As a result, Vesak is considered the most auspicious date in the Buddhist calendar and celebrations are held all over Southeast Asia between April and May on the day of the full moon. Celebrated as Buddha's birthday, it is regarded as an ideal time to engage in compassionate service, liberate captive animals, spend time in meditation and listen to Buddhist teachings. Master Sheng Yen, in his book, Subtle Wisdom, offers this insight about Vesak:
"Does a perfectly enlightened being like the Buddha need a celebration in his honor? Of course not! It is for our own benefit that we celebrate his birthday. On Buddha's birthday we offer him food and flowers, and we chant and perform ceremonies in his honor. Is the Buddha aware of this? It is we who enjoy the food and the flower arrangements, and it is we who derive benefit from the chanting and ceremonies."
In Tulsa, we will celebrate Vesak with a meditation retreat, Friday, May 28, 6 - 8 pm.