Vajrasattva, the diamond being, is evoked at New Year during this special puja. We will call to mind our radiant acts; note and release our shadows, and commit to our practice once again. As we do in every moment.
Ratnasambhava Puja (full moon puja)
Sat 23 Jan 2016
7:00pm (til roughly 9pm)
Celebrating the generosity and abundance of the Enlightened mind, and working with the 'poison' of pride.
Parinirvana Day Puja (full moon puja)
Sat 20 Feb 2016
7:00pm (til roughly 9pm)
Contemplating the Parinirvana of the Buddha
Sangharakshita's birthday puja
Celebrating Sangharakshita's Birthday and his life.
Padmasambhava Day (full moon puja)
A devotional ceremony celebrating the life of Padmasambhava
Akshobhya Puja (full moon puja)
A devotional ceremony celebrating Akshobhya, the blue Buddha.
Parinirvana Day Celebration
Parinirvana day marks the final passing away of the Buddha.
His death came when he was eighty years old and had spent some
forty years teaching after his Enlightenment.
What is more, the notion that all things are impermanent
is central to Buddhist teaching and, for Buddhists,
loss and impermanence are things to be accepted rather
than causes of pain and grief. The Parinibbana Sutta
gives a moving and dignified account of the Buddha's
last days and passages from it are often read on Parinirvana Day.
Celebrated on the 15th of February, this day is
used as an opportunity to reflect on the fact of one's
own future death and on people whom one has known who
have recently died. Meditations are done for the recently
deceased to give them help and support wherever they might be now.
This day celebrates the founding and continuation of
the Triratna Buddhist Community as a context for
learning and practicing the Dharma. The Triratna Buddhist Community (previously the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order) was founded in 1967
by Sangharakshita. It is now an international movement with
activities in more than 20 countries. The Triratna Buddhist Community is a non-sectarian
Buddhist movement which seeks promote the practice of
Buddhism in a form appropriate to the present.
Buddha Day Celebration (traditionally known as Wesak)
The Buddha's Enlightenment is the central event in Buddhism,
and the celebration of that Enlightenment on the full
moon of May/June is the most important festival
of the Buddhist year.
Many of the Buddha's disciples also attained
Enlightenment, and in the centuries that have
followed there have been many other Enlightened
masters. They too are recalled on this day with
readings of accounts of their lives or from
works they wrote themselves.
But Enlightenment is also an ideal to which
all Buddhists aspire. So this celebration is
a chance to reflect on what it might mean
for individual Buddhists.
Soon after his Enlightenment the Buddha rose from where he had been sitting,
went to find his former disciples and shared his experience with them.
This event, which happened at a place called Sarnath in northern India,
might be called the start of the Buddhist religion. It is this that
Dharma Day celebrates near the full moon in July. On Dharma day there are
often readings from the Buddhist scriptures and a chance to reflect deeply
on their contents. On this day Buddhists can express their
gratitude that the Buddha and other Enlightened masters have
shared their teachings with other people.
Many people are very grateful for what Sangharakshita has
done in making the Dharma accessible to them, in their contemporary lives.
He has done this through his writings, through his establishment
of the Triratna Buddhist Order and the Triratna Buddhist Community and through his own dedicated practice.
This annual puja is a simple celebration of his
birthday and his life.
Padmasambhava is the person credited with establishing Buddhism
in Tibet in the eighth century. His remarkable life has always
been surrounded in myth, making him a magical
and mystical figure.
This day is a celebration of his life and his symbolic qualities
of vision, fearlessness and transformation.
Dr. Ambedkar Celebration
Born into an "untouchable" family, Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar dedicated his whole life
fighting social injustice in the Indian Caste system. Widely credited
as the chief architect of the Indian constitution, he worked without success
to change the caste system from within Hinduism. Seeing no other option,
and after having exploring many different religions, Dr. Ambedkar
led a mass conversion of 400,000 of his followers to Buddhism on 14 October 1956.
Many Ambedkarite Buddhists are members of the Triratna Buddhist Order.
On Sangha Day, the full moon in November, Buddhists celebrate
both the ideal of creating a spiritual community,
and also the actual spiritual community which they are
trying to create. Sangha Day is a traditional time for
exchange of gifts; it has become a prominent festival
among Western Buddhists even though it is little known in the East.