Apparently December 8 is the day it is said that Siddhartha Gautauma, the Buddha, reached Nirvana and was therefore Enlightened. In his words:
“My heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, was released from the fermentation of sensuality, released from the fermentation of becoming, released from the fermentation of ignorance. With release, there was the knowledge, ‘Released.’ I discerned that ‘Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.”
Must have been nice for him.
Well I didn’t have anything similar to a Bodhi Day this past weekend, but hey, it was still pretty nice! Here are some things I learned:
1) Answered Prayers
Without a doubt the best thing that happened this weekend was the retreat I was able to attend on Saturday and Sunday. I was praying for a place I could go that would provide a spiritually nurturing environment without the pressure of conforming to an agenda or paying outrageous fees. Peace Village Retreats offered exactly that and more. I learned a lot about my ability to stay with Beginner’s Mind (so-so), defined some key values that I have long over looked (see next item), and just sat in the energy of souls at work. My #1 reason for going on retreat is to experience and explore the depths of my own being and divinity. The #2 reason is to be around others who are going “against the stream” in their daily life. I keep their faces with me as I move about in the real world, remembering that there are many of us out here with the intention of living peacefully, and in love with life. It is further motivation for me to continue to do my part. Yup.
2) Rumi’s Devotion
A good activity: “a) Think of some hero of yours, or someone you admire. b) List one or two qualities about this person that you admire. c) Think of a quote, scripture, or piece of literature that has stayed with you or has guided you on your path. d) List one or two qualities about those words that encapsulate its message. e) Now which of those Values would you like to incorporate more of in your life?”
You can leave your answer in the comment box. 🙂
That’s how I came up with Rumi’s Devotion. If you have ever read this blog then you know I am a Stan for Rumi. But it wasn’t until I did this exercise that I was able to narrow down my appreciation for him in just a few words. The one that stood out to me, the thing that I believe is most missing in my practice, is his steadfast Devotion to God and Islam. It was good for him that he identified with a system of beliefs that provide a sound structure of practice. His dedication to the structure, the ritual, and the routine, gave him power and strength. It gave him clarity of thought, pureness in action, and the ability to articulate his love for God so well that neither centuries, nor continents, nor language could prevent him from being understood.
This weekend I learned how DEVOTION is a value that requires more attention in my practice.
3) A Better Way To Party
I had the nerve to host a dinner/tarot party on Friday night, knowing good and well I would have to drive to the retreat at 4am the next morning. But hey, Huck said it best right?
Usually I’d do all of the cooking for such events but I knew having to prepare for two eventsat once would require me to change my normal way of hosting. I instituted a vegetarian pot-luck for our guests and I’ll tell you what, I may never cook for a dinner party again! Everything was delicious, there was a great variety, and more importantly…I could CHILL before, during, and after the party as a result. Yup, cooking for guests is for suckers*. I am now convinced.
That’s all I have for this week. What were you out learning and doing this weekend? Anyone out there have a Bodhi Day of sorts?