Uposatha Day: Buddhism and the Full Moon

Full Moon July


Many traditions celebrate the Full Moon. One that many people don’t know about is Buddhism.

For a buddhist, the day of the Full Moon is one of the days to practice the five (in some traditions it is eight) precepts. Siddhartha Gautama, the “original” Buddha, was born on a full moon day, renunciated worldly pleasures on a full moon day, became enlightened on a full moon day, and delivered his first sermon was on a full moon day. He also left behind his physical human form on a full moon day.

All over the world, Buddhist monastics and laypersons alike take this day to observe the Five Precepts and deepen their practice. You can give it a go, also. The Five Precepts are:

1. Not causing harm to other beings

2. Not taking the ungiven

3. Refraining from sexual misconduct

4. Refraining from incorrect speech

5. Refraining from intoxicants which lead to carelessness

The days to practice this are known as Uposatha days, and of course there is a sutta based on it. You can find audio and transcript of the Uposatha Sutta here.

Practice takes one step at a time. Even if you only practice on Uposatha days, that is a start. One breath a day is still meditation; one observance of the precepts is still observance of the precepts. If the intent is pure, the practices will become easier to implement in day to day life. As I always say, “You have to start somewhere.”

May your practice benefit all beings _/|\_ Many full moon blessings to all of you. Namaste.

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