Rohatsu means date in Japanese- 8th day of the 12th month. and is celebrated as Buddha's awakening. When we use a date as meaningful it is because of a lingering experience. For example, May 31 has meaning but April 26th no longer does. So, 9/11, December 7th, February 11, 10/10/69 and 9/24/90 have meaning...to some.
Awakening and staying somewhat so, has gavitas. We don't question such the date but are aroused by the experience. This is seeing our true self within the meaning. Meaning is the wrestling of two options weighing options. So as Buddhist we are less interested in date than experience. A date is a printed menu.
Tradition varies as to which date is celebrated as "Enlightenment Day," by Buddhist practitioners. For us at The Falmouth Soto Zen Sangha we don't celebrate the date, 12/8, but undergo the experience. It is the equivalent of celebrating a wedding anniversary by getting married- again. Also this is not a reenactment, just as when we sit it is the same as the original Buddha, for without this being so, the meaning changes, then where is the faith?
How can we say this? Ah, because Shakyamuni Buddha did not say, it because I say so, but rather suggested, try it and see what happens. It is not by faith but experience that we undergoing awakening, and then we speak of it as a meaningful happening, and further, everyone has this capacity to awake and see more clearly each moment. Then, when asked what it is like for us we say, you must experience the removing-of-the-covers that detour awakening, we suggest you do what Buddha did 2500 years ago and what I do each day- Sitting Buddha.
This Friday December 4, from 6:30Pm through December 5, 6:30AM, we sit 12 hours. You may join us any time, via ZOOM for as much as you wish. If you have questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our December, 2020, Schedule
12/1-12/31, 2020: Morning Zazen from 6:30-7:15 ET via ZOOM address above
12/1-12/31, 2020: Dokusan by appointments email: email@example.com
12/1 Tuesday night service: Rohatsu is Not a Date
12/4 Rohatsu, 6:30Pm Friday through December 5, Saturday, 6:30AM, we sit 12 hours you may join us any time, via ZOOM for as long as you wish:
12/8 Tuesday night service: Experiencing Two Schools of Buddhism with Fusatsu Apriel Jessup Searcy
12/15 Tuesday night service: The Zen of Scrooge
12/22 Tuesday night service: Taking Jukai with Hokashi Chuck Cloutier
12/29 Tuesday night service: Ask Sensei: Opportunity to Explore What is On and Off Your Mind