BUDDHA’S ENLIGHTENMENT DAY FASTING RETREAT
On the 15th day of the fourth month many thousands of moons ago, Buddha achieved enlightenment. This is a very meaningful day, celebrated at Kadampa centers worldwide with a special two day practice of purification. This practice, known as Nyungne, deepens our love and compassion and is an active way to work toward world peace.
While most celebrations are times of feasting, Nyungne is marked by fasting, along with a number of rounds each day of prostrations to Buddha in his most compassionate form, Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara.
When we participate in this retreat with a compassionate wish — to become enlightened for the benefit of all — Buddha’s enlightenment day becomes an opportunity to purify negative karma as well as a chance to create abundant good fortune, positive energy, and future happiness.
Each day begins with precepts at 7am, with the Sadhana, A Pure Life.
During these precepts, we promise not to engage in negative actions of body, speech, and mind for the whole day. Motivated by compassion, we take eight vows for 24 hours and engage in rounds of prostrations. As part of the vows, we abstain from eating any food after lunch (and no food at all on the second day and forgo wearing perfume or jewelry or any other ornaments.