illustration (attribution, if any possible, is at the end of the article)
This year, Vesak is a lot more united (20th, 21st or 22nd of May) than last year (May 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 25th, June 1st or 2nd, cf. gplus.wallez.name/WCHHqcVHvYK … although the wolframAlpha link no longer is satisfactory since Wolfram has replaced the lunar computation with mere externally sourced holiday data… and getting it wrong!).
Like I did last year, I'll pick the UN holiday (un.org/en/events/vesakday/) as the day to wish you a happy vesak, as I feel it represents best the idea of unity, which is called for in this situation rather than a focus on a specific country, hierarchy or authority.
For those interested in using this day to deepen their understanding of the Dharma, may I suggest a related resource I recently found at www.undv.org/vesak2016 (even if the celebration is on the 22nd, due to clinging to national preferences)?
May I bring your attention in particular on the "all media" > "academic books" section (www.undv.org/vesak2016/books.php)? Some of you might find something of interest there.
This site is struggling right now, I suspect it's just not dimensioned to handle the load of requests it receives today, but I expect it to work better soon and to keep useful resources online for a quite while after the conference.
For those interested in using this day to reflect on embodying the Dharma in our current context, may I suggest checking out some of my recent posts focused on the economy (gplus.wallez.name/Nn9TjMNJQM7, gplus.wallez.name/TFGwVqqBHdf, gplus.wallez.name/RQjHuDLLWbM, gplus.wallez.name/Ak6HV5joQAL, gplus.wallez.name/b1rPn6pg91t, gplus.wallez.name/32ec9qDBYo2), or even the Pope's last admonition against economic wrong views (news.trust.org/item/20160519112426-6xq1g/), an admonition the Buddha would probably have agreed with, if we're to consider his advice to householders and discourses on "right livelihood".
Please also visit http://dharma.house/,
• to check on upcoming retreats (http://en.dharma.house/retreats.htm),
• to vote on some topics for future retreats (http://en.dharma.house/retreats/ —we're about to program September–December),
• to subscribe to our newsletter (to stay informed of future events),
• to "walk the talk" and cultivate generosity on such an auspicious day (http://en.dharma.house/donate.htm)!
#Buddhism #Dharma #engagedBuddhism
Illustration: bronze figure of Shakyamuni (Chinese, Ming dynasty)