It’s difficult to find the words to describe our evening with 38 of the Maitreya Project relics. Dekyi Lee Oldershaw and Daniel carefully unwrapped each of the relics wearing white gloves and face masks, and treating each with such reverence and respect. In our midst were none other than Shakyamuni Buddha, Ananda, Nagarjuna, Lama Tsong khapa, Marpa, Milarepa, one of the early Karmapas, the 15th and 16th Karmapas, Lama Yeshe, Ven Kirti Tsenshab Rinpoche to name just a few. The power and majesty of the relics is very humbling. The vibrant presence of the holy beings filled the room.
Due to the buddhas’ great kindness, they create relics to inspire us and deepen our faith. Maybe it’s their way of reminding us that they are always by our side.
In fact, Dekyi Lee said the relics are multiplying — the collection of 500 Arhats has now tripled, other relics have also produced more relics. She mentioned that Geshe Lama Kunchog, formerly of Kopan monastery, who passed in 2001 was only 90 pounds at the time of his death. After his cremation, 165 pounds of relics were discovered. The relics also behave differently depending on who else is in the room. Dekyi Lee noted that she was with Ven Ninje and Ven Munroe recently with the relics and strong rays of red and orange light were seen shooting out of one of the relics (I think it was Lama Tsong khapa’s).
Dekyi Lee led a guided visualization based on the Lam Rim prayer calling the guru from afar to help deepen our connection with each of the holy beings. After we finished the Four Mandala Offering to Chittamani Tara, I blessed each of the participants with the Shakyamuni Buddha relic stupa. And then we were each blessed with several more of the relics. From her side, Dekyi Lee said she hadn’t had an opportunity to do a long puja in two years because the Relics are so much in demand that they are always on the road. And for us, we were very fortunate because usually visitors to the Relic Tour only have a few precious minutes or seconds to spend with the relics because of the large number of visitors.
About 20 people were able to join us, most of whom were new to the Guhyasamaja Center and heard about the event by word of mouth. Mr Finney from Radio Free Asia stayed for the first part.
(On a funny note, DuPont circle is definitely very blessed, because the relics went around and around and around it for almost an hour getting stuck in traffic and lost on their way to ICT.)
We dedicated all the merit to our gurus, to the elimination of obstacles to the 2011 Kalachakra, to the Guhyasamaja Center, and in particular to Terry Ladner. We thank Dekyi Lee and Daniel and, of course, Lama Zopa Rinpoche from the bottoms of our hearts, and we hope that we will be able to invite the Relic Tour to return to our area soon.