Shakyamuni Buddha saw the morning star and was enlightened, and he said,“I and the great earth and beings, simultaneously achieve the Way.”
— from the Denkoroku
Each year, on 8 December, Zen Buddhists celebrate Rohatsu, the anniversary of the Buddha’s awakening. As he sat, through the night of 7 through 8 of December, and upon seeing the morning star (Venus), he was enlightened. The brightness of this planet was seen by Buddha from the depths of one week of samadhi.
There will be Zen monks and lay practitioners, sitting zazen for a day, a week, a month, or three months retreat, in honour of this celebration, each seeking enlightenment.
I have participated in this celebration myself, a number of times, as a Buddhist. Last year, I sat Rohatsu, alone, at my Master’s Ashram, in Portugal, out under the stars. It was a precious and beautiful night.
This year, I did not to sit. Zazen is in every moment now, continuous contemplation on my True Nature, the Self. Every day is a retreat, every moment is awareness. If only we look, we will see.
Yesterday, I joined Sri Mooji, via online broadcast, in 2 hours of silent contemplation on our True Nature. If we hear these pointings clearly and directly in our heart, and contemplate them, not just now, but we rest in this place, we are awake to our One True Self. Nothing is missing.
If you think this enlightenment the Buddha attained can’t be attained by you, don’t think.
There’s nothing to do, nothing to attain, just simply to let go of all striving, of all concepts, of everything. To drop everything, and to remain, naked, as pure awareness, this is enlightenment.
It is ordinary beyond our imagination. It is before our imagination. It simply is what is, seen clearly, without the filter of thought, concept, emotion, imagination.
This Rohatsu morning, look up at the sky, see the morning star, and awake.