The Heart Shrine Relic Tour will be making its way around the world again in 2011. For those unfamiliar with the Buddha Relics tour, here is something from the website:
Most of the relics — those found among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters — resemble beautiful pearl-like crystals. Buddhists believe these relics are produced as a result of the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom. Since we can all develop these qualities, the relics are a reminder of our own essential nature of purity and our inner potential to manifest that.
The collection includes relics of the historical Buddha and the Buddha’s closest disciples as well as many other well-known Buddhist masters from different Buddhist traditions.
Visitors often report experiences of inspiration and healing when in the presence of the relics. While some are inspired to pray for world peace and to develop their inner wisdom, others are overcome by emotion as the powerful effects of the relics open their hearts to compassion and loving-kindness.
Other than seeing relics, one of the best things about going to see the Buddha Relics is being able to receiving blessings from Buddha Shakyamuni’s relics. They’re placed in a glass stupa and someone places it on your head.
Experiences range from feeling surges of energy running through their body, to general feelings of well being. For many faithful Buddhists it’s an inspiring experience in itself because it’s said that being the presence of the relics is the same as being in the actual presence of the Buddha himself.
I’ve often seen people bringing their pet dogs to get blessings as well, and I’m sure they get all the blessings and favorable imprints. The Buddha Relics are often set up on an altar, so I’ve seen people circumabulating their pets around the Buddha Relics as well.
Generate a Good Aspiration
For Buddhists that see the relics, this is a very good time to set a very good motivation. I once heard a recording of a talk by Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, and he said the the intention we have before holy objects is very important because it sets a habit. For instance, if in a previous life we stood before holy objects and prayed for our husband to not get lost with the yaks or for our wife to get better so we could have children, in this life we’ll probably stand before holy objects and pray for our husband or wife to get a raise or for our kids to get to college.
While these aspirations are ok, it’s better if we set for something higher, like aspirations to develop kindness and altruism. This will ensure that every life we’re in front of holy objects, we’ll make aspirations to develop spiritually and we’ll build momentum from life to life.
Entrance is Free and Everyone is Welcome
I havn’t seen the Buddha Relics in over 2 years, but I’m very excited to see them again. Admission is free and non-Buddhists are welcome as well, it’s more about connecting to altruism. Sometimes relics are also sent to strategic places in the world in order to create peace.