Sunday 19 February, 10.00am – 5.30pm (approx)
Traditionally, this is a day when Buddhists remember the events surrounding the passing of the Buddha sometime between 450 and 400 BCE, and what happened next.
The themes for the day this year will be Change, and particularly how we can live fully in the light of change, including death. There will be opportunities to meditate, hear four mini-talks, reflect on the themes of the day, and participate in a “Change, Tea and Cake Cafe” *, along with other activities including a Parinirvana Puja with a piece sung by the Buddhist Centre Choir.
Everyone is welcome. Please bring vegetarian or vegan food to share at lunchtime – and, if you would like to do so, cake for the Change Cafe.
Feel free also to bring photos or objects associated with people and other beings important to you who have died during the year. You may place these on the shrine at the beginning of the lay, or later on.
There will be activities for children: Come for lunch at 1pm and stay on after. There will be an opportunity in the puja for any child that wishes to offer to the shrine anything they have made during the activities.
We hope to see you on the day! No charge – please make a donation towards the running costs of the Buddhist Centre.
This year Parinirvana Day will be organised and led by the Dharmacharis of the Birmingham-based Sanghabandhu (“Band of Brothers”) Chapter **. Members of the chapter will be wearing at least something white, and maybe a bit of colour. Please free to do the same, or come as you are.
9.30am: Doors open.
10.00am: Meditation and introduction to the day.
11.00am: Tea break.
11.30am: 4 mini-talks (15 mins each) on several aspects of Loss and Change, by Shantisthana, Mahasiddhi, Prajnabandhu and Jnanaketu. Compere: Nibbhaya. Followed by a short meditation and an invitation to reflect in pairs.
1.00pm: Shared lunch.
2.00pm: Change Cafe.
4.00pm: Tea break.
4.30pm: Parinirvana Puja.
5.30pm (approx): Finish and clear up
* About the Change Cafe:
A semi-informal place where people, often strangers, gather at small tables to eat cake, drink tea and discuss big change. Such questions arise as: what big changes have we experienced in our lives? What is our experience of death? How can we make the most of our lives in the light of our own death and other big changes?
Hosted by members of the Sanghabandhu Chapter, with the help of one or two friends, but it will be group-directed discussion with no agenda, objectives or themes. It’s a discussion group rather than a grief support or counselling session, offered in an accessible, respectful and confidential space, with no intention of leading people to any conclusion or course of action.
Refreshing drinks and cake will be provided.
If you’d like to know more, search for Death Cafe on the internet.
** The Sanghabandhu Chapter:
Jnanaketu, Karunavajra, Mahasiddhi, Nibbhaya, Nandin, Prajnabandhu, Shantisthana, Shantavira, Shantighosha, Shubhra, Shuddhakirti and Vipulakirti.