(VIDEO) Celebrate Buddha's Birth! Read Buddhist in Nebraska, The Dalai Grandma, and More
On various days, depending on one's country of residence, at this time of year the celebration of Buddha's birthday takes place. In 1950, the World Federation of Buddhists called on government leaders around the world who had Buddhist communities in their countries to honor Buddha during this time of year. Wikipedia quotes the statement:
That this Conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, ...requests the Heads of Governments of all countries in which large or small number of Buddhists are to be found, to take steps to make the full-moon day in the month of May a Public Holiday in honour of the Buddha, who is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest benefactors of Humanity.
The best way to celebrate Buddhism (for this non-Buddhist) is to read the writings of Buddhist BlogHers and to experience the huge variety of expressions found in that fine group of writers. Dive in and bathe in Buddhist writings with me!
I found several lists of excellent Buddhist women bloggers. Some were listed at the site of Marguerite Manteau-Rao, Mind Deep.
Genju in 108ZenBooks writes about a comparison between clearing her garden and clearing her mind of delusions.
Nella Lou at Smilin' Buddha Cabaret talks about practice and balance, and concludes: "Everything has to be examined including our own preconceptions." She has a fine sense of humor. Her "Complaint Department" section is definitely worth a read.
ZenDotStudio" is an artist who produces etereal Budhist artwork. She says of her beliefs that "Buddhist practice makes my life full and rich, sometimes filled with joy and sometimes with a deep experience of the suffering present in this world."
Maia Duerr at The Jizo Chronicles speaks of the International Network of Engaged Budddhists who have made an official statement about the violence in Thailand Part of it reads:
We trust that in the light of upcoming international Vesakh celebrations in Thailand, supported by the United Nations 22-26 May 2010 and the subsequent local Vesakh celebrations, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Lord Buddha, all parties will unite in taking responsibility for their conduct and for bringing about lasting peace, transformation towards social justice and shared wellbeing for future generations. To close, in Verse 5 of the Dhammapada the Buddha proclaims:Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By love alone is hatred appeased.
Becca Faith Yoga has the following wise entry:
"More Buddha, less Buddhism. -related to me by a dear teacher, to whom it was related by a dear friend, to whom it was related by a bit of a ninny."
In This Mama's Dharma a single mother of a four year old says:
I want to be a person who is alive and at peace. I know I am already that person. The task that lies before me is to let go of all the habits and ways of being that get in the way of who I already authentically am. So ... as part of The Year of Loving Myself Passionately, I’m dedicating myself to cultivating joy.
Jeanne Desy, the Dalai Grandma just found out that someone she only vaguely knows has offered to give her a kidney for her much-needed transplant. She says:
I had an idea that the universe I find myself in was not loaded with generous people. Last night that transformed, as if there was a gloomy stage that suddenly became imbued with glittering golden light. It transformed an image deep in my mind of what kind of world this is, how life brings all kinds of things in the great river. I know somewhere Pema Chodron says, "Everybody loves something." And I think the nature of many people floating down the stream with us might be kinder than we think.
Mahala Mazerov in Luminous Heart talks about working with breathing during times of raw emotions :
The key is to remain free from the rigidity of aggression or denial. Abide in unconditional compassion. Let your mind be pliant. Recognize the magnificent, fluid being you truly are.
Monica, in Buddhist in Nebraska describes how she does not accept metaphysical reality and adds:
If I am a bad Buddhist for my denial of the metaphysical, whatever label it may bear, well then at least I can still seek to be the best bad Buddhist I can be.
Venerable Wuling a Buddhist nun in the Pure Land tradition, raised in Texas and now teaching in Australia, blogs at A Buddhist Perspective. She says :
To practice Buddhism, we need to bring forth the Bodhi mind. What is the Bodhi mind? The awakened mind. The mind that clearly understands the principles and true reality of life and the universe. The mind with perfect determination to cease committing all wrongdoings, to cultivate only good deeds, to practice only virtuous ways. Practicing with this Bodhi mind, our karmic debts can be eradicated.
To experience some direct Buddhist teaching, take the time to listen through to the end of the poem "Please Call Me By My True Names" by the revered Vietnamese monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, who now resides in France at Plum Village, his Buddhist Center.
And this "must see" moment with the Dalai Lama who laughs about compassion and mosquitoes.
And there is this fine vid of the Dalai Lama, the Eternal Optimist.
In closing, if you plan to wish someone blessings of the day, make sure you know what their tradition calls this day. Depending on where they are, this day has different names:
According to Wikipedia:
In Mahayana Buddhist traditions, the holiday is known by its Sanskrit name, Vaiśākha, Vesākha is known as Vesak or Wesak in the Sinhalese language.
Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanti in India, Bangladesh and Nepal
Hanamatsuri in Japan,
Seokka Tanshin-il in Korean,
(Mandarin: Fódàn, Cantonese: Fātdàahn) in Chinese-speaking communities,
Phật Đản in Vietnamese,
Saga Dawa in Tibetan,
Visak Bochéa in Khmer,
Visakah Puja (or Visakha Bucha) in Thai,
Waisak in Indonesia,
Vesak (Wesak) in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Vixakha Bouxa in Laos
Ka-sone-la-pyae in Burma
Blessings to you, no matter who you are, where you are or what sort of Buddhism you practice.
~~ Contributing Editor, Mata H. also blogs right along at Time's Fool