Happy Birthday Buddha!


Tonight’s a full moon. You know what that means- Buddhist Celebration! In Thailand today honors the life, enlightenment, and death of Buddha Guatama. In observation I went to the temple to participate in a candlelit ceremony where we walked around the pagoda three times with flowers, incense, and candles to honor the three jewels of Buddhism: Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. It was lovely, lively, and peaceful with traditional dancing, prayer, giving, and cleansing.

Moon-driven-soul…A short reflection on how Buddhism has influenced my life in the past year..Thank you Buddha!

1. Meditation. Sitting, silent, meditation. Walking slow meditation. Meditation centered around my breath. I haven’t practiced everyday, but a lot of days. I believe there is no better way for me to learn about myself, heal my mind, center my energy, cultivate peace in my life, cultivate motivation in my life.

2. Acceptance. Self-acceptance. Acceptance of others. Unconditional positive regard for myself and others. Letting go.

The curious paradox is when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” – Carl Rogers

3. Mindfulness. Incorporating principles of mindfulness into every aspect of my life. Eating more mindfully (not always!), washing the dishes mindfully, keeping my house clean by practicing a “leave no trace” policy, listening to the birds, dancing ecstatically, participating in the ongoing process of learning how to direct my attention to the present.

First visiting and then moving to a Buddhist country has been a blessing to me this past year. The influence of Buddhism is apparent in every aspect of daily life here and I think it contributes to a more present centered, generally less aggressive, less competitive way of life. (Forgive the major political unrest).

Recommended reads that have helped me so much this year:

  • Being Peace: Thich Nhat Hanh.
  • Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha: Tara Brach.
  • How to Train a Wild Elephant: And Other Adventures in Mindfulness: Jan Chozen Bays.
  • http://www.elephantjournal.com