Monday, December 8, 2008

12/8 Buddha Sun

photo ©Kevin Baird. All rights reserved.

'Buddha Sun' photograph by Kevin Baird

Buddha Sun is my name for this spectacular photo which was featured on The sun became Buddha one October evening in Southern California to radiate blessings to the world. A magical sunset photo!

Kevin says: "At first the cloudless sky suggested a 'boring' sunset;. Instead, it was unforgettable."

The scientific explanation from Atmospheric Optics: Multiple inversion layers produced the complex mirage. The cold California Ocean Current had cooled the air next to the ocean surface. Above that there were layers of warm dry air driven from inland by high pressure over Utah and Nevada.


gautama-buddha The day of enlightenment. December 8, 596 BC Buddha attained enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Image shows enlightened Gautama Buddha sitting under the Bodhi tree.

It is said that on the morning of his enlightenment he looked up and saw the morning star (Venus) and cried in wonder:

That's it! That's it! That's it. That's me! That's me that's shining so brilliantly! How wondrous, how wondrous! All beings are endowed with this pure nature! What a wondrous, astonishing thing has been realized! All the ten thousand things, all the flowers, all the trees, all the rocks, all things everywhere are shining brilliantly!

For Buddhists today is a day of remembrance and meditation. It is a reminder that with right effort and understanding anyone can become enlightened. Zen Buddhists begin an intensive sesshin (meditation practice) on December 1 which, lasts until through the 8th. They often stay up all night in meditation to bring in Rohatsu (the morning of Buddha's realization).  Colored lights symbolizing the many pathways to enlightenment are strung and turned on each evening and candles honoring the path of enlightenment are lit for 30 days. Fiscus trees (ficus religiousa) are decorated with colored lights, stings of beads symbolizing the unity and shiny ornaments representing the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha). Children make cookies in the shape of a tree (Bodhi tree) or a heart shaped leaf.

 Happy Bodhi Day! May all sentient beings attain perfect, complete, precious Enlightenment.


Photograph by Kevin Baird October 13, 2005 near Palomar Airport, San Diego CA.  Kevin is a freelance editor at Green Desert Productions. You can see more of Kevin's wonderful photography at kbaird on


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