Sacred Buddhist relics to visit UK on world tour

A collection of sacred Buddhist relics will visit the UK between the end of August and October as part of the ten-year, worldwide Maitreya Relic Tour

The relics will be exhibited at venues in Glastonbury, London, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh.

Buddhists believe that the relics, which were discovered among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters, embody the masters’ spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom. Many of the relics date back to 500 BC and some have been lent to the exhibition from the Dalai Lama’s private collection.

“The purpose of the global Maitreya Relic Tour is to invite people of all spiritual traditions, and none, to experience the blessings of the relics,” said the tour’s director Victoria Colman. “It is an inter-faith celebration that focuses on our shared human qualities: love, compassion and the importance of having a good heart.”

The relics will be clearly visible inside display cases and will encircle a golden statue of the Maitreya Buddha. According to Buddhist scriptures, Maitreya will be the next Buddha to bring teachings of loving-kindness to the world.

Visitors are able to participate in a personal blessing ceremony where the relics of the Buddha are briefly placed on the visitor’s head. In the past ten years they have been seen by thousands of people around the world.

The UK tour of the relics begins at the annual Healing Weekend at Chalice Well in Glastonbury from 24-26 August. All exhibitions on the tour are free of charge.