I had intended not to quote Robert here and yet in this chapter he shows how words can be like Manjushri's sword of wisdom. It cuts away delusion, aversion and longing, to reveal understanding, equanimity and compassion.
"Once a year on the Buddha's birthday we overtly share our promises to restore our own original innocence. Once a moment we share them by example." Robert Aitken
The second part of this speaks to me more than the first. I'm not much for ceremonies and commemorative rituals and I don't discriminate between those that are Buddhist, social or familial. The second part of this quote by Robert points to why. So rarely is it pointed out that the reason for ceremony and ritual is not for the party and presents but to remind us that in this very moment our being is the expression of life. The life that the ceremony and ritual are attempting to point us towards.
My question is do you need ceremony and ritual or can you jump start to the moment by moment expression of life?