What is the purpose of touching the flower vases and tea plates? Also, what is the purpose of everyone holding the string that is passed around?
Before meditation, we do chanting and dedicating of offerings to the Buddha to honor him. It is customary to let every participant to touch these offerings before we place them on the altar. This is to allow everybody to be part of these offerings. Then the offerings are not only from a few people who prepared them but from everybody gathered. This act brings a sense of fellowship to all participants. At the end of our meditation session, we perform a blessing service. During this service, a thread is distribute to all participants. This is to connect everyone to this blessing service as one single group. The thread is also a means by which the wholesome vibration we create through chants will travel to everyone's bodies. Thank you for your questions with metta Bhante Pemaratana#1