Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bodhi Day 2011

     As the National Buddhism Examiner for Examiner.com, I write articles about Buddhism and Buddhist Teachings. I try to include a variety of topics, and sometimes I fall behind on publishing new articles, but I have been working on improving my consistency.

    Today marks the 8th day of the 12th month, and although I'm referring to the Gregorian calendar, this day is now commonly celebrated as Bodhi Day among Buddhist sects in Japan and other regions. I am a member of Soto-shu Buddhism, which is Zen Buddhism from Japan, and specifically I am part of the Soto Mission of Hawaii.
    Bodhi Day marks the Buddha's Enlightenment and as such, it's a big deal to Buddhism although not a "big" holiday. When I first went to my temple, it was in December 2007 and the minister was telling me about Bodhi Day. His service that week would celebrate Bodhi Day along with the regular service. Coming from a Catholic background I made the comparison, saying, "So.... it's like the Buddhist Christmas?" It was funny but not completely far off since both are meant to celebrate an important event that's central to a belief system; for Buddhists, it's the Enlightenment of Shakyamuni Buddha and thus the creation of Buddhism, while for Christians, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus (even though many have decided Jesus was actually born in the spring -- but that's a different story for a different day).
     I wrote about Bodhi Day last year but when I went and reviewed the article I found it somewhat lacking. I wrote what I believe is a better article for this year's Bodhi Day, although I will probably find that one lacking next year. And that's okay! Like all other Buddhists, I am forever learning more and more about being Buddhist and as I learn my opinion and views change (sometimes). I would be disappointed in myself and my personal growth if I look back on this article next year and think it's "perfect" haha....

     Anyway, Happy Bodhi Day! I will miss the services in my temple this weekend because I have lived on the mainland for the past 2 years, but I will eventually return. In the meantime, I continue learning and I continue trying.... and perhaps one day I will attain Enlightenment too (^^)v

Here is a link to my Examiner article for Bodhi Day 2011  At the bottom of that article I have links to some of my other National Buddhism Examiner articles that relate to Bodhi Day, for those who may be interested.

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