An Auspicious Day
Accompanied by the gentle rhythmic peals of bells and the resonance of a gong being struck along with offerings of food and flowers, Panyaden School’s official opening ceremony began on a movingly dignified note today with a procession to our main Buddha image, Phra Panyanuphap Chaiyamongkol. Our Spiritual Advisor, Taan Ajahn Jayasaro led the bearers of the shrine containing the relics, our guests and staff along the tree-lined path through our campus gate to the Buddha sala.
Students, teachers, parents and guests dressed in Lanna costume tossed flowers onto shrine, then the procession was met by a graceful Thai dance from our students who threw pink and red rose petals in the air. We then kneeled while Taan Ajahn Jayasaro enshrined the relics in the hollow lotus crown of Phra Panyanuphap Chaiyamongkol (‘auspicious victory through the power of wisdom’).
More blessings followed as Buddhist clergy from Chiang Mai chanted in the Assembly Hall in celebration of our school’s opening. Victuals and other gifts were also offered to the monks and to some of our senior guests to commemorate this special day in the history of Panyaden.
During his Dhamma talk that followed, Taan Ajahn Jayasaro kindly commended the efforts of our school founders and staff who “are willing to make the commitment to the Buddhist approach, to go through the difficulties of pioneering something new.” He added that Buddhism is not a system of dogma but “a practical, effective and superior system as it is an education of the whole child based on an accurate and authentic understanding of the human condition.”
Taan Ajahn Jayasaro is a great fan of the school’s architecture to which he refers as the “art of the possible, based on an understanding of the nature of bamboo and earth, the environment and the climate.” Our architecture is “compatible to the practical Buddhist approach to education that is “based on an understanding of the nature of human beings, the relationships between our environment, our bodies and mind.”
After the Dhamma talk, we rounded off our celebrations with our ‘Ton Lam Yai’ market selling popsicles, snacks and handicraft made by our students and teachers. All proceeds went to a children’s charity supported by Somdech Ya. Thank you all for commemorating this special day with us and for your support throughout the year.
More photos by Ally Taylor here.