January 20 2013 Buddhism Newsletter
Happy 2013! Of course for many Buddhists it is not yet the New Year, and won't be until February 10th/11th when Losar and the Chinese New Year are celebrated. I will write more about the 'Year of the Female Water Snake' at that time, when it is officially ushered in. For now, my first article for this year is my traditional review of when the major Buddhist holidays for the year will fall, and a brief description of each:
2013 Buddhist Holidays
Find out the major Buddhist holidays in various traditions and countries, how they are celebrated, and their dates for 2013.
My second article for this month is on the 6 bardos of Tibetan Buddhism, and their relevance to both life and death:
The Six Bardos of Tibetan Buddhism
Tibetan Buddhism delineates six 'bardos', or states of consciousness, that we experience, including three states that occur at death and between births. This article describes each, and briefly explains the teachings commonly referred to as the 'Tibetan Book of the Dead'.
I look forward to hearing from you in the forum, including suggestions for articles and product reviews:
In closing, here is a lovely quote from Thich Nhat Hanh that I recently found, included in a commentary on The Heart Sutra:
"Does the rose have to do something? No, the purpose of a rose is to be a rose. Your purpose is to be yourself. You don't have to run anywhere to become someone else. You are wonderful just the way you are. This teaching of the Buddha allows us to enjoy ourselves, the blue sky, and everything that is refreshing and healing in the present moment. We already have everything we are looking for, everything we want to become. We are already a Buddha so why not just take the hand of another Buddha and practice walking meditation? Just be. Just being in the moment in this place is the deepest practice of meditation. The Heart Sutra says that there is "nothing to attain." We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don't need to search anywhere. We don't need to practice to obtain some high position. We can enjoy every moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there. Aimlessness and nirvana are one. We have everything we need to make the present moment the happiest in our life, even if we have a cold or a headache. We don't have to wait until we get over our cold to be happy. Having a cold is part of life. I am happy in the present moment. I do not ask for anything else. I do not expect any additional happiness. Aimlessness is stopping and realizing the happiness that is already available." - Thich Nhat Hanh
Lisa Erickson, Buddhism Editor
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