Visit to Lawai International Center

Two monks and four Taskforcers took a journey over the retreat, a formal visit to the erstwhile Shingon Buddhist center, now called the Lawai International Center. About 23 years ago the island's most respected kahuna, Kahu Abraham Kawai'i, approached Gurudeva to request that their beloved wooden deity of the healing Black Buddha be kept safely at Kadavul Temple while they built a new place for him. Gurudeva said yes, and nada Buddhake was moved into a niche near Ganesha's shrine where he has reigned for all these years. That connected us to this center, and we came to know Lynn Muramoto well.

Lynn greeted us warmly, in her amazing way. She is a river of gratitude, freely flooding everyone within range with her frequent "thank yous." Lynn served tea and told of the history of the center. We visited the almost-finished yellow cedar Hall of Compassion, met the volunteer artisans and then walked the hill pilgrimage, visiting all 88 small shrines. These were created around 1904 by 15-17 year-old Japanese immigrants. Each shrine represents a full temple back in their native Japan. Inside are small wooden and stone murthis of the Buddha in his many forms.

The Hall of Compassion is to become a meditation hall, and a separate shrine will be erected 25 feet away where Nada Buddhike will reside. He has great healing powers, and Lynn explained that the people must be able to touch him to connect with that healing. If it works, the tradition is they return with a hand-made apron, a small one, which they place around his neck in thanks.

Congratulations, Lynn, to you and your team for this wonderful gift to our island!

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