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Wisdom Spotlight - Issue #5 - Saga Dawa Düchen

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Wisdom Spotlight

June 5 · Issue #5 · View online

A monthly spotlight on Dharma education and practice resources from Samye Institute.


The Significance of Saga Dawa
Dear Student,
The month of Saga Dawa is one of the most important in the Buddhist Calendar. It starts from the new moon of the fourth month ending with the full moon of the next month.
This year Saga Dawa is from May 23 to June 21. The most special day of this month, June 5th, is the full moon day or 15th day called Saga Dawa Duchen. In Tibetan, “Duchen” means great occasion. All virtuous deeds during this time are multiplied 100,000 times.
Saga Dawa honors and celebrates the three main events in Buddha Shakyamuni’s life:
1) The Birth of Buddha in Lumbini, also known as Vesak in Asia
2) Buddha’s Enlightenment under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya
3) Buddha’s Parinirvaṇa (death)in Kushinagar
During Saga Dawa, especially, we honor the Buddha’s life events by accumulating merit through virtuous deeds and generosity.
This is an excellent time to consider the merit and virtuous deeds of Shakyamuni Buddha as well of all who have responded to the coronavirus crisis. Phakchok Rinpoche says “Practitioners should take advantage of all opportunities to increase the accumulation of merit easily and swiftly”.
These past few months have been sad and frustrating for people all over the world. Throughout the world people have been participating in overcoming the virus either through working as health care professionals, supporting the community by maintaining services, or seriously changing behavior to reduce contagion. Many have experienced hardships in doing so.
As we do with the Buddha, we can rejoice in the merit accumulated by doctors, nurses, every type of health care workers and all the people working to support the economic, transport, and public infrastructure systems. For those of us house bound, don’t forget that your willingness to abide by these constraints is also an act of consideration and virtue. We can honor all these activities by acknowledging our gratitude and dedicating the merit.
Daily recitation of the practice of Buddha Shakyamuni: “Treasury of Blessings” brings immense benefit. This practice honors the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion and is a source of inspiration for the accumulation and dedication of merit.
There are several ways to accumulate even more merit. Traditionally the most important were making pilgrimages, visiting monasteries, holy places, and great masters. But with the corona virus being so widespread these customary deeds are not possible for most of us. Instead, as Tulku Migmar advises, we can rely on other traditional methods of generosity- helpful deeds in the community and donations of money and goods to dharma centers. Donations to community services and to those compromised by the virus are equally virtuous.
With Blessings
Ani Marcia
Wisdom Spotlight on Saga Dawa
Three excellent postings on the Samye Institute website address these topics in more detail.
Saga Dawa - The 100,000 Multiplying Month
Remembering the Buddha on Saga Dawa Duchen - Samye Institute
The Treasury of Blessings: A Practice of Buddha Śākyamuni
Latest Wisdom Blogs
Samye Institute posts regular wisdom blogs, covering various aspects of Buddhist practice, ritual and education. Here’s what we posted in the last month.
Being Respectful to Those of High Status and One's Elders - Samye Institute
Caregiving at a Distance And the Paramita of Generosity - Samye Institute
Dhāraṇī and Mantra: A Brief Introduction - Samye Institute
Showing Respect to the Learned - Samye Institute
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Educational Resources on Samye Institute
The following courses and practice support programs are currently available on Samye Institute. We are constantly working on more material to support your practice. If there is something specific you would like to see, please let us know by replying to this email.
Please note that a number of these courses are now offered on a donation basis. Feel free to pay whatever you wish to access them, even if that is zero.
About Samye Institute
Do you know that we’ve published over 500 pieces of content since our inception? On SamyeInstitute.org we offer a large archive of audio, video, and written teachings including many teachings directly from Phakchok Rinpoche.
All of these articles include key points and many offer reflection exercises or contemplations. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to or watch these teachings before, we hope that you will take the time to explore them.
We encourage you to regularly browse the archive or search it for topics that may be of particular interest.
Please Support Us
Here are a few ways you can support Samye Institute and its activities.
  • ​A regular or one-time donation - We are a non-profit organization that relies heavily on volunteer and donor support. You can either become a supporting member by making a regular monthly donation or make a one-time donation by visiting https://samyeinstitute.org/donate.
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  • Contribute to a fund for retreatants - One of our deeply held principles at Samye is to facilitate and inspire long-term retreat amongst our global community. We have recently made a small fund available to support dedicated and serious practitioners who want to spend time in retreat. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please visit https://samyeinstitute.org/donations/retreat-fund.
  • Set up a local Dharma-stream group - Dharma-stream is a series of regular video teachings directly from Phakchok Rinpoche, designed to be viewed in a group setting. For more information about Dharma-stream and how to start a group, please visit https://samyeinstitute.org/dharma-stream.
About the Author
Ani Marcia was a resident for 16 years at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde in California engaged in study and center administration. Prior to that she was a student at Green Gulch Zen Center near San Francisco for a decade. She was a midwife and midwife educator prior to her move to Gomde. She now lives in Singapore near her family and is involved at Rangjung Yeshe Oddiyana.
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