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Daily Connect: A Buddhist Approach to Passover

Happy Passover, pesach, Buddhist Passover, Passover, Buddhist, Buddhist practice, sangha, ganachakra, Michael Pollan, shiksa, Seder, Passover Seder(Follow Ethan on Facebook or Twitter)

May all beings be free from oppression, both internal and external.

Happy Passover everyone! Pesach actually begins at sundown. Though I am not technically Jewish (thanks a lot dad for procreating with a shiksa) a Passover Seder remains one of my favorite holidays of the year.

There are two reasons for this, which I equate quite easily with my Buddhist practice.

First, Passover is all about freedom from oppression through the telling of an archetypal story of liberation. If Buddhism is about anything to me, it is about finding freedom for ourselves and doing whatever we can to help others find freedom as well.

Second, a Seder is the perfect blend of ritual, narrative, community and food. Michael Pollan and others have discussed how the sharing of a meal  can be the biggest community building tool we have. It reminds me of the Vajrayana Buddhist (Tantric) practice of ganachakra (literally "gathering circle," or feast), where meditators come together for contemplation, ritual, food, and fun.   Passover is about sangha, and eating altogether should be all about community as well. I'm looking forward to a dear friend's seder tomorrow night and view it as part of my practice of sangha.

What holidays do you connect with to help build your path of awakening?

(image from Israellycool.com)

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one of my favorite holidays!

Considering my background and various iterations as an Italian catholic buju, I behooves me to celebrate holidays, and lots of 'em. Passover is one of my favorites, for just the reasons you mention: freedom, liberation, community.

A nice passage from Rabbi Rachel Barenblat's Haggadah:

"We break the matzah as we broke the
chains of slavery, and as we break chains
which bind us today. We will no more be
fooled by movements which free only
some of us, in which our so-called
“freedom” rests upon the enslavement or
embitterment of others.

"Tonight we celebrate our liberation from Egypt—in Hebrew, Mitzrayim, literally 'the narrow place.' But narrow places exist in more ways than one. Let this holiday make us mindful of internal bondage which, despite outward freedom, keeps us enslaved. This year, let our celebration of Passover stir us to shake off these chains. Our liberation is in our own hands."

[Her monicker is The Velveteen Rabbi]: http://velveteenrabbi.com/2006-Haggadah.pdf

Plus, I like the food.

A Cat Post!

Finally :) 

Happy Passover Ethan!



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