Local exhibit shares relics of the Buddhist masters

WHAT: Maitreya Loving Kindness Tour, a free public exhibition of ancient relics of the historical Buddha Shakyamuni and many other Buddhist masters. The opening ceremony will be led by Hun Lye.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

WHERE: The Venue, 21 N. Market St., Asheville

WHY: Most of the relics in this collection resemble pearl-like crystals called “ringsel” in Tibetan or “sarira” in Sanskrit. They’re believed by Buddhists to embody the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom and to have been deliberately produced by the master at his death to be recovered in his ashes. The tour includes relics donated by several worldwide institutions, as well as eight relics of the historical Buddha offered by the Dalai Lama. Xpress discussed the tour with publicity manager Michael Fouts:

Xpress: What will happen during the Children’s Blessing? 

Michael Fouts: The relics of the Buddha will be placed inside of a small handheld stupa (Sanskrit for a mound-like or hemispheric structure for containing Buddhist relics). This stupa will then be placed gently against the crown of each child’s head while a prayer will be said for the child and for all people in the world to be released from all suffering and for them to find true happiness.

When was this type of tour — where relics are dispatched from monastic seclusion — first introduced? Is there a particular reason why this type of tour is important at this particular time in world history? 

This tour is the first known type for relics of the Buddha, and it was first conceived by our spiritual director Lama Zopa Rinpoche in 2000. Lama Zopa collected the relics over a period of many years. [He] realized that most relics are enshrined in a stupa in Eastern Asia and, as such, Westerners do not often get the chance to see any, let alone see [all] 3,000. Lama Zopa along with his Holiness the Dalai Lama decided to have the relics tour around the world giving everyone a chance to see and experience their blessings.

It is now more important than ever that these relics are touring, as we are in such uncertain times and the Buddha Relic exhibition gives people refuge from the storm, so to say, where they can connect with real peace and love.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jordan Foltz
Exploring the subtle and esoteric aspects of what drives and inspires people to take action— including religion, spirituality, ethics, and aesthetics.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.