Intercessors around the world are lifting the Buddhist world up in special prayer between January 21 and February 10th. We encourage you and your church family (including the children!) to pray for Buddhists all over world, including nations like China, Thailand, Bhutan, Myanmar, Cambodia, Japan, Nepal, and Vietnam. And, of course, there are Buddhist believers here in the United States.
According to the blog site, eastwest.org, “In the early weeks of winter, many Buddhists will celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment on Bodhi Day. Some Buddhists will often observe the holiday on December 8, but Buddhists who follow the lunar calendar observe this day in January.
“Enlightenment is a key aspect of Buddhism. Followers of Jesus who want to share the love of Christ with Buddhist friends should understand enlightenment and celebrations like Bodhi Day.
“There are some variations to the story of Siddhartha Gautama, who lived sometime between the fifth and fourth century B.C. Siddhartha Gautama is said to have been an affluent prince who was shielded from the knowledge of pain and suffering. One day, the prince left his palace and witnessed human suffering for the first time. This set him off on a journey to understand life, death, and peace of mind. He renounced his life of privilege and studied under several spiritual teachers. He tried living a life of asceticism, but he then realized his path to enlightenment would require a “middle way”—a balance between self-denial and self-indulgence. Eventually, he meditated under a Bodhi tree, where Buddhists say the demon Mara tempted him. Siddhartha Gautama overcame the temptations, realized enlightenment, and became the Buddha.
“Buddhists who observe Bodhi Day will often decorate a tree—sometimes a ficus religiosa (Bodhi) tree—with colorful lights and ornaments, similar to how a Christmas tree is decorated. There may even be cookies baked in the shape of the tree or its leaves. Some people will also read sutras or have extended times of meditation. Families may come together for a big meal, which sometimes includes rice and milk.”
You can read the full story about Bohdi Day from their blog here:
And for a brief prayer video about the basics of Buddhism, watch this from thewaitingworld.net :