About Our Pilgrimages
The main location is at the retreat center is a sacred place and is named after Samantabhadra bodhisattva in the mountains of Waimanalo, Hawaii.
Frequency and Length:
3-4 times every year,
spanning over a 5-days weekend,
Daily schedule runs 6 am until 4pm.
Lodging, transportation, breakfasts, and lunches are included in the land-package.
The general program:
Bowing and repentance (3-steps-1-bow)
Meditation, Lecture, Group discussion
Visiting 1 tourist site
How to Three-Steps-One-Bow
The pilgrimage begins with a group recitation of the great compassion mantra, reminding all that compassion is our home and our starting point on all journeys.
Then the group will begin the three steps-one-bow bowing session up the mountain, which lasts around an hour.
Three steps-one-bow is a practice of dedication, sincerity, humbleness, self-reflection, and connection with ourselves and the bodhisattvas. It is a spiritual practice.
Three steps represent Truth, Goodness, and Beauty (or, for the Buddhist, return to rely on the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha).
During this pilgrimage, we honor and connect with the two great bodhisattvas, Kwan Yin and Samantabhadra, so we will mentally recite a homage verse praising them while stepping and bowing. (Kwan Yin and Samantabhadra represent great compassion and great action/practice, respectively).
The movement of bowing down is a physical movement that indicates to our body and spirit that we are humble, that we are not 'somebody of importance.' Bowing down and the front touching the ground symbolically indicates that we return to the foundation that supports us all our lives. The ground also aliases practicality, nurturance, goodness, and simplicity.
At that time, we are in the fetal position representing the point of preparation for a new life, ready to be reborn, be renewed.
As we stand up, we would like to become the bodhisattva that we are honoring during the session and become the True Nature existing in all of us.