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October 8, 2004

Performance of Buddhist “Feeding” of Hungry Spirits
To Collect Food for Local Needy

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—A group of Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns will stage a ritual for “feeding” hungry spirits from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 24, in the Campus Center, Room 208, Smith College. The event is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Drawing on a variety of musical and operatic styles, the ritual creates a rich and colorful aesthetic and spiritual experience whose purpose is to awaken a spirit of compassion for all beings, including the most neglected in our society. Audience members are invited to donate non-perishable food items to be blessed during the ceremony and given to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts for distribution.

“The message of universal compassion at the heart of the ritual transcends cultural and religious boundaries and is particularly relevant to the crisis of the hungry in our communities today,” said Peter N. Gregory, Jill Ker Conway Professor of Religion & East Asian Studies. “With the cold months coming on, we want to use this event to call attention to the plight of the hungry.”

Members of Fo-Guang Shan, one of the largest international Buddhist organizations in the world today, will perform the four-hour ceremony. The event is sponsored by the Ada Howe Kent Fund and the Greater Boston Buddhist Cultural Center and it will be performed entirely in Chinese with an English text projected on a screen.

Audience members are invited to attend either a portion of the performance or the entire performance.

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174


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