Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace Brings Messages of Peace to Hearst Plaza, Lincoln Center in New York City

August 18, 2014
New York, New York

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, Shinnyo-en, the international Buddhist organization, will welcome thousands of people to the Paul Milstein Reflecting Pool and Terrace at Hearst Plaza, Lincoln Center, to set afloat paper lanterns inscribed with personal messages of peace during the “Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace.”

Coinciding with the International Day of Peace and the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace will bring together prominent civic, interfaith and community leaders, along with New Yorkers and visitors of all ages, to inspire a collective quest for peace through lantern floating, live music and cultural performances at one of the most iconic settings in New York City.

The day-long, family-friendly event will be open to the public. Attendees will have the opportunity to construct a paper lantern and inscribe it with a message of peace, which they can then set afloat in the Paul Milstein Reflecting Pool. At sunset, Her Holiness Shinso Ito, the head priest of Shinnyo-en and one of the highest-ranking female Buddhist leaders in the world, will preside over a special closing Lantern Floating ceremony, also open to the public. The evening ceremony will include modern and traditional dance and musical performances by world-renowned artists, and will culminate in the collective floating of LED candle-lit lanterns.

The Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace is one form of Shinnyo-en’s fire and water ceremonies, which aim to awaken wisdom and compassion. Uniquely adapted to be more accessible to today’s contemporary world, Her Holiness Shinso Ito first performed the ceremony for the public in 1992 and has since celebrated the ceremonies in various locations around the world, including the United States, England, France, Germany, Japan, Kenya and Taiwan.

“The Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace is meant to inspire a spirit of harmony amidst diversity and loving-kindness that transcends all boundaries of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, and religious tradition – and empower people to create a stronger force for peace in our families, our communities, and globally,” said Her Holiness Shinso Ito. “In Buddhism, fire and water symbolize wisdom and compassion, as well as remind us of the natural elements that sustain all life on our planet, and we hope that people will participate in the lantern floating to share their messages of peace.”

Founded in 1936 and rooted in a Buddhist lineage more than 1,100 years old, Shinnyo-en has a membership of more than one million, and over 100 temples and centers around the world, including White Plains, NY and the Shinnyo Center for Meditation and Well-being in Manhattan.

More information about the Shinnyo Lantern Floating for Peace is available at www.shinnyoen.org and www.bealightforpeace.org. In addition, people can visit the Shinnyo Center for Meditation and Well-being, located at 19 West 36th St. in New York City, for more information and online at www.shinnyo-ny.org.