Happy Lunar Bodhi Day 2022
Today, December 30, 2022, is the Lunar Bodhi Day. This year, Bodhi Day happens between the titan holidays of Christmas and New Year. So I’ve noticed the view traffic for this site is very low for a Bodhi Day. That’s good in a way. A little calm to even out a very spirited year is welcome.
This message is a short message of Spirit. A few years ago I wrote a blog on how Buddhism is a Skill, not a religion and not a philosophy. The development of any skill usually appears to be a matter of years of tedious effort with deserts of seemingly little or no progress. But progress is like an avalanche after a long period of continuous snow.
Each Fall Mrs. Hanamoku, the Buddhas, and I go on a pilgrimage to places where great Spirit was manifested. This year we returned to Minidoka and the City of Rocks in South-Central Idaho. We perform Buddhist services commemorating the human spirit worthy of The Man with the Bag. That is, those who know that everything is a process – the development of the galaxies, Life on Earth, and the development of our gift of sapience.
All acts by sapient creatures are “beneficial” for some and “bad” to some degree for others. What’s tricky is that all involved claim to be the good guys. In Zen, what is important are the lessons we all learn. Lessons are precious because the phenomenon of Sentience is a process that has a long way to go – at least a kalpa give or take.
The concept of not thinking in terms of good or bad is very difficult for almost everyone. Even I still struggle to see beyond the confines of the ceaseless categorization founded on symbolic thinking we’re all addicted to. However, if we look to the martial arts concept of uke and tori we will see the Universe is One glorious process.
The reason for choosing the Minidoka National Historic Site for a service is that I would assume many, if not most, of those interned were Buddhist and would appreciate a Buddhist service. I would think many of their descendants are Buddhist as well.
But our Buddhist service was certainly not just for the folks interned at Minidoka. It was also for the guards and the politicians who ordered it. I’m sure that most felt conflicted during the time of the internment and for many years after, probably the rest of their lives. The service is meant to tell them that our sentience is a play of Yin and Yang which is One process.
We also held the Magic Plant Flower service at a site named Camp Rock at the City of Rocks. Each year, we collect the Magic Plant’s dried flowers from the Spring and spread the Spirit of Magic Plant through those dried flowers in the Fall.
Camp Rock is a granite formation “tagged” by some of the pioneers from the 1800s traveling from the East Coast of the U.S. to a presumably better life in California. It seemed like a nice place to commemorate the “pioneer spirit”. Even if one whined and cried all the way, there’s nothing gutless about walking across most of a continent seeking a better life with sketchy provisions loaded onto a really crappy wagon.
I’ve often mentioned that long ago my karate teacher told me something like, “You can always make more friends, more money. But if you lose your Spirit, you have nothing.”
We decided to have a lighter, more Zen monkish dish of ochazuke for Bodhi Day instead of the traditional Mrs. Hanamoku’s Bodhi Day Rice and Milk. As I mentioned, the Lunar Bodhi Day being caught between Christmas and New Year, we’re a little “sweeted out” this week.
Happy Lunar Bodhi Day 2022!! The next one will be January 18, 2024. Yes, with all the lunar calendar stuff (there is a “leap month” in the upcoming lunar year), there is no Lunar Bodhi Day during the calendar year of 2023.
This concludes the 2022 Bodhi Day Season where the theme was seeing beyond “reality”:
Faith and Patience,
Reverend Dukkha Hanamoku