It’s Buddha’s birthday on April 8th. Bang the gong and fire the incense! Light the lantern and float a candle, the Jewel of the Lotus is born! For on this day, April 8th, 563 BC, Queen Mahamayadevi gave birth to Prince Siddhārtha Gautama, long live the Buddha!
We all know the big picture - that this prince would go on to renounce the perks of his birthright and through meditation and mindfulness become the Enlightened / Awakened One. Sitting under the Bodhi Tree, Siddhārtha would become the Buddha, providing a spiritual path to remove oneself from the wheel of Duhkha (suffering) and achieve Nirvana.
In these times of plague, let us focus on the Buddhist concept of Smṛti or mindfulness.
As we chafe sitting in our velvet prisons of enforced isolation, let us be mindful that tens of thousands of refugees sit exposed to the elements at borders that will not allow them to go forward or back.
As we curse an internet slowed by too much binge streaming and a perverse need to follow news that is non-news, let us be mindful of doctors wearing trash liner bags, exposing themselves to virus, as they work to save lives while risking their own, plunging in while awaiting proper protective wear.
Let us be mindful to not touch our faces - they are still there. Let us be mindful that sheltering in place will protect those in true distress, those that really need a hospital bed with a ventilator/respirator.
Let us be mindfull that this too shall pass.
Through the practice of sati we honor the sage wisdom of the Buddha, on this, his 2,457th birthday, give or take.
Stay svasya and agada. Stay healthy and safe.