Saturday May 9th
Life in lockdown continues but that won't stop us celebrating the most important festival in the Buddhist calendar. About two and a half thousand years ago, a young Indian prince left his home and family in search of answers to the mystery of birth, sickness, old age and death. After rigorously exploring traditional ascetic practices and meditation, he finally attained that transformation of consciousness known as Enlightenment. He became the Buddha, one who is fully awake to the true nature of reality and free of all that holds us back from real happiness, wisdom and compassion.
The Central Festival in the Buddhist year of Buddha Day falls on the Full Moon in May! Though unable to gather to celebrate in person, we will be marking the celebration on Saturday May 9th with a cluster of online events in which you are heartily welcome to partake.
The Buddhist Centre Online (thebuddhistcentre.com) is hosting a mammoth celebration worldwide, with contributions from around the world as the sun rises and sets through its various time zones. You can find the details here:
Here at Southampton we have devised a programme that dips into some of what is available internationally, as well as giving us the chance to come together as a local community. Here is a programme for the Southampton Celebrations:
Click here to join Zoom link:
11.00 am The Buddha and the Attadanda Sutta - Live talk by Subhuti from Wales UK
Subhuti is one of the senior most members of the Triratna Buddhist Order and one of its most eloquent and inspiring communicators. This is great opportunity to hear and experience him ‘live’.
Nb. This will replace our usual Sangha Morning Session, and is accessible via the link above. We encourage you to attend as what he says can inform the next session of the day (see below).
2.00pm Recollection of the Buddha and sharing
This hour will consist of a led meditation on the Historical Buddha Shakyamuni at the time of His Enlightenment, followed by a chance to check in with our reflections on the experience, and on Subhuti’s talk. This can be accessed via the usual Sangha Morning link
3.30pm Inspiration from the Buddha and Festival Puja
In this we encourage you to bring and share whatever inspires you about the Buddha. It could be a poem that connects you with the Ideal of Enlightenment, a reading on the theme from the Buddhist tradition, something you have created/written or anything else celebratory of the Buddha. The success of this depends upon our reflections and contributions, so we encourage you to reflect upon it in advance.
This session concludes with the performance of the day’s central puja (devotional ceremony) in which we rejoice in the fact of Enlightenment and dedicate ourselves to it for the benefit of all living beings.
Again, this is accessible via the Zoom link above. Finishes around 5pm.