Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai'i: Interactive and Virtual Experience on Memorial Day 2021

June 15, 2021
Honolulu, Hawaii

Whether you reside in Hawai’i or on the other side of the world, this year’s Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawai’i, which took place on May 31st, was an event to remember.

The annual lantern floating at Ala Moana Beach Park typically attract thousands. Regrettably, for the second year in a row, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the lantern floating, was not able to be held at the beach.

However, that did not deter Shinnyo-en Hawai’i from creating a truly unique interactive art installation and guided meditation, enabling participants to share remembrances from near and far. Safety was always the first concern, and strict COVID-19 protocols were followed.

“Many Rivers, One Ocean: An Interactive Experience”

An immersive art installation was created on the grounds of Shinnyo-en Hawai’i, entitled, “Many Rivers, One Ocean: An Interactive Experience”. The installation featured a large-scale lantern designed by international artist, Hideaki Tsutsui. Messages of remembrance and positive commitments hung from trees on the grounds as part of the exhibit.

Over 2,300 people visited the installation over the course of two weeks. Reservations were required due to pandemic restrictions.

The installation reflected the intention of Master Shinjo Ito to offer a space for people to awaken to and bring out their “shinnyo,” the inherent potential in every living being to make life meaningful for themselves and others.

Hideaki Tsutsui and the Shinnyo team worked very closely with the community at large to create the installation. Learn about the spirit and heart of the artists who brought “Many Rivers, One Ocean: An Interactive Experience” to life with this video.

A virtual 360-degree video of the installation is available on the Lantern Floating Hawaii website.

Shinnyo Guided Meditation: Kindling Your Inner Light

On June 5th guided meditations through the art installation were offered giving participants a moment of reflection and discovery to reconnect with their true selves. Meditation guides took two dozen people on a journey through the “Many River, One Ocean” experience over the course of the afternoon, ensuring a safe experience for all.

Participants were able to make their way through over 3,000 remembrances submitted both in person and online. Some lingered in the installation writing their messages and reading those placed on each panel in the mural area. The overall feeling and mood were described as subdued, respectful, joyful, warm, and extending a bond with loved ones lost.

Despite the challenges of the last year, these events provided moments to pause and reconnect with loved ones, coming together in spirit to build hope toward a brighter future. There was also a feeling of relief for the safe environment provided by Shinnyo-en Hawai’i. Many participants shared it was their first venture out into a public space since the pandemic lockdowns.

The hope is to return to the beach next year, yet it was clear there is a wish to offer this type of quiet, private and subdued experiences in addition to the large gathering at the beach.

“Share Your Light: A Shinnyo Lantern Floating Hawaiʻi Special” is available on demand on the homepage at https://www.lanternfloatinghawaii.com