The Wesak Festival occurs annually at the full moon when the sun is in Taurus (usually the full moon in May). Traditional Buddhists celebrate the birth, death, and enlightenment of the Buddha on this day.

The Wesak Festival honors the work of spiritual teachers from all paths during the previous year. Its legend involves both the Buddha and the Christ. At the moment the full moon’s light falls on a certain hidden valley in the Himalayas, it is said, the Buddha appears in a globe of brilliant white light. At the front of the valley is a flat rock bearing a crystal bowl filled with a spiritually-charged liquid. The Christ, presiding over the ceremony, intones a mantra known only to him. The mantra floods all earthly realms with potent spiritual energy, which charges the teachers from all the world’s religions that have gathered in the valley. It is also a signal for the Buddha to release a corresponding charge of spiritual light and energy to all the planet’s inhabitants. This flood of energy is called the Great Outpouring.

Following the tradition that Namadeva Acharya (Thomas Ashley-Farrand) started in 1975, the last few years I have continued a Wesak observance by chanting a handful of mantras from many of the world’s religions. The primary mantra in the observance is the Great Mani mantra (Om Mani Padme Hum), which is chanted anywhere from one to ten hours.

Spend some time working with this mantra over the next day or two, and you’ll see some great residual effects. Your soul will thank you for it. 🙂 I spent an hour with this mantra yesterday, and I felt all my spirit friends being pulled in to me–I’m sure they wanted to chant along with me too!