Buddhist Temple of Chicago

Chicago Buddhist Temple bell

On Nirvana Day, the annual Buddhist festival that recalls the death of the Buddha and his attainment of Nirvana, I visited the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. Bill Bohlman and Rev. Patti Nakai warmly welcomed us.

Tom Corbett rang the kansho (bell) before the service and kindly allowed us to film him. The Buddhist tradition uses a kansho to gather together their members. It is rung in a pattern of seven, five, and three beats, a combination important in the numerology of Japanese Buddhism. In between each set, the player accelerates and decelerates the strikes, mimicking the action of running up and down a hill. This bronze beauty is a small but mighty bell.

For Nirvana Day, Rev. Patti Nakai used the lyrics of Nirvana’s “Come as you are” to structure her message. And then we all sang it! I thoroughly enjoyed that blast from my youthful past.

Thank you, Bill, Rev. Patti, and Tom for welcoming us to your service and bell!

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