Remembering the Buddha’s
Birth, Awakening, and Passing Away
Wednesday, May 26
All merit accumulated on this special day is multiplied 100 million times.
Join the Abbey community for Vesak practice and teaching with Ven. Chodron on Vesak-eve, Tuesday, May 25.
Add your Vesak Day Shakyamuni Buddha mantra recitations to help remove obstacles for building the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall.
Vesak Day—called Saka Dawa Duchen in the Tibetan tradition—is the most special time in the Buddhist calendar. It’s the anniversary of the Buddha’s birth, awakening, and passing away. Buddha’s compassionate wisdom teachings offer guidance and support to Buddhists and non-Buddhists, too.
Vesak Day is a special time to recall how learning and practicing Buddha’s teachings help you now and in the future. It’s a time to renew your resolve to develop ethical conduct, love, compassion, and wisdom and diminish the afflicted minds that bring so much misery.
Vesak is a good day to do special practices that deepen your connection with the Buddha. See our suggestions below.
On Vesak Day, let’s dedicate all goodness generated to relieve all suffering, including the challenges of the pandemic. We can dedicate to end the mental sufferings that rise from greed, anger, and ignorance. Dedicate merit, too, to sustain the Buddha’s teachings, for your own awakening, and for the welfare of all beings.
When you dedicate, we invite you to dedicate merit for the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall project, too. We hope begin this summer.
How to Celebrate
- Watch Ven. Chodron’s beautiful telling of the Buddha’s life story and how it relates to your own life.
- Listen to Ven. Sangye Khadro explain what Vesak is.
- Read, watch, or listen to Ven. Chodron’s explanation of the Four Seals, the four characteristics that mark Buddhist teachings.
- Read or recite and reflect on Buddhist sutras, like the Heart Sutra. (Watch or read Ven. Chodron’s commentary here.)
- Do the Shakyamuni Buddha meditation practice. When you do the mantra recitation and visualization, please count your recitations and report the number, dedicating the merit to help overcome obstacles to constructing the Abbey’s new Buddha Hall. Learn how.
- Join the Abbey community’s Vesak meditation and Dharma talk with Ven. Thubten Chodron on Wednesday, May 25 at 6 pm Pacific Time. Learn more.
- Take and keep the Eight Mahayana Precepts for 24 hours.
- Make special offerings to the Three Jewels on your altar and do the extensive offering practice.
- Make offerings to your teachers and Dharma centers to support continuation of Buddha’s teachings.
- Make offerings to help people affected in various ways by the pandemic.
- Go here to include the Abbey in your Vesak Day offerings, or here to help build the Buddha Hall.