2018-07-26-festival diary-07-m

the free day

It’s the Free Day, the day off in between Parts 1 and 2 of the Festival, but the Festival grounds are anything but quiet.

Of course, many people have, quite literally, headed for the hills, to enjoy the beautiful Lake District and perhaps tea and scones in some picturesque village. Or have wandered into the local market town Ulverston to enjoy its cobblestones and colorful houses, and maybe stock up on supplies. Others, staying even closer, take pleasure in Manjushri Center’s woods and beach, read their notes, and simply have a quiet day.

But the grounds are busy as many kind trainee Bodhisattvas volunteer to help prepare for and greet the more than 1,500 new arrivals, and to help prepare for the empowerments. Altogether more than 3,500 people will be receiving the Highest Yoga Tantra empowerments of Glorious Heruka and Venerable Vajrayogini, making this the largest Festival since 2009 when Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche last taught at the Summer Festival. As the saying goes, how auspicious! Truly an object of rejoicing!

Throughout the day, the practitioners arrived, to be welcomed with open arms and warm smiles. To travel to Manjushri KMC for such a magical event feels like a pilgrimage. And the sight of the spires of Conishead Priory and the golden vajras of the Temple are never less than awe-inspiring. Here we are! We’ve arrived at the gates of the mandala, the home of the Spiritual Guide, the mother Center of our tradition. We’ve arrived at the source. How amazing! Welcome!