The Garden of One Thousand Buddhas in Arlee hosts the 13th annual Festival of Peace, Sept. 17. This year’s event kicks off at 10 a.m. with the seventh annual Walk-A-Mile for Peace, and continues at 11 a.m. with presentations, music, dancing and vendors.
Walk-a-Mile for Peace at the Buddha Garden
The walk is designed as a contemplative stroll to help raise funds for the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. Visitors are encouraged to raise $100 or more to walk the mile of inner walkways while contemplating love, compassion, joy, and equanimity.
Register for the Walk-a-Mile for Peace and begin fundraising at https://give.classy.org/ewampeaecwalk
An: Interfaith Dialogue: The Sacred Sound of Prayer
This year’s festival, titled “An Interfaith Dialogue: The Sacred Sound of Prayer,” takes place from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
The gathering features speakers and performers from 10 cultures, religions, and faiths, who will share and explain the significance of their cultural prayers.
Presenters include Tulku Sang-ngag Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist lama and founder of the Garden; Namchak Khen Rinpoche, his brother and Ewam’s resident abbot; Laurie Franklin of Har Shalom of Missoula, representing the Jewish faith; Samir Bitar of the Islamic Studies program at the University of Montana.
The garden, which is located on the Flathead Reservation, also honors the Salish people with presentations by Stephen Small Salmon of the Salish Kootenai Tribes and N’Kusum, a Salish language school in Arlee, and Julie Cajune, an award-winning Native American educator.
A wide mix of music and dancing rounds out the offerings, including Kirtan, a form of Hindu spiritual music led by Cami Coté; Native rap and hip hop by Tahj and Sweatshop Sneakers; and Dances of Universal Peace led by Peter Reynolds. This year’s headliners are The Drum Brothers, and the Josh Farmer Band with special guest Joan Zen.
The lovely grounds are also filled with art and crafts and food vendors.
The garden is designed to bring about positive transformation within those who visit, in response to the negativity that abounds in the world today. One thousand hand-cast Buddha statues are arrayed around the central figure of Yum Chenmo, or the Great Mother, the manifestation of the perfection of wisdom.
One thousand stupas, representations of the enlightened mind, line the outer circle. Each enshrine an image of the female deity, Tara. Native trees and flowers surround the site.
In addition to being the site of the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas, Ewam Sang-ngag Ling is a center for Tibetan Buddhist studies, and offers teachings, meditation classes, empowerment ceremonies and traditional gatherings.
For more information, visit www.ewambuddhagarden.org.