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Beginner's Heart

Today’s the day Buddhists remember when the Buddha began his teaching journey: the full moon of the 8th lunar month (usually July).

Also known as Asalha Puja Day, with this first teaching the Buddha moved one of his first five followers to enlightenment. This is the beginning not only of the Buddha’s teachings, but also of Buddhist community ~ the first sangha.

I like to think of the Buddha as a teacher. I like to think of him outside, on a day perhaps as hot as this one in Oklahoma, sitting beneath a tree, talking to five guys. Talking to the point that one ‘gets it.’ Because I’ve always thought that’s what enlightenment is — just getting it. Of course, there’s the whole mystery of what ‘it’ is…:)

What Buddhists in Thailand do on this day — known there as Asanha Puja — is make offerings at their local temples, and listen to sermons. Go to church, in other words :). What most religions do on holy days (from which our term ‘holiday’ comes).

Me? I”m going to go out into the yard, set the garden to rights, and remember that the first Buddhist lesson was given outside. And that Kondanna still managed to get it.

 

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