At the Westlock Meditation Center March 21 was a brilliant day, warm and bright with the “Supermoon” fading in the morning sun. The Vernal Equinox, the first full day of spring, a time for spiritual replenishment and emotional metamorphosis.
Led by Master Thay Phap Ho we celebrated the Spring Equinox with a once in a lifetime event… The Master presided over a beautiful ceremony embracing the spirit of spring, but this year the celebration was magnified… On this beautiful day we shared the blessing for the safe lift of the Adida Buddha onto his permanent home overlooking the Westlock Meditation Center. This day was made possible thanks to the generosity of the gift of the Buddha Statue from MR. Henry Nguy from California.
With over 100 guests participating in the ceremony and the Lift Team on hand, the air was electric. Design Revolution Ltd. nurtured this beautiful project from the Master Plan through the detailed design and construction of the Mausoleum. Delnor Construction masterfully crafted the Mausoleum and Buddha Base, and now we are ready to accept the generous gift of the Buddha… we couldn’t have asked for better conditions.
As the ceremony concluded, many people prayed or payed tribute at the resting statue. This Buddha is a gift that represents an eternal thank you to Canada… 40 years ago this summer Canada accepted the Vietnamese Boat People as Refugees. Understanding the significance of the event, Fission Media has been compiling footage for a documentary, and CBC recorded the news.
With the lift area cleared, Scott Konrad of Delnor Construction choreographed the lift procedures. Having worked out the process the previous day by lifting and securing the bronze base, everything was a-go for a safe and smooth lift. The Cranes roared, the Buddha came up, first horizontally and then the head was raised. Canted at about 5 degrees off vertical the Buddha swiftly approached the base.
There was a deafening silence with the anxious onlookers as Buddha hovered and was lifted to be placed to rest gently on the base. The men inside the base guided the 24 ton statue into place. In the total darkness… As Buddha went completely vertical there was chaos! Debris from inside head ricocheted as it fell through the internal steel structure, the echoes thundered as the bronze slag and steel fragments showered down on the men. Fortunately there were no serious injuries and the anchoring of Buddha proceeded swiftly. For the next hour over 80 huge U-bolts connected the internal structures of the base and the Buddha… Finally after 2 hours everything was secure and Buddha stood Proud over the prairie at the Westlock Meditation Center.
For all in attendance, the Vernal Equinox will hold a special place in our hearts from this day forward. The balance between day and night, the beauty of rebirth in nature, and now a time to meditate on the events that brought us together welcoming the Majestic Adida Buddha to Westlock.
Design Revolution Ltd is proud to have worked with the beautiful Buddhists at the Edmonton Buddhist Research Institute and to have had a hand in bringing this beautiful artifact to our community!