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Thread: December 8th - Bodhi Day

  1. #1

    December 8th - Bodhi Day ... _evnt.html

    Ceremony Commemorating the Awakening of Shakyamuni Buddha (Jodo-e) December 8th
    December 8th is the day we commemorate Shakyamuni Buddha’s realization of the Way. Following many years of difficult ascetic practice, Shakyamuni sat in zazen beneath the Bodhi tree. At dawn on December 8th, Shakyamuni saw the morning star and realizing awakening, he then became Shakyamuni Buddha. He was no longer an ordinary, common person and instead had achieved the brilliance by which to free all of humankind.

    In Soto Zen School, we call this day Jodo-e and perform a ceremony as a gesture of our gratitude to Shakyamuni Buddha. It is also customary to practice zazen on this day.

    Let us visit the temple to honor the virtue and wisdom of the Buddha and diligently proceed along the Way of faith.
    How widely is this observed across Buddhist schools?

  2. #2

    Re: December 8th - Bodhi Day

    Am not a definitive authority on the subject....

    Most zendos/zen temples I've sat with offer a winter sesshin called rohatsu.
    Rohatsu takes place to coincide with the celebration of Shakyamuni's enlightenment.

    Rohatsu is a particularly intense sesshin: as little sleep as possible, even no sleep if you manage it--everyone throws themself fully into wholehearted, singleminded practice. Rohatsu is as intense as it gets: all these sleep deprived people in great effort of strong practice together.

    I wrote more, but have discarded it as not particulary pertinent.

  3. #3

    Re: December 8th - Bodhi Day


    I will have more on this subject later ... but just an early reminder that we will be having our Annual Two-Day All Online 'At Home' 'Rohatsu' Retreat again this year ... the weekend of December 4 and 5 ... details later.

    However, if you would like to see what last year's looked like ... ... 09---.html

    Gassho, Jundo

  4. #4

    Re: December 8th - Bodhi Day

    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista

    How widely is this observed across Buddhist schools?
    Hi Erik,

    Actually, the link you have above provides quite a good explanation about the meaning of Rohatsu (8th Day) and Jodo-e (Bodhi Day) in the Soto school, and the ceremony is also observed by temples of other sects in Japan. I am not sure about the exact practices in the rest of Asia, but I believe it is common in the Mahayana countries although the dates may vary. I found this by a Chinese Chan group ...

    It was the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, the story goes, that Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Shakyamuni, awoke from a week of meditation to view of the morning star - Venus - and exclaimed, "That's it! That's it! That's me! That's me that's shining so brilliantly!" In that single moment he fully realized the Dharma - that body of unalterable, immutable, unending Truth that he would spend the rest of his life teaching to others.

    Zen Buddhists of Japanese traditions celebrate Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) on December 8th (even though "Rohatsu" means, literally, "the eighth day of the twelfth _lunar_month"); In China this important event is mostly forgotten in popular culture even though the day is not. The 8th day of the 12th lunar month, Laba Jie (làbajié), is celebrated yearly by billions as a reminder of the upcoming New Year. Knowledge of the Buddhist origins of the Laba festival has become lost to contemporary Chinese culture, just as the Christmas Tree has mostly forgotten origins that predate Christianity.

    Many eastern Mahayana Buddhist traditions around the world now celebrate Wesak (in Sanskrit, Vaisakha - Buddha's birthday) to commemorate the Buddha's life and enlightenment on the first full moon of the fourth lunar month. Our Chinese Chan sect celebrates both the Buddha's Day of Enlightenment -- going by the lunar calendar (the 8th day of the 12th lunar month) -- as well as the Buddha's birthday (fatdáahn) on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month. Confusing? Regardless of the day we choose to celebrate Bodhi Day, commemorating the day of the Buddha's enlightenment offers a wonderful opportunity for us to reflect on our own spiritual practices and consider the significance of an event that changed the course of history for humankind some 2500 years ago. ... nment.html

  5. #5

    Re: December 8th - Bodhi Day

    Keishin. Jundo. Thank you both.
    Three buddhist sanghas may come together around that day and will be our first attempt in observing this day.

    gassho.... 8)

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