The annual Gathered In Faith Together (G.I.F.T.) Thanksgiving Interfaith Service will be 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 20th at Saint Matthew Catholic Community in Allouez. Open Heart Mindfulness Community would like to offer the healing Namo Avalokiteshvara chant as part of the service this year. We are looking for people to volunteer and stand with the sangha and chant. Keith McGillivray graciously offered to lead us with the flute. Those attending the service will be invited to join in, or to listen. Please let me know if you would like to volunteer. Here is the sheet music if you wish to see it: Avalokiteshvaraya Chant Music
. We will chant this six times for only about 3-4 minutes total. For those worried about singing in public, please know that it will be beautiful and the energy we bring is much more important than the sound of our voices. We will opportunity to practice before the service if you wish. You can listen to the chant on YouTube, or on the new Plum Village: Zen Meditation App. This is a very powerful healing chant, often offered by the monastics at retreats and in the community at public talks. Please contact Jody at OpenHeartMC@gmail.com if you are interested or have any questions.
The Interfaith Thanksgiving service is a gathering of several different faith groups coming together as one and includes people from the Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Buddhist, and Unitarian Universalist faiths. This year donations will be offered to Casa ALBA. If anyone knows Spanish and can help translate the written Order of Service, or small oral parts of the service, please let me know.
About the Namo Avalokiteshvara Chant
We chant the name of Avalokiteshvara in order to get in touch with suffering and help relieve the pain and suffering of others. In Mahayana buddhism, Avalokiteshvara is the Bodhisattva of compassionate listening; the one who listens with compassion to the suffering of the world. He is a person who listened to his own suffering, and came to understand it, and that is why he overcame suffering and he was able to listen to other people and help them to suffer less. The purpose is simple, clear. To allow the energy of compassion to be born. To help heal us, and to help heal the other person, the world. When we chant or listen to his name the first time, we touch personal suffering. The second time, we reach out and try to see the suffering of the people in front of us, on the left, the right, because everyone has suffering inside. The purpose is the same; to allow compassion to be born. The third time, we reach out and touch the suffering in the world, everywhere. As you listen, you may wish to bring your loved ones to mind, or anyone you wish to send the healing energy of love and compassion.
(The pronoun ‘he’ can be interchanged with ‘she’, as both are correct)
Namo: bowing, honor