[Reprint]Fragrance of Chan and Tea widely spreaded in Colombo;
President of Sri Lanka gave a like (Ta Kung Pao)
May 21st ,2016, was the Buddha auspicious day, also known as the Vesak Day in Theravada Buddhism countries. It is the great day that they celebrate Buddha’s birth、becoming a monk、achieving enlightenment and entering nirvana, which is as significant as Buddha’s birthday in Chinese Buddhism. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentioned in the message on the Day of Vesak: “At this time of mass population movements, violent conflicts, atrocious human rights abuses and hateful rhetoric aimed at dividing communities, the sacred commemoration of the Day of Vesak offers an invaluable opportunity to reflect on how the teachings of Buddhism can help the international community tackle pressing challenges.”
President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe , Ambassador of P.R.China Xianliang Yi, the general director of the Chan and Tea Musical Ven. Ren Da and the whole cast posed for photographs.
President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena (the first from right) and Ven. Ren Da (the first from left) walked on the stage and greeted each other.
To celebrate this special day, Sri Lanka rejoiced across the whole country. On the strong support of the government, Sadaham Savanna Sri Lanka and International Buddhism Research and Information Center, invited Boshan Zhengjue Monastery to hold the Chan and Tea Musical during the Vesak. As the grand performance wining high degree of concern in the series of activities by the 2016 Vesak , in the evening May 22nd national theater in Colombo, Sri Lanka was packed, more than 1500 spectators attended, who were only to appreciate a elegant and exquisite grand banquet of Chan and Tea from China.
Two countries of Chan and Tea Culture
New chapter of culture exchange
A welcom message from Ven.MP. Athuraliye RathanaThera, the mind consultant of the president
A message from Ven. Ren Da, the abbot of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery
A welcome message from the mind consultant of the president Ven.MP. Athuraliye RathanaThera mentioned that he likes practicing Chan in tea ceremony very much, which is a well creative and acceptable way of culture exchange for both countries, and Sri Lanka is well known for black tea export, the long history of tea also needs to merge with Chan. Ven. MP. Athuraliye Rathana Thera mentioned many times in the message about wonderful experience in the Boshan Zhengjue Monastery and indicated that the Chan and Tea Musical which was held in Nelum Pokuna Theater will open a new chapter on culture exchange between China and Sri Lanka.
A message from the abbot of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery, Ven. Ren Da mentioned that there is a long history of friendship between China and Sri Lanka. One thousand and six hundred years ago, the Chinese Ven. Master Fa-hsien traveled thousand miles to Sri Lanka for Sutras. The performance we brought here today was a way to give back. We tried to put tea tables on the stage, transformed the theater to the place of Chan meditation, hoping this concert bring peaceful mind and happiness to everyone. We hope everyone enjoyed it. Wish everyone a wonderful Vesak and all the best.
Siri Lankan Song and Dance
Practitioner practiced Chan in tea ceremony
Along with a sound of magnificent auspicious drums by Ven, Ren Da, the Chan and Tea Musical kicked off. President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe and other local politicians as well as ambassador of P.R.China Xianliang Yi attended concert.
This concert consisted of four classic chapters: “Spring, Sprouting and growing, Pleasure of tea”, “Summer, Flourish, Pleasure of Chan mediation”, “Autumn, Harvesting, Sharing” and “Winter, Storing and emptiness, Oneness of Chan and tea”. The main theme was practice Chan meditation in tea ceremony, along with the tea fairies singing in garden in spring, the voice of Chinese zither in monastery in summer, the joy and thankfulness in fall, and the peaceful minded with the tea savoring and Chan mediation in winter, the beauty of Chan and Tea perfect rendered in the seasonal transition.
The whole concert with practicing Chan in tea ceremony as the main line. Practitioner performed in a calm, concentrated, peaceful and continuous way, complemented by singing, voice of the instrument, and dancing, and finally melted into a wonderful piece of art and presented to the audience. The performance lasted for more than two hours for local venerable masters, audience and overseas Chinese, and brought a heart dialogue Chan and Tea tour.
As the most familiar sutra for the Sri Lankan Buddhist, when the music of “Mangala Sutta” sounded, immediately triggered the audience resonance. "I heard about it, I followed them together chanting, and next to the audience asked me, are they singing’ Mangala Sutta ‘? ”Mr. Harshaw happily said, they were deeply attracted by performance.
Chan and soul symphony
International famous violinist Le Zhang soloed a violin "In praise of Fa-hsien "
Practitioner practiced Chan in tea ceremony
Monastics of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery and Chan and tea practitioners chanted together the song of ”Eulogising The Buddha”
Concert repertoire "Sharing compassion", with lyrics by Ven. Ren Da, Kunqu Opera scene showed distant、tactful and pure style which stimulated homesickness of the audience of Chinese. The International famous violinist Le zhang soloed a delicate melodious violin "In praise of Fa-hsien”, which showed the difficult process that Chinese monk Fa-hsien’s pilgrimage southwards for Sutras. Finally, monastics of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery and Chan and tea practitioners chanted together a magnificent song of Eulogising The Buddha”,which pushed the whole concert to a climax.
“Symphony between Chan and mind, surge of tea and music". At the end of the concert, in the warm applause of the scene, President of Sri Lanka Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe , ambassador of P.R.China Xianliang Yi went on stage, posed for photographs with the general director of the Chan and Tea Musical, the abbot Boshan Zhengjue Monastery Ven. Ren Da and the whole cast. The president praised: the concert is a practice full of Chan spirit. After the concert, the audience lingered, reluctant to leave.
"It’s perfect, every detail, every gesture and motion in the performing of Chan and Tea, was in a grace, concentrated, comfortable and peaceful scene.” Sri Lankan audience Misa said, "Only exposure to it one can realize the wonderful experience beyond words, I hope my children should be able to remember tonight."
After the concert, the ambassador of P.R.China Xianliang Yi said, a great success of this Chan and Tea Musical, deepen the mutual understanding between the Buddhism cultures of two countries, enhance the friendship between two countries of the Buddhist communities and win the reputation for Chinese Buddhism in Southeast Asia.
The general director of the Chan and Tea Musical, the abbot of Boshan Zhengjue Monastery Ven. Ren Da said in an interview, as the grand finale of celebrations of Sri Lanka Vesak, this performance harvested more than expected. Looking forward to coming to Sri Lanka again, and achieve a more in-depth and no border exchanges of culture communication between China and Sri Lanka.
It is reported that on Oct 7th, the Chan and Tea Musical will be held again in Holy Bodhi Gaya, India and perform Chan and Tea art. (From: Ta Kung Pao)