A solemn Buddhist ceremony offers comfort, healing at site of Monterey Park shooting

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Religion

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (RNS) — The Venerable Guo Yuan led a Buddhist prayer on Tuesday (Jan. 31), wishing “a good journey” for the 11 killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting, who despite their sudden death, he said, are “showing us that we want this world to be better.”For those who survived, Yuan urged them not to succumb to their “sadness because it is not the end of the world.”
“Regain your courage in life again,” said Yuan, abbot of Dharma Drum Retreat Center in upstate New York.
Led by Dharma Drum centers from Los Angeles and upstate New York, the Chan Buddhist blessing ceremony was held outside Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the San Gabriel Valley city of Monterey Park, the site of the shooting and where a memorial dedicated to the 11 victims continues to grow. Mourners lit incense and candles at an altar with food offerings as nuns and monks rang bells, chanted and recited the Heart Sutra.

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The Venerable Chang Ju — resident nun of Dharma Drum Mountain Center in Los Angeles — said “there’s a lot of wisdom in the Heart Sutra,” which is regarded as the most familiar among all of the original teachings of the Buddha. It’s said to be recited every day by Buddhists in China, Korea and Vietnam, and, now, also by Buddhists across North America, according to Tricycle, an independent …

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