Buddhist: Bodhi – Celebrating the Awakening of Buddha

January 7

Every year Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s awakening. Bodhi (awakening) Day this year is celebrated by Chinese Buddhists on January 10. (Other Buddhists celebrate Bodhi other times of the year.) 

According to early Buddhist scripture, the historical Buddha was a prince named Siddhartha Gautama who gave up his privileged life to find peace of mind. After six years of frustration, he sat under a “Bodhi” tree and vowed to remain in meditation until he found some peace. This resulted in Gautama becoming the Buddha, ‘the one who is awake.’ The awakened one is able to live fully in the present moment.

“Awake” is the term that Buddhists use to describe living in the present moment, letting go of whatever anxieties and cravings cling to us, and to which we cling.

Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion. Whether one believes in Divinity is irrelevant in Buddhist meditation and mindfulness practices. Anyone can practice a silent/sitting meditation by gently letting go over and over again, of thoughts that would consume one. Anyone can develop habits of mindfulness, becoming awake to the abundant experience of fully living.