Friday, December 08, 2006

Happy Bodhi Day

During our family's nightly Advent candle lighting, I'm making a point of talking about the other "holidays of light" that are celebrated in different faith traditions. I know very little about Bodhi Day, so if anyone has anything to add, please do...

DEC-8: Bodhi Day (a.k.a. Rohatsu) is when Buddhist celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha in 596 BCE.

He is said to have achieved enlightenment while sitting under a bodhi tree

Excerpted from a Bodhi Day sermon by Ryuei Michael McCormick

We should not think that this awakening is something that we must revere from afar. It is not that this Buddha is somehow set apart from us that makes him worth remembering. Instead, we should realize that the Buddha is important precisely because he was one of us, a human being who could and did wake up to a new vision of life and a new way of living in the world. What he did, we can do as well. The Flower Garland Sutra teaches that upon his awakening the Buddha thought, “I now see all sentient beings everywhere fully possess the wisdom and virtues of the enlightened ones, but because of false conceptions and attachments they do not realize it.”

It also says, “Then the Buddha observed all the beings of the cosmos with his pure unobstructed eye of wisdom and said, ‘How wonderful! How is it that these beings all have the wisdom of the enlightened ones, yet in their folly and delusions do not know or see it? I should teach them the right path to make them abandon illusion and attachment forever, so that they can perceive the vast wisdom of the enlightened ones within their own bodies and be no different from the Buddhas.’”

Some other links--not specifically about Bodhi Day, but I thought they were cool...

Walking with Peace and Presence

There's a video of Thich Nhat Hahn's "Peace is every step" walk in Los Angeles here, as well as a blog post about the experience.
by Thich Nhat Hanh

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