Happy Birthday, dear Kuan Yin, Lady of Mercy! It's the 19th Day of the 2nd Lunar Month and all over the world people will be making heart-felt offerings to say thank you to this Mother of Compassion who blesses all...
"In Her perfect presence
we pay reverence and
call upon her name,
Namo Kuan Yin Bodhisattva,
for those who need
and shining example.
In Her great compassion,
enshrouded in perfect wisdom,
bestowing great blessings
and merit without bounds,
we gassho (bow) in great reverence."
I fell in love with Her when I was 24 years old and She holds an incredible place in my life and Feng Shui business--it's dedicated to Kuan Yin! So I'm very excited to celebrate today!
Traditionally, one celebrates Her birthday by...
- Taking a vow to become vegetarian for life--or at least eat vegetarian on this day-- or fasting altogether
- Silent contemplation and meditation
- Performing acts of charity, giving alms to the poor and orphans, visiting old folks
- Offering fruits, flowers and incense at temples
- Practicing animal release of birds, turtles, fish, crickets and crabs
- Refraining from alcohol and sex
- Burning joss papers
- Perambulation of Her statue in a moving shrine
- Performing the Great Compassion Dharani seven times as the great celebratory rite
- Watching lion dances, puppet shows and Chinese operas staged on the temple's open grounds
- Reciting Her mantras (Om Mani Padme Hum or Om Namo Guan Shih Yin Pu’sa) 108 times
- Taking home holy water from a basin filled with water and flowers for bathing and purifying your karma
- Fortune telling with the Kuan Yin Oracle
I'm going to be spending the day immersed in most-wonderful celebreations: visiting a beloved temple; burning joss paper offerings; buying bottles of water and tea to hand out; meditating; heaping offerings on all of Her altars here in our home; reciting Her mantras; consulting the Kuan Yin Oracle; working on my book about Kuan Yin devotions; and eating vegetarian.
Please let me know if you do anything to celebrate!