By Bhante Debongshi
On a warm sunny day the Regina North East Community Center was filled with a vibrant celebration. DMC hosted its 3rd Annual Kathina Ceremony on October 13th, 2019. Noble Sangha, lay Devotees, families and friends came to celebrate and engage in collective happiness. The Buddha pointed out Sukha sanghassa samaggi, samagganam tapo sukho which translated means: Happy is to be united. Happy is to practice unity. The presence of diversity and deep joy filled the hearts of the people as they experienced the generosity that the ceremony promotes.
Sabba danam dadantena Asimim Pruthuvi Mandale; Sanghassa dinnam Katinam, aggam Buddhena vannitam. The Supreme Buddha highly praised the offering of a Katina robe to the Noble Sangha as being one of the noblest and highest meritorious deeds among all offerings made on this Earth. Every year this unique day is celebrated around the world.
This year, DMC celebrated its 3rd Kathina Robe Ceremony in Regina and it was unlike any other event celebrated before. The credit goes to our generous devotees and volunteers who dedicate their time and energies to make events like this one successful.
As compassionate and proud Canadians, we are very happy to experience Canada as one of the most successful multicultural countries in the world. The Kathina Robe Ceremony day is about experiencing this multi-cultural inclusiveness with a deep sense of freely sharing our humanity, regardless of diverse backgrounds. This event brings an awareness and emphasis of a connectedness within a diverse community. It signifies the many spiritual values such as generosity, compassion and loving-kindness that defines what is important to us and allows attendees to experience this for themselves. We seek to integrate and embody these values in our daily life and in everything we do and ceremonies like Kathina provide this opportunity.
The last three-month period was an opportunity for the Bhikkhu Sangha to devote their efforts to the observance of rains retreat (Vassa) and maintaining a close relationship with the devotees by guiding them in the right path and assisting them to live a disciplined life. The result is that devotees learn about the importance of spiritual well-being within this period of rains retreat. At the end of the rains retreat, with warm gratitude, a Kathina robe is offered to the Noble Sangha by devotees. Following this traditional custom, the Kathina Robe ceremony is performed with pure altruistic joy, willingness, devotion, which results in an infinite amount of accrued merits and happiness on behalf the participants ( givers).
In the Nidhikanda Sutta discourse on treasure; the Buddha spoke about the significance of this offering to the noble Sangha and thus spoke: Manusika ca sampatti deva loke ca ya rati; Ya ca Nibbana sampatti sabba metena labbati. (Translation) The highest happiness in human life, any delight of the divine, the attainment of liberation: all that is gained by this merit. These are the benefits of offering the Kathina Robe to the noble Sangha.
DMC Awards Certificates of Recognition
We have a wide range of activities at DMC. The certificate of recognition program is one example. This program acknowledges the joyful action of its members who’s dedication, commitment and proactive involvement aid in DMC’s vision. It benefits not only the individual, but also brings social and spiritual wellbeing beyond our borders. Eight of our dedicated individuals received a “Certificate of Recognition” award which graciously acknowledged their time, service and contributions.
DMC is funded solely by donations from generous devotees within the community. It is run solely by its Volunteers. We extend a heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to all volunteers for the many services and supports that they’ve provided over the years. Their efforts have assisted DMC’s visions of offering various programs, facilities and techniques for many who choose to enable themselves in reaching their highest potential in life and to realize their possibility for self-awakening within the teachings of Dhamma. Within our services, we value knowledge and empowerment in life-transformation, compassion in service to others, and integrity and respect in our conduct.
I want to thank the Kathina 2019 sponsors for their incredible dedication in supporting our communities. I wish you good health, prosperity and happiness!