Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Happy Vesak Day!

Today is Vesak Day in most of the world (it is celebrated on different days in different parts of the world due to variations in the lunar cycle - but since no one is telling me different, I'm going with today).

What is Vesak Day, you might wonder? Well, I'm glad you asked.

In a nutshell, today we celebrate Buddha's birthday. But it's so much more than that. Today commemorates the birth, enlightenment and nirvana of Siddharta Gautama. In countries where Buddhism is the major religion, this is a big deal. Like Christmas. Except for not at all like Christmas. Not even a little bit.

Today is the first year I will celebrate Vesak Day and I'm really looking forward to it. It's an opportunity for me to reconnect with myself and my beliefs and push closer to becoming the person I truly want to be.

I will celebrate Vesak today by rededicating myself to Buddhism and bringing myself back to mindfulness throughout the day. Today will be a vegetarian day and I will consume no alcohol or any other mind altering substances. Because today is about being mindful and you can't be mindful if you're half in the bag.

Today I will focus on cleaning my home, giving Buddha a bath (he really needs one), and keeping my head in my tasks. I will be staying away from distracting social media and the TV will remain off.

It's a sharp contrast from how we celebrate most holidays, isn't it? While most Western holidays have morphed into a sticky mess of consumerism and overindulgence, Vesak Day is almost the complete opposite - which I find absolutely refreshing.

I'll report later about how it goes with Vesak today. I'm excited to spend the day in mindfulness.