The shrine for our new space in River North will feature a fully-qualified Buddhist shrine. Hopefully that sounds impressive ... but what does "fully qualified" mean? For one thing, it means that the statues on the shrine will be filled with holy objects. The 8-foot Buddha at the center will be filled with a set of robes (like a Buddhist monk or nun wears), some precious items, and lots and LOTS of printed mantras. The statues will be delivered hollow, ready for us to fill. That's where a lot of prep work comes in ... and also a lot of helping hands to do that prep work!
The mantras are printed onto strips of paper (one mantra per strip), then sorted into stacks of about 50. Each stack is then rolled up in a special way and wrapped in yellow tissue paper. The mantras are very blessed speech, and yellow (or gold) symbolizes increasing good fortune -- multiplying the positive effect of the mantras. So the result is one powerful little package!
To fill an 8-foot tall statue, it takes a lot of these little packages. In all, we expect to need about 1,000 rolls. That's about 50,000 mantras total! We're starting early, and training everyone who's willing in how to engage in this special spiritual activity of rolling the mantras.
We started with the students in the Foundation Program classes in Oak Park and Wicker Park.
Starting with one mantra (strip of paper)
Fanning out the other strips, so they can roll easily
50 strips, rolled up
A finished mantra roll (and other rolls-in-progress)