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Sakyadhita Newsletter 31                     
Full Moon April, 2014
"No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path."
- Buddha - 
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MEMBERSHIPS  

 2014 
We invite those who share the goals and objectives of Sakyadhita Canada to join as members. 
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or, if you prefer by regular mail download the membership/dana form.
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Generosity and kindness help to nurture and encourage Dhamma (the teachings of the Buddha) in our day-to-day lives.

Sakyadhita Canada always welcomes and appreciates your ideas, suggestions and talents - we would be happy to hear from you!
Please contact: info@sakyadhitacanada.org 
Mississauga, May 31st
3-6pm
Ottawa May 4th, 2014 1-4:30 PM  
Vesak Day & Asian Heritage Festivities

VESAK CEREMONIES 2014

BUDDHIST COUNCIL OF CANADA

May 14th 7-9 PM at Queen's Park, Toronto For information: 

www.buddhistcouncil.ca 

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Thingyan Water Festival

&

Myanmar New Year

 Myanmar Community will be hosting a traditional Thingyan Water Festival to celebrate Myanmar New Year.

Sat. April 19, 2014

5-9:30 pm

Mayland Heights Crossroad

Community Centre

1803 14th Ave, NE

Calgary

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 Vesak is a holy day celebrated by Buddhists.   It represents the birth, the Nirvana (enlightenment) and the Parinirvana(death) of Gautama Buddha. 

Vesak Day usually falls in May, on the 15th day of the fourth month of the Lunar Calendar.
On Vesak Day, temples are decorated with flags and flowers. Devoted Buddhists and many observers of the faith congregate at their temple where monks chant the sutras, and people sing hymns to celebrate the Buddha, the Dharma (his teachings) and the Sangha (his disciples).
Worshippers bring offerings of flowers, candles and incense. These offerings demonstrate that the believers accept that life, like the offerings, is subject to decay and impermanence.
Buddhists believe that performing good deeds on Vesak Day will multiply merit and it is often a day when Buddhists perform acts of generosity that can include taking goods to the poor and needy, and making gifts to charity. These acts of generosity are also known as Dana.
The main theme of Vesak Day is to practice love, peace and harmony as taught by the Buddha.             

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FLOWERS
Just like a blossom, bright coloured
but scentless:
A well-spoken word is fruitless
when not carried out.
 
 Just like a blossom, bright coloured
and full of scent:
A well-spoken word is fruitful
when well carried out.
  Dhp. 51 &52      
Recently, a woman who had read one of the articles in the Sakyadhita net letter spoke to me in praised of the ideas in the piece, saying how valid and uplifting they were. Then she went on to say that they were excellent for the "olden times" but they just didn't fit into our modern life style --- and dismissed them. I have thought about that conversation frequently, wondering how we can approach the Path to the Deathless without feeling overwhelmed by what can seem to be a Herculean Task; a task that just doesn't fit into modern life. The answer seems obvious and simple; we determine to go to the Buddha and the Dhamma for refuge. But what does that really mean? How does it translate into action in our daily lives? Can it actually be done in the 21st century?

A refuge is a place of safety, a place where we know we are sheltered and protected. It is a place where we can lay aside fear and allow our minds to rest in the certainty that all is well. That is what is on offer when we turn to the Buddha and Dhamma through practicing the Noble Eightfold Path. Practice is the key. To practice effectively it is essential that we know what our options are. Due to the splendid array of form and the experiences they can evoke, it may seem as if there are many options, however, in life we really only have two. If there is a Noble Path that leads to Nibbana, it is clear that there must also be an Ennoble Path that leads to Samsara --- two options: one leading to the Deathless, Nibbana, the other, leading to the continuous cycle of death, Samsara. It may seem strange to think that we could, or would, go to Samsara for refuge, for safety, but we do each time we resort to thoughts and actions that are directed toward the splendid array of form available to us through our senses. Fortunately, each moment is a moment of choice. The two paths available for us to choose from have not changed since the "olden times" and neither has a moment. If we truly desire to realize either the Heavenly Realms or Nibbana, the practice of mindfulness, investigation of mind-states, and persistence, are just as available to us today as they ever were, and surprisingly, fit just as well into our lives as they would have in the "olden times." Modern life may even afford us many more opportunities to practice. For example, when late for an important appointment and stuck in heavy traffic which refuge is sought? Does habit energy take us to Samsara? Do we fume, blame, worry, castigate, excellent!! Use it to practice --- go for refuge in the Dhamma--- use it. Feel what these things feel like; are they pleasant or unpleasant? Investigate them, run them by your understanding of Right Thought, re-evaluate Right Intention, if you can see that they are not benefiting you in the way that you would like, use Right Effort to generate thoughts based on Dhamma. Feel the difference between the mind that has gone to the Dhamma for refuge and the mind that has gone to Samsara. Use the feeling to reinforce Right Intention. With practice all this can be accomplished in just a moment. And a moment is no different now than when The Buddha pointed out the Path. And, just like the bright, fragrant flower, dedication to practice, when carried out, is fruitful, it takes us to Nibbana.
Sārani