Remembering a beautifully long day involving Triratna communities from New Zealand to the West Coast of the USA. You can relive the story of the day on this page.
We offered the day on a dana (donation) basis and dedicated all funds to our sangha members in India, who face great hardship as the coronavirus crisis disproportionately impacts their lives. The goal is to raise £150,000 – and at time of writing we have the first £50,000 donated! Many thanks!
Thank you from the Buddha Day team – and from the online community around the world!
May you be well!
1. A Welcome to Buddha Day: an introduction to the day
with Ratnadharini, and footage of Sangharakshita from Clear Vision
2. Buddhanusati – Recollection of the Qualities of the Buddha
Led by Purna from Waiheke, NZ
Led by Siladasa, Maitripala and friends from Melbourne, Australia
4. Talk: The Buddha’s Song of Victory
Talk by Subhuti from Wales, UK, exploring 2 verses from the Dhammapada
5. Buddhanusati – Recollection of the Qualities of the Buddha
Led by Adityabodhi from Pune, India
6. Seven-fold Puja
Kulanandi, Paramachitta and Friends in Mainland Europe
7. Buddha Day Question Time
Saddhaloka and Saddhanandi from Adhisthana, UK
8. Three short talks with translation and a Three-Fold Puja
Public Preceptors and Friends in Mexico
9. Talk: The Buddha as Social Revolutionary
Live talk by Viveka from San Francisco, USA
10. Closing ritual & short meditation
Led by Viradhamma and friends from San Francisco, USA
Special Dharma Resources for Buddha Day
Special Dharma Resources for Buddha Day
Encounters with Enlightenment by Saddhaloka
Saddhaloka offers a series of ten short talks telling stories of the Buddha’s life, filmed from Adhisthana during the lock-down. Listen to one a day, and enjoy a daily immersion in the world and life of the Buddha.
From the 1st to the 10th of May, Saddhaloka’s book ‘Encounters with Enlightenment’ is being given away free as a part of the Buddha day celebrations by Windhorse Publications.
This collection of timeless, well-loved stories from the life of the Buddha is presented with simple elegance by Saddhaloka. By remaining faithful to the ancient Pali texts from which they are drawn, they allow us to enter the world of the Buddha and encounter an Enlightened One.
Words in Praise of the Buddha
Ratnavyuha and Dhiramuni in conversation
Ratnavyuha and Dhiramuni, two friends from Auckland, New Zealand, share their inspiration from some verses in praise of the Buddha, contained within the first chapter of the Vimalakirti Nirdesa. They offer an audio recording of the verses, and a practice suggestion for a reflective writing exercise for you to engage with.
Listen to the reading from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa.
Let it soak in with a period of reflection, and open to the possibility of such qualities becoming more important to you in your life and daily practice.
In the next stage pick up your pen and start writing, loosely, informally, and continuously, for a period of time, perhaps ten minutes, allowing expression of your stream of consciousness.
End with a period of Just Sitting meditation.
Read a free-rendering of Praises of the Buddha from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa, translated by Robert Thurman. (Read by Ratnavyuha in today’s audio resources.) 📖
The Inconceivable Emancipation: the series of lectures that Sangharakshita gave on the Vimalakirti Nirdesa 🎧
The Travellers from Orissa
Maitreyabandhu reads us a poem from his second Bloodaxe collection called Yarn
According to tradition, two travellers met the Buddha just after his enlightenment and became his first disciples, Tapussa and Bhallika. They disappear from literature after that point, and the Travellers from Orissa is a long dramatic monologue, written by Maitreyabandhu, imagining their story.
Make some space and sit comfortably to spend 20 minutes listening to Maitreyabandhu spinning this yarn…
Walking to the Seat of Awakening
Punyamala and Ratnavyuha in conversation
Punyamala speaks to Ratnavuha about her inspiration for some verses from the Lalitavistara Sutra which describe the Buddha as he walks to the seat of enlightenment. Together, they explore the image and significance of walking, and how this story draws out the timeless unfolding of awakening in all of our lives.
Punyamala also offers an audio recording of the verses for you to listen to, and a suggestion for a walking meditation or reflective practice to connect with the Buddha.
Listen to the reading from the Lalitavistara Sutra.
Take a phrase or two that resonates with you from the text or reflect on the symbolism of some of the images.
Bear it in mind as you take a walk, or within meditation. Perhaps imagining walking alongside the Buddha, if that resonates.
Looking at the Bodhi Tree
A talk by Sangharakshita
In this talk, given on Buddha day in 1999, Sangharakshita reflects on the Buddha’s achievement of Enlightenment, drawing our attention to an often overlooked feature of this great event – the Buddha’s expression of gratitude to the tree that sheltered him.
The Buddha and the Naga King
A talk by Padmavajra
On the Full Moon day itself, Padmavajra introduces us to the story of the Buddha and the Naga King, Mucalinda. With characteristic resonant depth, Padmavajra evokes the meaning and significance of the Buddha’s Enlightenment, and his subsequent encounter with Mucalinda.
He then reflects on the Udana, the inspired utterance, with which the Sutta ends, and describes it as a path of practice: Blissful is solitude for one who is content, for one who has heard Dhamma and who sees, Blissful is non hatred in the world, restraint towards living creatures, Blissful is passionlessness in the world, the transcending of sensual desire, But the destruction of the “I am” conceit, that is truly the supreme bliss.
You can also listen to a lecture by Sangharakshita on the significance of this and other stories surrounding the time of the Buddha’s Enlightenment : Archetypal Symbolism in the Biography of the Buddha
A Rose-Apple Tree Experience
A talk by Subhadramati
Sangharakshita tells us that the Enlightenment of the Buddha isn’t cold and detached, but sees everything as beautiful because it sees with a mind and heart of Metta. Subhadramati evokes this aspect of the Enlightenment by telling a story of a pivotal moment in the Buddha’s life, which precedes the dawning of his enlightenment experience, where he recollects a memory of sitting beneath a rose-apple tree in his youth.
She beautifully unfolds the significance of this story, weaving it together with an extract from a poem written by Seamus Heaney which echoes the Buddha’s memory. Subhadramati ends by inviting us to look for wholesome pleasure and delight in our dharma life, and to deepen into it.