Dear ArtStyle: Postcard from the Wesak Celebration

Dear ArtStyle,

On May 31st, I was honored to be invited to a Wesak Celebration, during the full moon in Taurus. In a beautiful setting at East Meets West, a store front on Lawrence Avenue, a place more temple than store, we gathered together (about 18 of us) to chant and bring in a wonderful and powerful energy for ourselves and our world.

Deanne Lozano Wesak Chakra
Energy of Enlightenment, Peace, Harmony and Abundance for All

The vibration in this beautiful temple-store filled with lovely and sweet smelling roses and beautiful statues of Eastern deities — Buddha, Kwan Yin, Tara, Ganesh, Shiva, Laxmi, Saraswati Durga and others — filled me with such joy.

The worries of my day just melted away in the profound light that filled my heart and soul as well as the space in which we all chanted.

We then shared food and drink and our feelings about the chanting.

I asked my friend Mary Huddleston, who led the chanting, about her feelings about that night and what her chanting and her work mean in her life (Q & A below).

My last thoughts: may we all chant, pray, meditate, or quest for blessings for our world family.


What would you like people to know about the celebration?

In many traditions the spiritual festivals and celebrations are connected with the cycles of the moon. In the month of May, the first full moon in Taurus is called the Wesak moon, when the Tibetan Buddhists honor the birth, enlightenment and death of the Shakyamuni Buddha. It is considered one of the four Great Festivals of Tibetan Buddhism, a highly auspicious time.

This year, according to the Rigpa Calendar (Tibetan Lunar calendar), the Wesak celebration was observed on May 31st. Spiritual practice is emphasized because the effect of our actions is multiplied by 10 million. So, it seemed to me that this would be a great opportunity to gather as a group to focus our intent and prayer energy on love, compassion, healing, and peace.

My teacher Thomas Ashley Farrand hosts a gathering like this every year. It lasts for many hours, and they chant Sanskrit mantras invoking healing, peace, and universal compassion. Sanskrit is a sacred language that resonates with our energy centers. By chanting, either aloud or silently, we raise our personal vibration, invoke archetypal principles/qualities such as prosperity, healing, spiritual light, and advancement, and collectively send love to the planet. Chanting in a group multiplies the power of the mantra exponentially. So gathering to chant in a group offers all kinds of opportunities for us to help one another, our planet, and ourselves.

What does chanting and doing this work mean to you?

I consider Sanskrit mantra and chanting to be an amazing gift and opportunity. Mantra is an integral part of my daily practice. It has changed my life in so many positive ways. When I first found Sanskrit mantra in this lifetime, it just felt like I had reconnected with an essential part of myself. Chanting these ancient mantras connects me to an eternal lineage of saints, sages, and seekers, ordinary people like me. It helps me to connect with what many of us want, what we have always wanted: to live a happy life, to alleviate suffering, and to experience a spiritual connection with the great mystery. Each time I work with mantras, I feel that I am doing a little bit more to work towards enlightenment and to pray for others and support them on their spiritual path. It feels very empowering and beautiful to me, and I am very grateful to have reconnected with this spiritual practice.

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