On Saturday, November 20, 2010, the TTCS Dunedin branch hosted a Tampa Bay area Fung Loy Kok intensive. Karen Laughlin and Sean Dennison led the day’s events and 75 participants from as far as Miami took part. The FLK intensive featured chanting, tai chi, meditation, and two question-answer sessions on the philosophical dimensions of our practice.
The rededication of Dunedin’s three-picture high shrine was the day’s special highlight. Our embroidered tapestry, recently contributed by the Denver Branch, was hung at the top of the altar and four new oak chanting tables with their beautiful granite-tiled tops and yellow skirts were set before the shrine for the ceremony. Fresh flowers and fruit, special vegetarian (jai) dishes, tea and rice wine adorned the altar as special offerings.
Twenty pale blue Confucian-robed chanters as well as all the participants and visitors chanted the Ten Thousand Buddhas Sutra during the more than one-hour ceremony. The sounds of the fish and gong echoed, incense was offered, dragon ticket papers were burned, and there was much kneeling and bowing. Certainly one memorable part of the ceremony was when everyone formed a procession around the outside of the building while chanting to bless the new property.
Participating in the rededication ceremony opened the door to learning more about the shrine itself. Karen spoke of the significance of each of the shrine’s elements and how the altar is a visual representation of the philosophical foundations of our practice. Her hope is that we will now feel comfortable to share this information and be able to help others to understand that the Society is, as Sean said, “a place with a heart and a path – of wisdom, virtue, and compassion.” Sean suggested that we consider attending a Fung Loy Kok week-long workshop to deepen our practice and to learn how to apply Master Moy’s teaching to our daily life.
We extend a sincere thank you to Karen and Sean for sharing with us Master Moy’s teachings and their own personal experience. Everyone agreed the day was wonderful and heartily welcome the opportunity to practice together again at a future Tampa Bay area Fung Loy Kok event.