Day of Enlightenment

There are thousands of lights decorating homes, yards, and businesses at this time of year. There is one light that doesn’t get unplugged or taken down after the holidays and that is the light that shines from inside each of us.

December 8 is Bodhi Day, celebrated in Japan as the day when Siddhartha Gautauma, the historical Buddha, experienced enlightenment. “Buddha” means “awakened one” or “the enlightened one.”

In the strictest sense, I suppose, we are all striving toward enlightenment as our ultimate goal. I like to think of enlightenment more as the path itself, the journey or quest, simply living with light shining from within, rather than an end point we might never reach.

In Nicaragua, there is a combination of festivals that start on the night of December 7 called “la gritería.” People run through the streets shouting in Spanish, “Who causes so much happiness?”

This boisterous evening leads up to the following day, December 8, to “La Purísima” or the “purest conception of Virgin Mary.”

But I like to think the notion of “la gritería” is pushing us to recognize our inner light as the source of our happiness. May we all celebrate our own enlightenment!

A hui hou!

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