It's time to share the February Lesson from Dharma Days 2010 Calendar: Art, Musings, and Meditations for the Spiritual Path by Dairyu Michael Wenger. My homework for this month is to cultivate compassion without falling prey to its near enemies. For instance, feeling sorry for someone is far from feeling close to that person and may give you a sense of superiority. Getting depressed yourself when someone around you is feeling depressed is self-indulgence and helps no one.
I'm still working on January's don't be critical!
Here are a few important dates in the Buddhist calendar for February:
- February 8 (or in some calendars February 15) - Nirvana Day - is the final nirvana, which occurs upon the death of the body of someone who has attained complete awakening. This date celebrates the parinirvana of The Buddha.
- February 9 - Bodhidharma's Birthday - The historical Bodhidharma (known as Daruma 達磨 in Japan) was an Indian sage who lived sometime in the fifth or sixth century AD. He is the undisputed founder of Zen Buddhism 禅 (Ch. = Chan), and credited with Zen's introduction to China during his travels to the Middle Kingdom. (Note: Zen Buddhism is the term used in Japan, but Daruma’s philosophy arrived first in China, where it flowered and was called Chan Buddhism. Only centuries later does it bloom in Japan, where it is called Zen). (For more information on Daruma/Bodhidharma go here.)
- February 14 - Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year 4708) the year of the Tiger. It is also called Losar by the Tibetans (2137). Let's not forget Valentine's Day!