Join us every Sunday for a special practice
Uposatha Days are special days to dedicate ourselves to the practice of Buddhism as a philosophy of life. In the Muluposatha Sutta, the Buddha established the observance days called Uposatha Days as the “days for the cleansing of the defiled mind.” Originally Uposatha Days were held during the Full Moon in which the monastic and lay members would fully dedicate themselves to the practice of the Buddhist teachings. Lay members would practice the Eight Precepts instead of the original Five, forgo eating meals after noontime, and practice meditation late into the night, in order to imitate monastic life. In addition, monastics would practice confession and the chanting of the Patimokkha, the monastic rules of conduct.
For our 21st century American culture, our founding teacher has provided an updated version of Uposatha by identifying eight elements that members and friends can easily practice once a week on Sundays. Since our Fellowship is not part of a monastic order, but is non-denominational, and completely lay-oriented and controlled, our updated Uposatha practice naturally differs from what is traditionally experienced in Buddhist countries. Our version includes the following eight elements.
- A concerted effort to practice the Five Precepts.
- A concentrated effort to practice the Noble Eightfold Path.
- A dedicated effort to attend our Practice & Talk or Family Practice meetings if you live near to our center. If not, practice element 4 and 5 below.
- A committed effort to practice sitting and/or walking meditation.
- A faithful effort to read some Buddhist literature or listen to a Buddhist teaching.
- A keen effort to eat vegetarian or raw food meals.
- A determined effort to practice generosity to others and the sangha.
- A resolute effort to practice kindness with all sentient beings.
To learn more about observing Uposatha, and practicing the above Buddhist practices, we highly recommend attending our Practice & Talk meetings at 9 a.m. on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month and take our Buddhism 1.0 Course.
Special Uposatha Days
The Buddhist Faith Fellowship also recognizes special Uposatha Days that correspond to holidays or when a particular month may have a fifth Sunday of the month. For the extra fifth Sunday of the month, the Fellowship may host a special Satipaṭṭhāna Day (Mindfulness Retreat) to support members and friends in their meditation practice.
These special Uposatha Days for the most part include Buddhist holidays in which the practitioner puts special attention to recollect the significance and qualities of the holiday and the teachings. The Fellowship recognizes both Theravada and Mahayana holidays. The below list shows the months in which these special observance days take place; visit our web site to confirm the specific dates.
April – Flower Festival celebrates the Buddha’s birth.
February – Parinirvana Day recognizes the Buddha death and last teaching.
May – Vesak celebrates the entire life and legacy of the Buddha.
May – Sangha Day celebrates the community and the path.
December – Enlightenment Day celebrates the awakening of the Buddha.