Around 2600 years ago prince Siddhartha was born in Lumbini, present day Nepal, to the Shakya clan. During his birth the universe rejoiced. Many wise teachers during his time predicted that he would be a great spiritual leader of all beings. At the age of 29 he went on a spiritual search hoping to relieve the suffering inside of him and in others. He studied with many spiritual teachers. He sat many days under the bodhi tree until one day he understood his own suffering and how to bring happiness and peace into his life. Today we called him Shakyamuni Buddha, an awakened being of the Shakya family. Out of compassion he spent the rest of his life teaching how to relieve suffering and to bring happiness to ourselves and others. The Buddha’s teaching spread throughout India with every step he made, and his teaching continues till this day worldwide.
Every year in Plum Village we celebrate his love, peace and harmony for all beings. On this day we can take a moment to reflect on how we can continue the path of compassion and mindful living transmitted to us. Perhaps we would like to help an elder cross the road, or share a meal in mindfulness with friends, or plant a tree in our neighbourhood… Great love starts with small acts of kindness.