A Vesak unlike any other before it.
Against the backdrop of the global pandemic, almost all of us had to stay at home. This did not stop many of us from coming together online as Dhamma friends to commemorate the most important day of the Buddhist calendar.
At Dhammakami Buddhist Society too, we continued our tradition of holding our annual Vesak Camaraderie – but online. Together, we spent a blissful morning with an online sermon, chanting, meditation and Dhamma sharing – all in the true spirit of Vesak as a day, not just for celebration, but also for deep contemplation of the Dhamma.
While the Covid-19 pandemic has brought much suffering, it also holds some important lessons for us as Buddhists. This is especially so as we commemorate Vesak Day as a time for deep reflection on our life and its purpose. As the whole world literally grinds to a halt and entire cities fall silent without human activities, nature has made a return with birds singing and animals roaming the street. Likewise, if we strive to settle down and silence our minds, we too can come to understand its true nature and move towards Enlightenment. In practicing the dhamma, we can still see the light even with darkness all around us. When we are told to stay at home and practice social distancing, there too are dhamma lessons. What are these lessons? Why indeed should the entire crisis remind us of Buddha’s last words?
Shine Forth with Metta
This is a guided Metta meditation session led by Venerable K. Rathanasara. It begins with a short discourse on the virtues of developing Metta thoughts and how that eventually flows into our speech and actions, and ultimately our habits, character and future. We complete the meditation with the chanting of Metta verses.
Is Enlightenment Instant?
In the suttas, we learn of people who became awakened right after hearing the dhamma. Does this show that enlightenment can happen instantly? No, it does not. What it shows is that these people have been diligently cultivating their minds and practicing on the right path all along. They had been creating all the necessary conditions for their waking up from the deep sleep of ignorance and achieving supreme wisdom. So, what are these necessary conditions and how does the eight-fold path guide us to fulfilling them?