Peace Park Prayers
At first I was confused: why would someone want to make a monument full of dead flowers? On a tour through Peace Prayer Park in Okinawa, we came across a large Buddhist temple on the grounds. Inside was a wall full of flowers, most of which were dried up. However, there were a few that remained fresh and pretty. Our tour guide told us these were prayers visitors had left for the victims of the war.
Japanese Ikebana, or the art of flower arranging, is apparently how Buddhist devotees offer prayers and help others connect with the universe. There are several schools of thought as to what elements in the bouquets symbolize and how they should be arranged. Even the flowers themselves have symbolic meanings, and are picked carefully. Many offerings include a fancy vase as well, but these arrangements in the picture often had paper scrolls with written prayers attached instead.
As for why most of these are dead? I can only surmise someone didn’t pay the housekeeping staff enough. 🙂
What’s your preferred way to pray?