Pilgrimage of Compassion on Sunday

LAWAI — Those seeking healing and understanding are invited to attend the Pilgrimage of Compassion Sunday afternoon.

Hosted by the Lawai International Center, the pilgrimage offers a spiritual journey through the trail of 88 Buddhist Shrines, which were built in 1904.

Sunday marks the 16th year of the pilgrimage, which takes place on the center’s property in the Lawai Valley. The free program celebrates the timeless spiritual vision of a valley recognized as a healing sanctuary.

Members of Taiko Kauai and the children of Niihau will open the pilgrimage with drums and chanting.

Grandmaster Riley Lee, world-renowned shakuhachi flutist, will then lead pilgrims along the walk.

The path to becoming a grandmaster flutist was not easy. In order to achieve the rank, Lee’s training included practicing barefoot in the snow, blowing his flute while standing under a waterfall, and playing in blizzards until icicles formed at the tip of his flute.

During the event, a bonsai exhibit, ikebana demonstrations and mochi pounding will also give participants a chance to delve into and learn more about the Japanese culture.

Other activities include a bake sale, silent auction, taro pounding and culinary demonstrations.

Gates open at 1 p.m., and the pilgrimage runs until 4:30 p.m.

The schedule is as follows:

• Mochi pounding demonstration: 1:15 p.m. and 1:45 p.m.

• Bonsai exhibit: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Taro pounding: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Lei and basket weaving: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

• Ikebana and calligraphy demonstrations: 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Cultural culinary demonstrations: 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

• Pilgrimage: 2:30 p.m.

After 26 years of preparation, the Hall of Compassion, a hand carved structure true to 13th century architecture is now complete on the grounds of the center. Buildings similar to the structure have been known to remain standing for 1,000 years.

Over 1,600 volunteers and supported dedicated time and support to the creation of the Hall of Compassion.

Those participating on Sunday are asked to bring an umbrella and wear comfortable shoes. They are also asked to carpool, if possible, to help with parking.

Donations are accepted.

Info: 639-5952

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