DAYS OF REFLECTION AND RENEWAL ROOTED IN THE TEACHINGS OF THE BUDDHA: THERAVADA NEW YEAR
On Tuesday, many of our Buddhist friends celebrated Theravada New Year. The symbolic elements of this celebration—sand and water—are simple. They are also particularly meaningful to all of us at Mexicali Blues. The tidal Damariscotta River runs right past our headquarters and many of our stores and homes are located on Maine’s coast. We are surrounded by sand and water and we know their powers of healing and renewal well.
In this Buddhist tradition, each grain of sand represents a mark on your karma—a deed or thought you regret, or an action that harmed another. Buddhists in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia build sand mounds at monasteries and along riverbanks in the days preceding the New Year. On Theravada New Year, these sand markers are washed away by waves, tides or other means, cleansing and renewing karma. Statues and images of the Buddha are bathed in the waters and monks and elders are sprinkled with water as well.
In the days following Theravada New Year (the days following the full moon), Theravada Buddhists engage in personal reflection on their own karma and on the life, death and wisdom of the Buddha. They share well wishes with friends and loved ones. And because we have dedicated April to digging deep within ourselves, letting go of negativity and renewing our positive sense of self, we are joining them.
This Tuesday was the warmest day we’ve had in Maine since October of last year. It was a day that drew us outside and to the shore. The water is still breathtakingly cold, the sand is still studded with chunks of snow and ice … but it is a bracing and beautiful reminder to clear our minds and thoughts and radiate love into the world.
Happy Theravada New Year to all of our friends!
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