THREE MAJOR SPIRITUAL FESTIVALS
The three important spiritual festivals of the year are the Christ full moon at Easter (typically in April), The Buddha full moon at Wesak (typically in May), and the Service full moon for Humanity at Gemini (typically in June).
This month, we are in the energy of the Taurus full moon and the festival of the Buddha known as Wesak. The birth, enlightenment, and passing into Nirvana of the Buddha all occurred during this full moon.
‘The Buddha' is not a personal name but a title and can be translated as 'the Enlightened One.’ He was not born the Buddha but became the Buddha through his realization of full and perfect Enlightenment. In that perfect enlightenment one has “extinguished all greed, hatred, and delusion” and is able to clearly see the true nature of all things.
We can all access our Buddha nature and practice the path toward perfect enlightenment. The path to enlightenment is not often walked alone. There is a benefit to being connected with a group that supports one another on The Path. Why could it be so important to be connected with each other in our daily life?
At one level, perhaps, it’s because humans are wired to be together. When I was working as an engineer responsible for new machine designs, I noticed that thinking is contagious, and collaboration is natural. Being together and working together would always bring out the best in everyone. Rightly managed, collaborative group effort is always greater than individual effort. In fact, it seems that everything that we depend on, as humans in society, is the result of collaboration. Even in isolation, we are impressed by the energy of collaboration.
At another level, perhaps in our connection to one another as physical beings, we connect more fully with one another as spiritual beings in the more subtle aspects of our existence. There is no separation from the physical body and the emotional, mental and higher aspects of our vehicle. When we motivate our physical body to be in group, we bring with us all that we are AND all that we have access to. In that space of collective consciousness, there is the opportunity for transformation, elevation, awakening – all a part of the path toward enlightenment.
As we awaken, we become one great cosmic magnet through which the spiritual tide of energy flows. Take some time to sit and ponder: “How could I be positively affected by connecting with others during this time of my own life? How will I be supported in my daily life? How will I be supported on my spiritual path?”
Julianne and I facilitated a gathering on Thursday May 16th, near the energy of the Taurus full moon on Saturday May 18th. This full moon is called the Buddha full moon and is associated with Wesak.
We are to be reminded that at this time of year we are sitting in a confluence of 3 rivers of sacred energy. The energies relate to the 3 high moons of the year— the Easter/Christ full moon, the Wesak/Buddha full moon, and the Service full moon for Humanity. The energies of LOVE, WISDOM, SERVICE.
This is the spiritual high point of the year and our greatest service is to: (1) prepare ourselves spiritually for the energy which is pouring into humanity, and (2) hold the inner connection in daily light by visualizing ourselves as a pure channel of light in Divine Alignment.
We use CHANTING as a way to access the Divine (and qualities of the Buddha in honor of Wesak).
We use MANTRA AND JAPA PRACTICE to pierce the Veil.
Then, on the other side of the veil (outside of time), we enter into meditation together. The SERVICE MEDITATION is preparation for the next full moon in June, called the service full moon of Gemini.
The mantra we chant is the Medicine Buddha Mantra:
TADYATHA OM BHEKANDZYE BHAKANDZYE MAHA BHEKANDZYE
RADZA SAMUGATE SOHA.
Basic Meaning of the Medicine Buddha Mantra:
Tadyatha — means “like this.” Om signifies one’s own body, speech and mind that get transformed into the DIVINE body, speech and mind. Then bekandze, bekandze — “eliminating pain, eliminating pain.”
The first eliminating pain is true suffering, the second is the true cause of suffering.
Then maha bekandze — “the great eliminating pain” is the graduated path of the higher capable being, which eliminates the subtle aspects of that pain.
With the mantra, we CONNECT TO THE ENERGY OF THE HEALING BUDDHA (also known as the Blue Buddha). It is often said that HEALING IS HARMONY in the body. So, the Divine aspect we connect to is HARMONY.
How do we allow in the energy of Harmony? We connect to the ENERGY BEYOND THE FORM.
JULIANNE SHARED A STORY:
I had a great teaching on this when I was visiting a temple in Japan as a 16-year-old exchange student.
It was in one of the temples that we again visited on our trip with Maa that housed a huge bronze statue of Buddha. To give you an idea of its size, the Buddha’s hand was so large that you could have laid your entire body inside of it. I tried to imagine what it would have been like lying in the Buddha’s hand meditating. The statue was massive. I looked up into Buddha's face in awe, and a little 6 year-old Japanese boy came over and started talking with me. He told me to merge with the Buddha. So, I closed my eyes and did the best I could to merge with the Buddha. I was really trying hard to connect, probably even straining to merge. He then said something I'll always remember, "CONNECT TO THE ENERGY BEYOND THE FORM." And, just to make sure I really understood, he ran over to one of the big wooden pillars of the temple. At the bottom of the pillar there was a notch cut out of it. He explained that it was as big as one of the nostrils of the Buddha statue. I can still see the young boy on his hands and knees crawling through the notch as he said to allow myself to be breathed in by the Buddha.
So when we use this chant:
ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE BREATHED IN BY THE BUDDHA
CONNECT TO THE ENERGY BEYOND HIS FORM
BE IMMERSED IN THE ENERGY OF HEALING
FILLED WITH HIS ENERGY OF HARMONY
PIERCING THE VEIL
Some of Sai Maa's recent teachings have been about "piercing the veil," and to be on the other side of the veil. We can use mantra to do just that. It acts as a bridge between here and there.
The mantra is “AMITABHA”. If you went to Japan with Sai Maa, you might remember this word. It's the name of the RED BUDDHA-- Amitabha. I have often heard Sai Maa say “USE MAA LIKE A LADDER.” Amitabha was much the same. He made and fulfilled 48 great vows and attained the perfect enlightenment ten eons ago. In doing so, he offered his name to be used like a ladder.
It's said that by using his name ‘Amitabha, Amitabha, Amitabha,’ it builds a bridge from our world into the higher dimensions — so much so that at the time of our death (if we have used this mantra as a practice), we traverse right into the Pure Lands.
We can use the mantra- Amitabha- to build the bridge, pierce the veil, and go beyond time and space.
This meditation raises the elevation. From the higher elevation we transform consciousness to change the world in concert with the triads of energies: Resurrection, Enlightenment, Goodwill AND Love, Wisdom, Service.
BRINGING LIGHT INTO DAILY LIFE
The goals of “clear seeing, pure joyful will, and the end of personality desire” lie before us. As these goals are achieved, it becomes possible to live consciously within the aura of the spiritual group to which our soul naturally belongs.