Public invited to Buddha Day

LIHU‘E — John Wehrheim, author and photographer of “Bhutan: Hidden Lands of Happiness” will be the guest speaker during the Buddha Day, or Hanamatsuri, celebration, April 8 at the Kaua‘i Soto Zen Temple in Hanapepe.

The public is invited to the event which coincides with the day Siddharta Gautama was born in India about 2,500 years ago. Siddharta became enlightened to become the Shakyamuni Buddha and his teaching formed the core which spawned Buddhism.

The Kaua‘i Buddhist Council will host the event which starts at 9:30 a.m. in Hanapepe. The various Buddhist churches and temples on the island will participate in the festivities which include the presentation of flowers and the pouring of sweet tea, symbolizing the gentle rain which fell when Siddharta was born in Lumbini Garden.

Wehrheim will speak on his 20 years of working, photographing and traveling in Bhutan, focusing on an insider’s look and an outsider’s perspective of a country that values Gross National Happiness over Gross National Product.

He will also speak on Bhutan’s way of living sustainably, choosing the middle path to happiness by successfully integrating religion, economics and culture to better the lives of its citizens.

For more information, call Rev. Noriaki Fujimori at 338-1847.

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.

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