West London Buddhist Centre

Heart of the dragon

Published on Feb 21st 2024, in Blog

At the global dinner table we call this world, we can consume such a mixture of festivals and traditions, whether in the form of food, dress, public holidays, rituals or so many other things. A veritable buffet of wisdom!

This past week has seen just 3 such events (and probably more). Last Saturday was the celebration of Chinese New Year, with the start of the year of the Wood Dragon. Wood dragons are said to be full of motivation and drive to put their ideas into reality. And while we might think of dragons as fierce and even fire-breathing, these dragons are diplomatic, generous and even have a great sense of humour!

Wednesday was Valentine’s Day. Although the origin of this day has a variety of explanations (including Christian martyrdom), it is now linked to romantic love. A time when we might give special attention to those beings we hold dear. And yes, a great opportunity for the card, flower, gift and just about any retail industry. As I write this, I just received a Valentine’s Day offer for a computer anti-virus software! Sigh…

And sometime between 8 and 15 February, the Buddhist festival of Parinirvana, which marks the death of the historic Buddha, has been celebrated. Touching on the everyday and unavoidable themes of impermanence, loss and death, it is a powerful reminder to live life now.

Such an overlap and complementarity of festivals. Acting, thinking, speaking with kindness, sensitivity, generosity and humour, all resting on a keen awareness of how limited our time on this precious earth is. That is a menu to be savoured.

With a bow, Maitripushpa
from 15 Feb 2024 WLBC newsletter

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Drinking tea, sitting, quiet – ahhh. This Saturday enjoy Zen tea. More info here. Book here.