Chokhor Duchen is being celebrated on August 1st this year. It is a holiday that celebrates what could be said to be the beginning of the Buddhism.
The story is that the person we call the Buddha attained enlightenment. Following this great attainment, he didn’t teach for seven weeks. He just lived an awakened life on his own. He was concerned other people would have a really difficult time learning the same things about life that he had learned.
Then he was inspired to teach. He realized that some people could understand, that enlightenment is our true nature so how could it remain so thoroughly hidden an ungraspable? At a place called Deer Park he gave the first teachings. He taught about suffering and the way out of suffering.
This is called “The Turning of the Wheel of the Dharma.”
It’s the beginning of Buddhism as we know it. This holiday is sometimes celebrated by making pilgrimages or making offerings to the Buddha. But, more than that, it’s a big opportunity to reflect on the path and how it’s impacting our lives. If not for the Buddha making that decision to teach 7 weeks after his enlightenment, there would be no Buddhism.
My community, The Rime Center, is doing an online ceremony to commemorate Chokhor Duchen. Click here if you’re interested in joining us.
Join us for Chökhor Düchen, the ‘Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma’. The Rime Center will be hosting a special online puja, Monday August 1st at 6pm, to commemorate the Festival of Turning the Wheel of Dharma.