The tree of enlightenment was tall and outstanding. Its trunk was diamond, its main boughs were lapis lazuli, its branches and twigs were of various precious elements. The leaves, spreading in all directions, provided shade, like clouds. The precious blossoms were of various colors, the branching twigs spread out their shadows. Also the fruits were jewels containing a blazing radiance. They were together with the flowers in great arrays. The entire circumference of the tree emanated light; within the light there rained precious stones, and within each gem were enlightening beings [Bodhisattvas], in great hosts like clouds, simultaneously appearing….The tree of enlightenment constantly gave forth sublime sounds speaking various truths without end. From the opening of The Avatamsaka Sutra.
Quoted from Converting Christmas on the Edmonton Buddhist Meditation Group website. There is an abundance of information and practical suggestions in this article as well as more from the Avatamsaka Sutra.
Our entry for the Allendale Church Inter-religious (is that a word?!) tree decorating event.
So there you have the basis of why we, as Buddhists, string coloured lights where we can, hang garlands from picture frames, decorate trees and generally fest up at this time of year.
For your eating pleasure – the receipt for Miso Gravy on the Edmonton Meditation Groups site is a classic. Michelle, who devised the recipe, reads here from time to time, I hope.
Happy Holidays and thanks to those who have sent cards and presents. All received with much gratitude. Please consider postings as my cards and presents to you.