Each year on December 8th, Buddhists celebrate the day that Siddhartha Gautama achieved enlightenment through meditation. The word Bodhi means awakening or enlightenment. Bodhi Day can be celebrated in several different ways.
Often, Buddhist homes have ficus religiousa tree that they decorate with beads and multi-colored lights – much in the same way that Christians decorate their Christmas trees. They will also put on reflective ornaments that represent the Three Jewels: Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. Some people spend the day meditate on the life of Buddha. Other people will visit stupas (shrines). In some homes, Buddhishs will serve special cookies shaped like Bodhi trees or their heart-shaped leaves. Bodhi Meditation relies on two fundamental aspects of your mind: relaxation and visualization (or imagination).
Tips to Celebrate BODHI Day
Even if you’re not Buddhist, you can still participate in this day.
- Learn about the Buddhist religion.
- Read about how these celebrities became Buddhists: Tina Turner, Kate Hudson, Keanu Reeves, Orlando Bloom, and Tiger Woods.
- Light candles or put up brightly colored lights to signify Buddha’s enlightenment.
- Read books about Buddhism, including Buddhist Philosophy: Essential Readings, Taking the Path of Zen, and Mindfulness in Plain English.
- Watch documentaries about Buddha, including The Buddha: The Story of Siddhartha, and Angry Monk.
Remember to share this day on social media with #BodhiDay.
Meditation is all about the Mind-Body Connection.
Just as your body’s health can affect how you think and feel, how you think, and feel can affect how your body responds to pain and disease. The mind-body connection is an accepted medical truth, if not a scientific fact.
Meditation requires a good deal of mental focus. It’s very easy to be distracted by things happening around you. Moreover, your mind may be full of distracting thoughts, especially negative thoughts. This is very destructive to meditation. So, you must keep a clear mind during practice.
Imagine fetching water from a river with a transparent pail. At first, the water looks muddy. Allow time for the sediments to separate. Heavy ones sink to the bottom of the pail, lighter sediments float to the top. The water becomes clear. The concept of meditation is similar; meditating helps to eliminate toxic materials from the body and purifies the mind. This cleansing process guides body and mind into a state of calm and peace.
This is the state which allows us to look at the world with greater clarity, unlock our intuition and awaken our wisdom.
Happy BODHI Day.