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April 26, 2009


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Nice pictures, wow! We're celebrating Vesak in Finland 9th May in a party where are different kind of Buddhist groups, all together; Korean zen, Soto zen, Kapleau's zen, Tibetan Buddhists etc. Looking forward that gathering.

How are you celebrating, Barry?

Barry Briggs

Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday to You!
Happy Birthday Dear Uku!
Happy Birthday to You!


Umm... Barry, I don't get it. :) You mean that you're celebrating Vesak by singing happy birthday- song? :D

Barry Briggs

Uku...To quote Yun Men, not getting it is most intimate! In this way, we together give birth to the Buddha.


Yeah, I thought it was something like that. :) But maybe you could write a post or something about how do you celebrate Vesak in your lineage? It would be very interesting to find out more. Although I know you're singing Happy birthday-song but maybe there are other traditions too? :)


I mean in States; what kind of Vesak-party do you have? :)

Barry Briggs

Uku, in the Kwan Um School of Zen tradition (the organization that carries forward Zen Master Seung Sahn's teaching), we celebrate Buddha's Birthday on the first Sunday in April. When he came to the U.S., ZMSS thought that it was better to adopt the lunar scheduling of BB (which occurs on the 8th day of the 4th month of the lunar calendar) to the Western solar-based calendar. So in the Kwan Um School, it occurs on the 8th day of the 4th month - April. Since it's a mythical date, this works as well as any.

The ceremony usually includes a long period of chanting, a period of sitting, children offering flowers to the Buddha, and several formal talks by Zen master-types. Before the ceremony, people "wash" the "baby Buddha" by pouring scoops of water over a small bronze statue of the Buddha.

For an image of the baby getting washed, go to:

After the ceremony, there's always a big feast, featuring a giant birthday cake. And, of course, folks sometimes sing the Happy Birthday Song. It's a happy day.

In our tradition, Buddha's Birthday and Buddha's Enlightenment Day are the two big ceremonial days.


Haha, "Zen master-types" love it!

Happy Birthday Uku
Happy Birthday Barry



Happy Bird Day to All!

Barry Briggs

And Happy Birthday to you, also, Puerhan!

And Quack Quack to you, Alice!

Justin Choo

It's nice to see Buddhists images in Korea. I was told you only find churches in every corner you turn! Not those Catholic churches, but the so-called "charismatic" ones from the U S.

Barry Briggs

Hi Justin - Buddhism has a very high profile in Korea - roughly 40% of the population actively practices Buddhism. And, yes, Christian churches are very common as well.

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