Buddha's Enlightenment Day 

Zen practitioners, meditators and the merely curious can celebrate the enlightenment of the Buddha at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at the Indianapolis Zen Center.

Robert Blender, the center’s abbot, says the simple ceremony celebrates the event of Shakyamuni (historical) Buddha’s awakening. “Essentially, that story is that he meditated for some extended period of time and saw the morning star and had a great realization,” Blender says.

Buddha’s Enlightenment Day is the most important day of the year in the Buddhist tradition. The Indianapolis Zen Center will join Zen monasteries around the world in hosting a week of intensive meditation practice prior to the holiday.

The ceremony itself, according to Blender, is open to anyone. “Actually, for us it’s not even a sectarian ceremony. It’s a celebration of every human being’s potential to wake up in this life.”

The gathering includes chanting, a short silent meditation and a talk by dharma master Linc Rhodes. Participants should wear comfortable clothing; mats and cushions are provided, as well as a limited number of chairs. More information: 317-921-9902.

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