I just can’t fathom where all this time is gone….
On Monday, I spread a message on my social media:
Happy Bodhi day to all of you who celebrate it!
Since I have read those two articles in mslexia about discrimination in literature, I thought a lot about how much I include other Religions or spiritual paths beside Christianity, which is so overpowering in our culture, on my blog. I realised I did not know a lot about holidays in other cultures. Of course, I know a little about Ramadan and have heard of Hanukkah but that’s about it. That’s when I decided to look a little more into Holidays of different cultures and include them into my blog.
As it was the closest to my “decision” Bodhi day made the start: Bodhi Day is a Buddhist celebration of the enlightenment of Sidarta Gothama who was later known as the Buddha (enlightened one). According to legend, he sat under a tree and meditated to find the root of suffering.
He was born into a rich family and lived protected and in luxury only to find himself one day confronted with the suffering of the poor around him. That shocked him so much that he decided to live in an extreme ascetic lifestyle which did not give him the answers he was seeking. In the end, he discovered that enlightenment lies in the middle of a luxurious and ascetic lifestyle.
He discovered this under meditation close to a tree that is now known as the Bodhi tree and apparently stands in India. When exactly that day is, seems a little confusing to me depending on which tradition one follows, but this year it was the 8th of December.
I like the idea to celebrate enlightenment. Today’s people certainly need more of that. I am also taken back into my twenties when I read Herman Hesse’s Siddharta which works the Buddha’s life into a novel with a slightly different outcome. That is a book that has deeply influenced me, and the image of Siddhartha sitting at a river listening to its wisdom has accompanied me ever since.
Meditation is part of my life for more than 20 years. I have mainly read up on different paths and forms of meditation and practise my own brand of it, but I could not imagine being without it. And enlightenment is certainly one goal I would like to achieve in life.
I think I might incorporate that holiday into my life but for now, it will be my prompt for today’s poem: