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March 16, Bodhi Tree Meditation Square: Dedication Ceremony

At 9:30am, the “Buddha’s Universe Pilgrimage” painting was officially dedicated  to the world heritage Mahabodhi Temple, commemorated by a moving memorial service.

We found the painting resting against a wall, having been placed there temporarily by the temple staff, awaiting its final transition to the sacred Bodhi tree where it would be officially celebrated with a ceremony.

Mr. Deenanand, the head monk, decides the location himself.

First, a commemorative photo.

The sutra chanting for the memorial service begins, and the worshipers in the square also pray together.

When Shiozawa was resting after the ceremony, a Sri Lankan couple approached him.

He asked Shiozawa if he was the artist that painted the piece being exhibited, to which Shiozawa responded that he was indeed. The man then went on to note that he recognized the scene where Buddha goes out to preach for the first time after attaining enlightenment, and expressed that the painting was beautiful, bright, and well composed. He was eager to convey his admiration for the work. Later, he gave us his business card and we learned he was Lawyer.

We were moved by the outpouring of support from strangers.

When we returned to the chairmans office, a certificate of appreciation was presented to Shiozawa by her.

Today was an emotional day for all.