It’s now about half past seven in the morning, Tai and I are sitting on the floor facing the head monk. The biggest ceremony of my life is about to start. I am very nervous and excited about it. My heart is beating fast like a mad drum. Suddenly, a really weird feeling rushes through my body. I start to feel a bit uncomfortable. I am trying to calm down but it isn’t easy at all. I have never ever felt like this before.
Everyone is taking their seats. I am still not better but when Tai gasps my hand damn tightly, I realise that it isn’t just me who has this really weird feeling. I turn my head slowly to her and we smile shyly at each other. I don’t know how but after I see the smile on Tai’s face, I suddenly feel so much better.
The monks are now getting into the proper sitting formation and so we no longer have time to be nervous. The chant-leader is passing me a lighter; I take it from him and crawl on my knees to the shrine with Tai right behind me. I stop and put my hands together to pay respect to the Buddha image then start to light the candles and the joss sticks.
Paying respect to the Lord Buddha is really the beginning of every Buddhist ceremony. We believe that the Buddha is very important so we always pay respect to him first before we start any important ceremony. My wedding is now finally rolling forward. I am so happy.
We then shuffle backwards about one metre on our knees and pay proper respect by bowing down to the floor three times. After that we crawl back to where we were before. When we are both sitting properly, the head monk moves his fan from the wall and holds it in front of his face. He begins to chant alone for a few sentences, and after that the rest of the monks join him. They are really good; none of them get lost or forget the words!!!
The chanting goes on for half an hour and we have to sit there with our hands together for the whole time. It isn’t fun for us at all; especially for me as I am wearing a long sleeved shirt and a pretty thick blue suit jacket. It is really hot and I am sweating. After a short time, the sweat starts running down my face like a broken dam. Even my handkerchief is full of sweat and it’s now nothing more than a useless wet cloth.
I am starting to look pathetic but suddenly my mum arrives with a fan. Ah! Just in time to save my looks! But that’s not the only problem. While I was sweating there was something else going on at the same time. There was some pretty bad numbness starting to build up in my toes and is now going on up my legs. I feel like I am being tortured!
I turn my head to the right and I can see some people putting some plates of food onto the floor near the monks. A big smile fills my face, as I know that the chanting is going to be over soon. You know, if I didn’t see this sign, I wouldn’t have known a thing about when this chanting is going to finish. It’s all because they are chanting in Pali, so I don’t really understand any of it. But at least I know that the monks are kind of wishing us luck and telling us not to break the five precepts.
Five minutes later, the first period of chanting has finally finished. I couldn’t really get up by myself because of the pain so Tai has to help me up! I have to say that I am so happy that the first part is finally finished; I don’t know what I would do if it went on longer!