Our meditation to bring in the New Year was filled with love and joy.
This year we had one of the largest turnouts in the history of the Bodhi with over 70 people, including families with children, from as far away as New York. The festivities began with a musical performance by community members David, Tamara and Andrew. We were blessed this year to have our wonderful meal prepared with love by cooks from Taiwan, Vietnam and America.
As the cooks bustled about in the warmth of the kitchen over 500 farolitos were placed and lit along the walkways and throughout the grounds. Following our evening meal, we were guided along the farolitos lined, gently lighted walkways to the Zendo where we began our sitting and walking meditation. The groups, women first then men, also enjoyed a short trip to the hot springs before returning to a magnificent bonfire. The record-breaking group gathered in the warmth there to share healing words and stories and, upon midnight, 108 gongs rang in the New Year.
On New Year’s Day the Rise and Shine Bells sounded at 8 am. Participants gathered in the dining hall for coffee, tea, homemade yogurt and delightful pastries. Farolitos were removed and the entire community came together in the Sutra Hall for a Traditional Zen Buddhist New Year’s Day Ceremony, including chanting and sharing of incense. The attached group photo was taken following the ceremony.
While many in attendance had been a part of the Bodhi New Year’s celebration in the past, we had many new friends join us this year. Many expressed their joy at having “found a community that speaks to their spiritual nature”. All who come here, choosing to call the Bodhi their place of learning and retreat, find their unique needs met. A genuine feeling of community resounded throughout the group during our time together.
Thank you to all who came, in form and in spirit, to join us in welcoming the New Year in a meaningful way.
The Abbess and Board of Trustees