REVITALIZING HOLY PLACES: THE WORLD PEACE CEREMONY
Since 1989, thousands of lamas, monks, nuns, and lay people have gathered annually at the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, India to attend the Monlam Chenmo (World Peace Ceremony). Over the course of the ten-day ceremony, offerings of light, flowers, fruit, and incense are made, together with a hundred repetitions of the most sacred prayers for wisdom and compassion. Special prayers are offered for the healing of the Tibetan people, who have suffered so greatly in recent times, and for the restoration of peace to the whole world. The number of participants has steadily increased over the years, from a few hundred to an average attendance of over 10,000 Tibetans. Participants travel from as many as 3,000 monasteries, retreat centers, and villages in India, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and Sikkim. The ceremony also features the distribution of sacred texts, prayer wheels, sacred art prints, and other items.