In case you’re in or around Saskatoon this weekend and want to pop in:
Friday: 10am to 5pm
Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Sunday: 1pm to 4pm
Downstairs in Room 3 and the theatre at Frances Morrison Library, 311-23rd Street East.
What the hell is it? That’s a good question, and the same one I asked when I found out this was happening. The Heart Shrine Relic Tour offers the public a look at some of Buddhism’s cherished religious relics. As an atheist, and one who finds the notion of relics to be fascinating, I feel compelled to go.
A unique and precious collection of more than 1000 sacred Buddhist relics will be permanently displayed in the Heart Shrine of the completed Maitreya Buddha statue in Kushinagar. Meanwhile, it is the wish of the Spiritual Director of the Maitreya Project, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, that the collection should travel throughout the world to bring the blessings of the relics and the message of loving-kindness to people everywhere.
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.
Skeptics should be open minded so I’ll go and have a look at these leftovers from the cremation process and see if I’m moved to be more compassionate and wise because of them. Failing that, I think I’ll be interested in the spectacle and beauty of the Shrine itself. When people really care about something, they do a fantastic job of showing it.