Saturday, May 5, 2012

Buddha, It's Your Birthday. And Rebirth Day. Happy Wesak 2012!

Bodhisattva Siddhartha Gautama determines that...
Bodhisattva Siddhartha Gautama determines that if he's really going to attain enlightenment, the bowl will float upstream. And so it does... He subsquently attains enlightenment that very night. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The birth, enlightenment, and death (or parinirvana) of Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. Shakhyamuni Buddha, or to most in the western world, simply the Buddha. Celebrating all of these at once obviously makes Wesak (or Vesak) an important Buddhist holiday, filled with candles, lanterns, offerings, prayers, and the like as suitable for any major religious festival.

And like any proper major religious holiday, it contains a deeper significance than the outward observances. Wesak is about transition and rebirth, the acknowledgement that everything in the phenomenal realm is always in motion, impermanent, and dependent. It calls for meditation and reflection on this insight--that the movement of the phenomenal realm is related to the movement of mind--and the virtues it inspires.

If we follow this reflection and if we recognize that what we take as the real world is largely a projection of our own internal perspective and personal psychology (keeping in mind that all of our perceptions, impressions, thoughts, and the like take place in the dark, lightless cave inside our crania), and that we and others are often trapped in delusions of our own making, this shared experience and the realization that our actions and reactions toward others are often more about us (and theirs about them) is a foundation for the development of compassion, loving-kindness, equanimity, and empathetic joy.

Have a meaningful and beneficial Wesak, whatever your views on religion or Buddhism.


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2 comments:

  1. Happy Wesak Day~ have a nice day ~ =D

    Regards,
    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

    ReplyDelete

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