Bodhi Day

Bodhi Day (January 10, 2022) commemorates

the day that Siddhartha Gautama, an Indian Prince, spent 49 days meditating under a Bodhi tree, and through his understanding of suffering and how to free himself from it, experienced enlightenment and became the Buddha. 

Buddha’s enlightenment

came from his understanding and founding of the Noble Eight-fold path, which taught him the “correct way of living,” through eight practices. 

The Eight-fold Path’s eight principles are: 

  • Right View, our actions and thoughts have impact; 

  • Right Resolve, what our intentions look like and do they stem from compassion; 

  • Right Speech, moving away from dishonesty, or words that cause harm to others; 

  • Right Conduct, which means not causing physical harm to others or the environment; 

  • Right Livelihood, only taking enough to sustain your life, moving away from greed; 

  • Right Effort, leading a wholesome life; 

  • Right Mindfulness, a practice of engaging with the teachings of Buddha; and lastly, 

  • Right Samadhi, or practicing the four stages of meditation. 

While many winter traditions

have lots of glitz, fanfare and parades, Bodhi Day is a celebration through quiet contemplation and meditation. Practitioners of Buddhism may congregate at temples to meditate, chant, and rededicate themselves to their faith in Buddha.

Buddhist homes will also house a ficus religiousa tree, (aka Sacred Fig/Bodhi tree,)

and will decorate this special tree on Bodhi Day. They will also make Bodhi tree shaped cookies, or cookies in the shape of their heart-like leaves.

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