Magha Puja

I decided to cheat this year and post last year’s interview.

I have little time recently to tend to this blog, but fortunately you can learn something from interviews past. This interview was my first holiday interview. The interviewee was a good friend of mine, a young monk who also happens to be an enthusiastic leader, charismatic teacher, and a humble meditator. I’m delighted to be able to share this interview again.

Who are you?

A young (for now) Asian American monk who ordained in the Thai Forest Tradition.

What’s the Buddhist significance of this holiday?

Observing the spontaneous gathering of 1,250 enlightened monks, to hear the Buddha teach on a full moon night.

What does this holiday mean to you?

That so many liberated beings in saffron robes were gathered together in the same place to listen to the words of their liberated teacher, a fully awakened one, is itself beautiful and powerful. Imagine being in the presence of all those noble beings. Beyond that, the Ovada Patimokkha Gatha, what the Buddha taught that night 2,600 years ago, stands the test of time as the best and most concise (not to mention the most quoted) summary of the whole of the Theravada Teachings: “Avoid evil, do good, purify the mind, this is the Teaching of the Buddhas.”

What do you plan to do on/for Magha Puja?

Share the Buddhist Teachings with young people and then attempt to stay up late into the night to meditate and listen to the Dhamma.

You can check out other holiday posts on the holiday calendar page.