buddha statues. The term Buddha means enlightened one. A Buddha is someone who has awakened from ignorance and sees things as they really are, who is therefore completely free from all mental afflictions.
Among these three Buddha statues in our prayer hall, the middle one represents the Historical Buddha, Shakyamunī, or Siddhārtha Gautama. He was born during the 5th century BCE to King Śuddhodana of Shakya Clan in Northern India. After he attained Enlightenment, Siddhārtha Gautama became known as Shakyamunī Buddha, meaning “Sage of the Shakya Clan.”
Shakyamuni Buddha is an unordinary being. His existence brings an important revelation that our mental strength and wisdom are infinite as long as we practice sincerity, integrity, faith, and steadfastness in order to advance. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas serve as examples that we can always rely on the power of our own mind to free ourselves from suffering and realize the ultimate truth.
In Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha’s teaching of the Dharma is described as the turning of the Dharma Wheel. Buddha delivered his first discourse in Deer Park in Benares on the Four Noble Truths, which would be the foundation of all the teachings he gave in his life. This discourse is known as the first turning of the Dharma Wheel. During this time, Buddha’s five ascetic companions became his first disciples and formed the sangha. Five hundred years later at Vulture Peak Mountain, the second turning of the Dharma Wheel took place. Buddha taught the concept of śūnyatā with the tenet being that all phenomena are empty of intrinsic existence and self-nature. The third turning of the Dharma Wheel arose not long after the second turning. It was a series of teachings on various subjects that took place during a period of many years at a variety of places. The main focus of the third turning is Buddha Nature, which Buddha taught that all sentient beings possess, therefore all beings may realize enlightenment.
Through these teachings that provide a systematic path, Buddha shared with the world the way that leads all sentient beings to attain ultimate awakening and liberation from saṃsāra.