Thursday, 9 December 2010

Katina Buddhist Lent Ends

Katina Buddhist Lent Ends Image
KATINA 2011: While part of the world sinks in debt, goes up in flames, or is increasingly OCCUPIED by those unwilling to sit still while corrupt officials and corporate entities ruin life on the planet, the second most significant event on the Buddhist calendar is taking place.

The most significant event is, of course, the enlightenment-birth-passing of the Buddha, all of which are said to have occurred on the full moon day of the same month (in India called Vesakha).

Just behind this thrice blessed "Buddhist X-mas" (Vesak) is the Katina Robe Offering Ceremony following the annual Rains Retreat period of intensive monastic practice and lay study. Through the Asian rainy season, corresponding to our July-October, fully ordained monastics retreat into a period of intensive practice and teaching.

That period, sometimes referred to as "Buddhist Lent" (Katina) ends with a special sturdy robe offering. And this celebration is said to be the most meritorious offering of the year (possibly because it is done collectively to very ethical monastics who have been practicing and purifying their hearts for an entire season. Karma is such that it is not only the doer's intention but the recipient's character that determines the significance of the act).

Katina is being celebrated at Theravada temples across the US, particularly concentrated in the Los Angeles region, from cultures spanning Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Burma, Bangladesh, Thailand, Laos, and the American insight meditation (vipassana) tradition.

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