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Daily Connect: A Buddhist Approach to Passover
Submitted by Ethan Nichtern on Mon, 4/18/2011, 10:39am
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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by Eman Nep