There is a thriving Tibetan Buddhist community here, which has taken the opportunity to invite the Heart Shrine World Tour of Buddhist Relics organised by the Maitreya Project, to visit Harare.
Buddhists practise the daily discipline of meditation, and also say prayers, whether indoors or outdoors, and strive to put into daily practice, loving-kindness — which is the exercise of compassion towards all living beings that is central to their spiritual path, in the belief that this leads to peace — inner peace, peace within the family, society, nation and the world at large.
Buddhism is a tolerant spiritual path followed in many parts of the world, which warmly embraces other religions and belief systems. Religious tolerance, and tolerance generally, is a fundamental value at the heart of a healthy, peaceful society.
Loving-kindness translates as Maitri in Sanskrit — and the Maitreya Buddha is the embodiment of it. The belief that visiting and being in the presence of holy relics will bless, help, inspire and enlighten us, is not unique to Buddhism, and is also found in other religions and spiritual paths, including Christianity.
The relics that are being toured are from the original Bhudda himself, and from many other spiritual masters and teachers from past times as well. They are beautiful bead and pearl shaped objects and crystals found amongst the ashes of these spiritually enlightened individuals. In the Tibetan language, these are called ringsel. They are considered physical evidence that the teacher attained the spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom, and are often found to instil a sense of peace and compassion in those who visit them, emanating a positive, peace-enhancing energy.
The broad purpose of taking them on tour of countries across the globe is to promote peace and understanding amongst people across all faiths and beliefs. The desire for peace in the world, an end to war and conflict, and for peace of mind at an individual level, is shared by all religions and spiritual paths and something we would all wish to attain.
The idea behind the tour is to bring people together to experience an inter-faith celebration focused on shared human qualities that lead to a more peaceful world — love, compassion, tolerance, living a good life, doing no harm to others.
The relics tour is completely non-denominational and has been experienced and enjoyed by people of all sorts of beliefs and following all kinds of spiritual paths who report being moved, calmed, uplifted and inspired.
With an open mind you can see experience these interesting relics at the Tibetan Buddhist Centre, 7A Ernies Lane off Lyndhurst Road in Monavale, Harare. The Opening Ceremony takes place at 5.30 pm on 15 July, all are welcome at no charge and the relics can then be visited from 9 am to 5.30 pm on both 16 and 17 July. This is one of those rare opportunities to explore and experience something new and rather unusual! If this piques your interest, the Maitreya Project has an informative website.