Maitreya Project Relic Tour (Blessings of the Buddhas)
Upon entering the room where the Relics were displayed, we joined a short line in front of a golden Baby Buddha and a photograph of the Dalai Lama. Before viewing the Relics, we each ‘watered’ the Baby Buddha with saffron water – as a respectful form of peace and prayer. The guide told us that the Buddha had given the monks some saffron which, until now, has not diminished. It had made the saffron water we were using. This special saffron water is used for cleansing and it was all around the room in little clear bowls, close to the Relics, which were encased in special glass boxes.
The Relics look like small, greyish, crystal-like grains (see below for explanation). Some are the size of rice grains or smaller, some are the size of pigeon peas.
After viewing the Relics, we lined up for blessings from one of the three people who had come with the tour: two men and a woman. I can’t recall where the men are from, but I remember reading in the papers that the woman is from Canada. Her face really reflected ‘loving-kindness’, and when she gave the blessing, that was what I felt.
For the blessing: one by one you go forward and kneel before her as she sits slightly elevated. She places a golden object (I don’t know its name) on the crown of your head, places her other hand slightly to the side-top of the head and mouths the blessing for what feels like a minute or more. Afterwards, both Rosanna and I felt light and at peace, as though our heads had been cleared.
Upon exiting, there was some of the special saffron water being given to those who had viewed the Relics. Luckily I had bought some bottled water earlier, so I had that empty vessel to be filled with the saffron water, which we drank throughout the rest of the evening.
After the feeling of peace we got from being in the room with the Relics and blessings, we didn’t feel like we could go anywhere that would disrupt the light feeling. So we went up to Mount St. Benedict (monastery) and sat on a tree stump, drinking our saffron water and looking out over the plains as the sun set and darkness gradually fell.
(The following extracts are from the pamphlet):
What is the Maitreya Project Heart Shrine Relic Tour?
A collection of more than 1,000 sacred relics of the Buddha and other Buddhist Masters which is now touring the world. These relics will be permanently enshrined inside the heart of a magnificent Maitreya Buddha statue being built in Kushinagar India, due for completion in 2010. (Their stop in T & T is the end of the tour, the last opportunity for the public anywhere to see the relics before they are enshrined in the 500 foot Maitreya Buddha).
What are Relics?
... When the bodies of spiritual masters are cremated, beautiful pearl-like crystals are found among their ashes. Tibetans call these Ringsel. These Ringsel are special because they hold the essence of the qualities of the spiritual master. His inner purity appears in the form of relics. The relics are physical evidence that the teacher attained qualities of compassion and wisdom before death.
What are the benefits of seeing Relics?
The relics provide a unique opportunity to make a personal spiritual connection with enlightened beings. These Masters deliberately chose to leave Relics behind so that we can create the causes for our own happiness.