Rohatsu Without a Hero

The story of the Buddha’s Enlightenment is usually told as a quest story with a lone hero. What does that miss?

On the first night of our sesshin (residential retreat) celebrating the Buddhist holiday of Rohatsu, we read a pretty standard, simplified recounting of the story. It starts with Siddartha Gautama riding away from his family and palace and ends with his transformation into Shakaymuni Buddha. The plot is pretty familiar, really.

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