Shinnyo-en Leads 14th Annual Lantern Floating Hawai'i
Honolulu Ceremony among the Largest Memorial Day Observances in the U.S.A.
40,000+ Audience Expected at Ala Moana Beach Park
TOKYO, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Shinnyo-en (http://www.shinnyoen.org ), the Buddhist denomination in which all people regardless of age, gender, nationality, or religious background can cultivate the innate kernel of enlightenment existing in all beings, announced today confirmed details about the 14th annual Lantern Floating Hawai'i ceremony (http://www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com/).
Lantern Floating Hawai'i 2012 will culminate the day-long public celebrations of one of the largest Memorial Day observances in the U.S.A. at the Ala Moana Beach Park (http://www1.honolulu.gov/parks/programs/beach/alamoana.htm) on Monday, May 28, 2012. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:00 PM HAST (Midnight EDT) and continue for about ninety minutes. The event will air live on Hawai'i News Now, KGMB and stream live via webcast on Lantern Floating Hawaii (http://www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com/).
Lantern Floating Hawai'i, while sponsored by a Buddhist organization, is a non-denominational, secular observance open and free to everyone. The ceremony is designed to help us remember and honor all the people who have gone before us and helped us, and to renew our compassionate commitment to all people and to all life on earth as we go forward in our lives. A partial list of the many partners, supporters, and honored guests at the ceremony this year includes:
- The Honorable Colleen Hanabusa, United States House of Representatives
- Major General Robert F. Mathews, United States Army Pacific
- General Darryll Wong, Adjutant General, State of Hawai'i, United States Department of Defense
- Brigadier General Gary Hara, Army National Guard, State of Hawai'i
- Colonel Stanley Fernandez, Sr., Director, Government/Legislative Affairs, Hawai'i Wing, Veterans of Foreign Wars
- Ms. Pauline Sato, President, 100th Infantry Battalion Veterans
- The Honorable David Louie, Attorney General, State of Hawai'i
- The Honorable Brickwood Galuteria, State of Hawai'i Senate
- The Honorable Calvin K. Y. Say, Speaker of the House, State of Hawai'i House of Representatives
- The Honorable Peter Carlisle, Mayor, City and County of Honolulu
- Mr. Douglass Chin, Managing Director, City and County of Honolulu
- Mr. Kenneth Silva, Chief, Honolulu Fire Department
- Mr. Shia Beckham, Executive Director, Waikiki Health Center
- Ms. Kim Gennaula, President, Aloha United Way
- Mr. Yoshihiko Kamo, Consul General of Japan
- Reverend Ryokan Ara, Bishop, Tendai Hawai'i
- Pastor Mary Paik, Head Minister, Nu'uanu Congregational Church of Honolulu
- Mr. Frank Pestana, Chair, Board of Trustees, Kawaiaha'o Church, Honolulu
- Reverend Jack Ryan, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Honolulu
- Rabbi Peter Schaktman, Temple Emanu-El, Honolulu
Preceding the floating of memorial lanterns at sunset will be performances and appearances by:
- The Brothers Cazimero (http://www.facebook.com/TheBrothersCazimero)
- Raiatea Helm (http://raiateahelm.com/)
- Halau Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniakea (http://www.kalikopuaokalaniakea.com/main/)
- Shinnyo-en Taiko Drum and Shomyo Choir Ensembles
Lantern Floating Hawai'i has been conducted annually on Memorial Day in Honolulu since 1999, when it was first brought to Honolulu because of Hawai'i's unique geographical, historic, cultural and demographic profile. The ceremony, held at sunset, is a contemporary adaptation of ancient Asian fire and water ceremonies, (http://www.shinnyoen.org/fire-water-ceremonies.html) designed to awaken compassion for all life and all life forms – present, past and future. While most traditional Buddhist rituals focus on personal awakening, this Shinnyo ceremony is dedicated to awakening people to their innate compassionate and altruistic nature, transcending all boundaries of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and religious tradition, and directing the positive energy of the ceremony outward with the hope that all people can live in a world of hope and harmony.
"Hawai'i is at the center of the largest ocean, a cultural and spiritual midpoint between East and West," said Shinso Ito, the Head Priest of Shinnyo-en (http://www.shinnyoen.org/her-holiness-shinso-ito.html). "Hawai'i has deeply witnessed and expressed both times of suffering and eventually times of reconciliation and harmony among peoples, cultures, and religions of the world. Lantern Floating Hawai'i is offered to all people as a moment when we can honor both the suffering and the enduring compassion that comes to us from the past. I believe that people can come away from Lantern Floating Hawai'i with a renewed compassion, deep respect for all life, and motivation for altruistic service."
Public participation at Lantern Floating Hawai'i is FREE, including free availability of lanterns for the public. Public parking is also free at the Hawai'i Convention Center (http://www.hawaiiconvention.com/files/8-5x11_L2.aspx) from 9:00 AM – Midnight.
Lantern Floating Hawai'i is organized by the Honolulu-based Na Lei Aloha Foundation (http://www.naleialoha.org/), the secular, community-building arm of the Shinnyo Buddhist order in Hawai'i, and is funded and officiated by Shinnyo-en (http://www.shinnyoen.org/).
Online information at:
Shinnyo-en Twitter http://www.twitter.com/shinnyonews
Lantern Floating Hawai'i 2012 http://www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com/
Lantern Floating Hawai'i Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lanternfloatinghawaii
Lantern Floating Hawai'i Twitter http://www.twitter.com/lanternfloating/
Lantern Floating Hawai'i Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/37175635@N08/5847500634/
Lantern Floating Hawai'i YouTube http://www.youtube.com/lanternfloating
About Shinnyo-en (http://www.shinnyoen.org)
Shinnyo-en is a Buddhist denomination originally established in Japan and with members today throughout the world. Shinnyo-en is, first and foremost, a place for Buddhist training, in which all people regardless of age, gender, nationality, or religious background can cultivate their innate buddha nature, the kernel of enlightenment existing in all beings. Shinnyo-en Buddhism is differentiated by its teachings drawn from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, by its deep roots in ancient esoteric Buddhist practices, and by its distinctive form of meditative training, called Sesshin.
Shinnyo-en's first temple outside of Japan was dedicated in Honolulu, Hawai'i in 1971. The Hawai'ian Shinnyo-en community (http://goo.gl/4NA9h) is today one of the largest outside of Japan.
The first Shinnyo-en temple was consecrated in 1938, led by Master Shinjo Ito (1906-1989), who had trained at the Daigoji Monastery, the Shingon temple in Kyoto, Japan (founded 843 CE), one of the historic centers of Japanese esoteric Buddhism. Recognized as an acharya in 1943, Master Shinjo was authorized to establish his own dharma lineage, which became the contemporary Shinnyo-en. Headquartered in Tachikawa, Japan, Shinnyo-en has temples throughout Japan and in other countries, including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, Brazil, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States (Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle).
Shinnyo-en conducts unique fire and water ceremonies (http://www.shinnyoen.org/about-fire-water-ceremonies.html ) based on the ancient Buddhist rituals of homa and merit transfers, several times each year at significant places around the world. Shinnyo-en's ceremony, Lantern Floating Hawai'i, has been conducted in Honolulu since 1999, and is the largest Buddhist ceremony regularly held outside of Asia, with an audience annually exceeding 40,000 people. In recent years, Shinnyo-en has also conducted its Shinnyo fire and water ceremonies on special occasions in Kenya, Taiwan, Germany, and California as well as several times annually in Japan.
The current Head Priest of Shinnyo-en is Her Holiness Shinso Ito (http://www.shinnyoen.org/her-holiness-shinso-ito.html ), the first woman ever to officiate at a Buddhist ceremony at the Daigoji Monastery in the 1,100 year history of the temple, an origin of Japanese esoteric Buddhist practice.
About Na Lei Aloha Foundation (http://www.naleialoha.org)
The Na Lei Aloha Foundation was formed in 2004 as a way for the Shinnyo-en Buddhist order to contribute to the Hawai'i community. The foundation aims to provide people with opportunities to share in experiences that allow the recognition of shared values and beliefs amidst peoples' differences. Along with organizing the annual Lantern Floating Hawai'i every year on Memorial Day, the foundation makes community grants and supports community service and interfaith activities in Hawai'i.
Megan Roarty: +646 684 5395
Frank Walton: +212 994 7503
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