Monday, April 8, 2019

Sunday's Happenings

Sunday morning, I went to the Temple to attend a special ceremony - the depositing of relics in the new stupa (or chaitya/cetiya as it is also known) that is being built. 

The New Stupa or Chaitya 

The new stupa that is being built was draped with banners representing the colors of the Buddhist flag: blue, yellow, red, white, and orange.

Buddha Statue and Reliquary

A specially made and decorated box or reliquary was placed in the main shrine room, in front of the statue of the Buddha.  The relics and various other offerings and written prayers were placed in this reliquary, which was then closed and placed inside the stupa, through the square opening visible in the top picture. Once the prayers were said and blessings were chanted, breakfast was served to all who were there, well over 100 people!  At first, I was going to leave without having any breakfast, but the monks insisted, so I served myself some food, but chose to bring it home to eat.

Breakfast: Milkrice and other goodies
Starting with the chickpeas/garbanzo beans at the bottom of the plate and going clockwise, there is a piece of ribbon cake, mung kavum (sweetened mung bean paste dipped in rice flour batter and deep fried), saudodol (also known as walithalapa) which is a type of pudding made with rice flour that has been sprinkled with water and stirred to form into tiny balls, like cous-cous, and steamed before being cooked with treacle and spices, kokis (similar to Swedish rosettes, but made with rice flour batter and not sweet), milkrice, and a bit of lunu miris (a type of sambol or relish made with onions and chili ground together) to go with the milkrice.  Not at all low carb!  Not by a mile!  I didn't eat all that in one go, though.  I ate the milkrice, sambol, and chickpeas with the last of the fish curry gravy I had at home.  The rest was put in the fridge for another day.

After I came home and ate, I mended the quilt I had washed.

Later in the afternoon, I picked up friend R and we went shopping for some much needed clothing items!  We had given each other gift cards to this one department store for Christmas, so we decided that we should shop together, too!  Afterwards, we went out to lunch at our favorite cafe.  After lunch, we both did our grocery shopping at the Armenian store before I dropped her off at her apartment and came home.   I had invited her home to have a cup of tea with me, but she declined as her home was close to the Armenian store and she didn't want me to have to drive her back, again.

Cousin P had called while I was out so I called her back and we chatted for a bit.

Late at night, around 1:30 a.m., I was writing an email to a friend, when the electricity went off!  My whole block was in darkness, but the street lights in the adjoining street were working.  We don't lose power that often but, when we do, we are reminded just how dependent we are on electricity!   It is also a good reminder to be prepared for just such an event!  I keep a flashlight under my pillow in case of an earthquake which might result in a power failure.  I was able to feel my way to the bedroom and get my flashlight (I routinely check to see if the batteries are OK) and then, I made my way to the kitchen where I keep candles and lighters.  I said my prayers and prepared for bed by candlelight, last night!

On Sunday, I was grateful for:
- Being able to participate in the temple event
- Special treats for breakfast
- Getting together with a friend to shop and lunch
- Good deals at the grocery store
- Being prepared with flashlights and candles when the power went off

Thankfully, the power was restored later in the night, or very early this morning, after being out for about 3 hours (I'm not sure quite when the power came back on, but the bedroom nightlight was on when I woke up, once, around 4:30 a.m.)

Sunday's joyful activities included attending the special ceremony at the temple and getting together with friend R.

Sunday"s To Do List:
- Attend the temple function - DONE
- Do the dishes
- Clean the litter box
- Sweep the bathroom floor, around the litter box
- Go out to lunch with friend R - DONE
- Finish sewing the sweater - DID SOME
- Mend the quilt - DONE

Are you prepared with flashlights and candles should the power go off?  Do you have a generator, if the power stays off for longer periods of time?  


  1. The ceremony at the temple looks quite interesting as did the food they served with it. I understand why it was a joy activity for you.

    1. It's the first time I've participated in such a ceremony, Live and Learn, and I was very happy to have had the opportunity to do so. The food they served was delicious! Many of them were ones we prepare only for special occasions, so they were quite a treat!

  2. I was actually thinking of going to a Buddhist temple, just to practice meditation. Because of my anxiety, it’s very hard to “focus” on breathing” without doing some kind of weird exhaling tic. It’s hard to explain.
    I live in a city that is very large and very ethnically diverse, and a lot of the temples here tend to be unofficially ethnic specific (unintentionally). But the main one downtown must have as much diversity as represents the city.

    1. Yes, unfortunately, a lot of temples tend to be ethnic specific, based on the country of origin and language spoken by the monks and the majority of the congregation. Temples tend to become a sort of cultural center for each ethnic community. However, they are open to all who wish to attend.

      The temple that I attend offers meditation classes, which are conducted in English, every Friday evening. I attended some of them for a while, last year. I might start attending them, again, this summer. You might want to check the temples in your area and see if they offer similar meditation classes and try them out to see if you like them.

    2. The one closest by me is largely people from Sri Lanka. The one with mostly white people is in a very rich neighborhood, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable. That’s why I’m considering the one in the inner city. I never was comfortable “focusing on breathing.” I always felt like breathing is involuntary, so focusing on it is one more thing to pay attention to that you shouldn’t have to lol. I have done other methods

    3. I heard that there is a large Sri Lankan temple in Houston. I'm not sure if that's the one you are referring to.

      While there are many ways of meditating, the focusing on breathing meditation is considered to be one of the most important meditations, when it comes to mindfulness. It is a training tool for ones mind, to be able to focus on ones breathing to the exclusion of everything else. But, any task that enables

    4. Oops! Sorry, it got published before I finished! I meant to say that any task that enables one to concentrate ones mind can be a meditation.

  3. Do the relics get sealed in the stupa?

    I get quite a few power cuts in this house so am prepared with candles for lighting. I have a flashlight app on my phone and keep a couple of small flashlights handy - one downstairs and one upstairs. Usually it’s not too bad as my side of the street must be on a different grid to the other side as their lights usually stay on when our side has no power, so it’s not completely dark.

    1. Eileen, yes, the relics get sealed inside the stupa.

      Sounds like you are well prepared for power outages. :) I keep a flashlight in my car, too, but I need to check the batteries on that one. My daughter experiences a lot of power cuts where she is and I bought her some kind of LED light that works when the electricity is off. Maybe I should get one for myself, too!

  4. I'm glad the monks insisted you had something. The food looks amazing. And it is scary when power goes out. It doesn't happen often here either, but it is so eerie. Fortunately, we always have a gazillion candles at hand, and torches on our phones.

    1. I'm glad, too, Lyssa, as it was yummy food! :)

      My daughter has the flashlight feature on her phone. I think she tried to install it on my phone, too, but was unable to do so. But, even just the lit screen provides a bit of light, as well.

  5. Your temple looks very nice. We don't have a stupa at our temple. I don't go to the temple often, the last time was about 2 years ago.

    I have several flashlights - one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen and another in the car. But I don't have a habit of checking batteries. I also have a box of batteries, candles and a small solar lamp. We have long power cuts after a hurricane, and I'd like to have a generator one day.

    1. The temple started out as a small 2-bedroom house, with the shrine room set up in what used to be the living room/dining area. Later, they added a larger shrine room, planted a bo tree, and now, they are building the stupa.

      I keep a flashlight in the car, too, but I keep forgetting to check its batteries! I like your idea of keeping a flashlight in the kitchen, too! Thank you! I shall do that, right away!

  6. How lovely to be able to attend that ceremony and even take home some yummy food!

    Funny you should mention the power going off. We awoke to an amazing amount of heavy wet snow which was still falling. DH managed to get the car out to the road and back later without getting stuck, to go for a dental appointment, I mopped floors. After he got back, the power went off and stayed off for over 8 hours. In the meantime the snow eventually dwindled to a lighter fall and then we were happy to see our guy who clears the driveway. It was a hard job, too but his Kubota held up under the strain of the wet snow.
    We have a generator as we are used to power failure, winter and summer alike. This keeps us with water and power for furnace, fridge, freezer, microwave, even internet. We are limited in which rooms have light and power but on the whole we are comfortable. This time one of our trees by the road was partly to blame and a hydro truck came and we heard the sound of chainsaws. Less than 30 minutes later the electricity came back on.

    1. Oh, no! Not more snow! But, it sounds like you are well prepared for power failures! Glad your drive way got cleared, the tree was trimmed, and power restored! We are having very high winds here, today. I am hoping the power doesn't go off, again!

  7. I realised last night that I had missed this post when I was reminded of the ceremony you had been invited to. I wondered why you hadn't mentioned anything about it, since it seemed a very important occasion. I went into the menu to find this post and still don't know HOW I missed it. I am glad you were able to go.

    I had to google Buddhist relics because I had no idea what they were. I must lead a very sheltered life because I had never of them before. I guess that might be because I don't know anyone who is Buddhist. How very interesting! Where would your temple have received these, if you don't mind my asking? Are they from masters from your temple? I hope I am not being impertinent.

    On an entirely different note, are we going to see what you bought on your shopping trip? I love "show and tell".

    1. You probably missed it because I posted both Sunday and Monday posts on the same day, Susan. I couldn't do the Sunday post on Sunday night because there was a power failure! And I felt that, if I combined both Sunday's and Monday's activities in one post, it would be too long a post. :)

      It's not that you lead a sheltered life, Susan, it's just that a lot of us don't know much about any religions other than our own (assuming we have one). Especially when we live in a country where our religion is the predominant one. I never know just how much information to provide when I write about my religion, but, I figure that, if someone is interested enough to find out more, then she can either ask or look it up, which is exactly what you did! :)

      From what I know, the relics were brought from Sri Lanka and they are supposed to be relics of the Buddha, a bone fragment. I didn't go to question as to authenticity and so forth. :) It doesn't matter to me, personally, if it is an authentic relic or not. As far as I am concerned, even if the stupa didn't have any relics, it would still be what it is supposed to represent - the burial mound of the Buddha's remains. To me, it is all symbolic and I am OK with that.

      LOL, no you are not going to see what I bought on my shopping trip! I bought two, much needed bras! :D

  8. Thank you for the explanation. I'm just glad I didn't offend by asking.

    Ha, ha. Okay, I guess you're off the hook this time. You don't need to share what you bought on your shopping trip.

    1. No worries. I am not offended by questions about my religion. I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge or can ask the monks, too. :)

      Believe me, they are nothing glamorous or worth showing! :D


Thank you for visiting my blog and commenting. Your comments are much appreciated. Please comment in English. Thank you.