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Lions Roar : September 2007
SHAMBHALA SUN SEPTEMBER 2007 105 her transform something inside. And the third element of true love is joy. So true love should have the element of joy. “And the last element of true love in Buddhism is equanimity, inclusiveness. You do not exclude anyone. No discrimination. This is the very element of true love. If you love in that spirit, you remain free. You will not suffer and you do not make the other people suffer. And when you have that kind of love within, everything you say, every- thing you do, expresses that love.” THREE REQUIEM MASSES The greatest expression of Thay’s love is the Grand Requiem Masses for the three to five million people who died in the war. They are held in three cities for three days each, in the north, center, and south of Vietnam, three acupuncture points on the psyche of Vietnam to heal the wounds of war. Thay notes that the liturgy and chanting is quite different in each place, reflecting the quali- ties and traditions of Vietnam’s various regions. People around the world are also invited to join in the ceremonies, to say their own prayers in whatever way they like. Even the non-religious can take part, and Thay suggests that Communists read from their texts that celebrate humanity. Thay explains, “This is really a therapy practice. It is something very ancient and deep in the Vietnamese tradition. Most of us believe that the spirit of the deceased responds to our invitation to eat with us during the ceremony. We will offer them food, drink, and especially the dharma, so that they can listen to the dharma chant- ing and transform their suffering and feel that they can be reborn in good places.” The first of the healing ceremonies is held a month into the tour at a large tem- ple in Ho Chi Minh City. The complex is alive with banners, altars, and subter- ranean rooms filled with sheets of paper listing the names of the dead. Thousands of people stay throughout the three days of elaborate processions and rituals. The monastics travel to the graveyard of those deemed “anti-Communist,” which has been closed to all, even family members, for decades. They invite those neglected dead to join us—everyone is welcome. Flickering TIBETAN SOUND HEALING Tibetan Sound Healing Book and CD $19.95 plus S&H Available from Ligmincha Institute’s BOOKSTORE & TIBET SHOP