This festival celebrates the conclusion of Vassa, the rains retreat or Buddhist Lent, which lasts 3 months from the full moon in July. During which time the Monks are on a personal retreat (doing little traveling, if any) Spending most of their time participating in intensive Dharma study and meditation practice for the past 90 days.
Now the time has come to celebrate the lifting of the rains retreat. So, we the Mon Buddhist Monk Organization of USA together with the Mon Community of Ohio. Extending the opportunity for meetup participants to participate in this ancient ritual to those who are respecting and following Buddha's Teaching, in order to honor and maintain Buddhist traditional annual ceremonies; Kathina, invite you to the last big event of 2019. This ceremony is carried out by the Mon Buddhist Organization of USA, plus S.E. Asia, and all our devotee's in Ohio and America. I expect at least 10 Monks to participate.
Therefore, we very welcome you and would like to invite all people to participate, and join us to listen to Dharma talks and honor the Monks during this important Robe Offering ceremony program. This ritual dates back thousands of years that comes at the end of Vassa, the three month rainy (monsoon) season. It is a time of giving, for the laity to express gratitude to the Monks. Sangha members bring donations to the Temple, especially new robes for the Monks. (robes will be available for sale at the Temple for $30.00 set, purchase when you arrive) Many also make other offerings as well and give money, flowers, fruit/food, cases of bottled water, paper goods and personal toiletries as well. Plus, many bring extra food for sharing with other Sangha members at lunchtime.
The ceremony program will begin on Sunday October 20th starting at 10:45 a.m. and will end at 2:45 p.m. or so. We have been invited to share lunch with the Monks and Sangha before the Dharma talks (in Mon language) and robe offering ceremony that starts at 1:00 p.m. Come in the afternoon if you want to skip the luncheon. This ancient tradition is considered a day of offering by the Sangha, and most all are generous with donations.
Meetup members who have attended at least on meeting in the past are welcome to come to the Temple at any time during the program to just merely listen and perhaps get acquainted with any Monks or Sangha members while visiting. This will be a potluck luncheon. Most all members and families prepare a large dish for sharing with others, and for the Monks. (most families cook enough to serve 6-10 people, so there is always plenty to go around) Usually around up to a 100 people come, we will be the only Americans, they are delighted to welcome us as equals into the community (Sangha) You'll see, they make sure we get a good seat and you'll feel well cared for. This is a self serve buffet with a lot of different dishes. So it is recommend that you bring something to share too. I have found they like salmon patties, fried chicken (KFC is cool if you don't want to cook) chili, stew, soup are popular--as well as veggies and fruit. Even a case of bottled water makes a nice offering. Some of their dishes are spicy hot, others are bitter, fishy or pungent to our taste. But don't worry as there are plenty of yummy things to go around. I always ask "is it hot" etc. Then just take little sample to see if I like or not. You can always eat what you brought if your not adventurous.
All starts around 10:45 - 11:00 getting tables prepared and food put out and such. Getting the Monks table ready so they can try samplings of everything. Around 11:15 or so, the Monks will give blessings, then they start serving their plates and begin their meal. Once they start, then it's everyone else's turn, there is always plenty to go around. The Monks will again give blessings for the meal, and then offer blessings to everybody after the meal has concluded. You are welcome to stay as long as you like or merely visit briefly and observe.