I helped the Vancouver Buddhist temple with their ceremony this past New Year.
Buddhist belief has it that one rings a bell 108 times at midnight on New Year’s to ring away the 108 bonno (Earthly Desires) that shackle mankind and keep one from reaching inner peace. In a strict ceremony, the bell will be struck exactly 108 times in keeping with the Buddhist belief that each reverberation symbolically represents the purging of the 108 bonno or mortal desires, such as greed, jealousy and infidelity, that bedevil humankind. In this one, all comers may approach and ring the bell to help cleanse themselves on their path to Nirvana.
The event started with a small ceremony at the Temple and then we headed over to the asian studies building at UBC. We set up at 2315 and there was already a line forming. The crowd totalled easily over 100 if not 200 people. The rain started off intermittent but as we came up to the midnight hour the rain cleared. The many people rang the bell well into the New Year, finishing around 0030. We wrapped it all up and got back to Uncle Dave’s place by 0130 for some New Year’s cheer on our own. It was definitely an interesting event.
The whole album can be found at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157623126916365/
1) The Main Shrine at the VBT:
2) The Bell before the ceremony start (at the Asian Studies building – UBC):
3) The Bell – long exposure w/ flash burst
4) All Ages rang the bell!
5.) VBT Sensei Welcoming Bell Ringing Visitors
6) Taiko Drummer