The month of March is usually marked by the transformation of winter to spring; it is marked as a time when the cold hard ground has revitalized and yields a new cycle of beginning. The snow melts and the rain comes, all in hopes of bringing forth new growth in the year. It invokes the notion of transition from the introspection of the winter and bridges to the spring to produce new life. Yet, it does not necessarily mean we shed the old entirely but take the opportunity to grow from the cold and become stronger.
With that being said, let me take this time to broaden our cultural horizon, seeing this month through a new lens, many miles from the Western way of thinking. Travel with me to the Far East where we will look at a mirror of modern spiritualism through the practice of Buddhism. How it relates to the practices that we have familiarized ourselves with and pay homage to this ancient practice that still captures the minds of 535 million people around the world.
Traditionally many of us involved in the Spiritual community are typically practicing through our socialized lens of spiritualism. Whether you are meditating at home, learning to read star charts, palms or practicing the demonstration of mediumship.
Transcending into more spiritual practices in the Far East is the shamanic practice, which has developed into what we know as modern-day Buddhism. These teachings primarily surround what is known as the eightfold path. This may or may not be familiar to you but works in tandem with some ideas that have been passed down in modern spiritualism. One of the major connections being the belief in reincarnation of the soul or the term “rebirth.” The idea that the soul continues even after death and will return to the earthly plane until insight has been fully achieved. Buddhists have deemed this secondary plane Nirvana, yet it takes many cycles or saṃsāra to achieve this. For each embodiment is meant to teach the soul a lesson and this knowledge will be carried on into the next life.
A beautiful thing that I came across when researching was the term bodhisattva, pronounced (boodi-saht-va). It is a person who is able to achieve Nirvana and reach the rank of a Buddha but chooses instead to lead a sentient life among others in order to act as guides. I found this idea to be familiar with my depiction of spirit guides. Beings that love unconditionally serve my higher self and continuously help move others into higher planes of consciousness.
Buddhism encourages individuals to let go of material things. They believe that one need not be tied to the material world, for it is temporary. There is a connection between the mind and body in this practice but it is said by monastic monks that enlightenment happens in the mind. How much do we venture into our own minds for our personal enlightenment? I have found that some of my hardest challenges have been the greatest learning tool in this life journey.