Tag Archives: Shrine

Little pearls among the ashes. Pearls of hope and faith.

The Unitarian Universalist church of Clearwater hosted an exhibit of Buddhist relics on Sunday November 2nd. The Maitreaya Project Relic Tour, consists of more than 1,000 sacred relics of the Buddha and other Buddhist Masters.

The church, decorated with Buddhist art and ceremonial regalia was filled with an ambiance of peace and tranquility which resonated in our hearts with a subtle joy as we walked in. We were greeted by a monk who told us about the significance of what we were about to find inside.

When a Buddhist spiritual master is cremated, sometimes in the ashes one can find beautiful pearl like crystals called Ringsel. The faithful believe that the Riegsel hold the wisdom and compassion of the holy masters. The belief is that these relics, much like Catholic or Eastern Orthodox relics, in the west hold spiritual qualities which can heal, help seekers find spiritual insight and even answer prayers.

“They are beautiful” I wispered. We felt their power as we walked around the large circular table with a golden statue of Buddha at its center. Some were clear like crystals, some white like pearls and a few looked like tiny specs of gold.

I knelt before the shrine and received a blessing from a monk who said a prayer and held a golden object containing some of the relics over my head. I felt hope, and a lightness of spirit. I whispered my wish, which surprisingly was not the selfish “Give me!” type of wish that usually fills my heart.

As my date and I left the church, I could not help but think. I wish more churches had the attitude of the Unitarian Universaists. I am Unitarian, nor am I a Buddhist, but I really respect a church that can open its doors to those of a different faith. I also felt grateful that my date suggested that we go see the exhibit. Thanks to her, I had an enriching spiritual experience, I learned something about a fascinating faith. As for the healing power of the relics, the cold I have been trying to shake seems to be going away.

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