Thursday, December 8, 2011

It's Bodhi Day

Image borrowed from the internet.
Today, Buddhists around the world are celebrating Bodhi Day. For many Buddhists, December 8th is recognized as the day that Siddhartha Guatama, after fasting and meditating beneath the Bodhi tree for 49 days, attained enlightenment and became the Buddha.

I'm not Buddhist, I'm more of a confused Taoist with Buddhist leanings, but I really like (and try to follow) a lot of the principles that Buddhism teaches. That's why I enjoy recognizing Bodhi Day as a way to honor those principles. And so I had a breakfast of rice and milk this morning, which legend says is the first meal the Buddha had upon his awakening. (Although I put a little cinnamon and sugar in mine.)

I'll also decorate my "Bodhi" tree tonight. Sure, it's really just a silk ficus tree, but it happily holds a string of colored lights (to represent the many pathways to enlightenment), a few strands of colored beads (to represent how all things are connected) and three shiny ornaments (to represent the Three Jewels of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha). I'll also string some colored lights around my front door. And I'll try to remember to turn on the lights, and light a candle as well, for the next 30 days.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
I'll also try to remember to practice the kind of mindfulness that Buddhism teaches. Hopefully, I can keep carrying that throughout the year.

By the way, did you know that the Dalai Lama has his own Facebook page? I don't know if it's REALLY his page, but it wouldn't surprise me. He's such a cool guy! No, seriously... this dude is made of awesome. He's funny, smart, well grounded and has some solid ideas on how people should live and behave. Who wouldn't want to friend him? His page ALMOST makes me want to reconsider my steadfast avoidance of Facebook.

If you'd like to learn more about how to celebrate Bodhi Day, you can find some info here, and here, and even here. Or you can Google for yourself!

Whatever your personal beliefs, I wish you all an enlightened Bodhi Day.

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