The Present, With Purpose

5th January, 2015

by Erin Framel

With the start of a new year comes a chance to begin again: to look at our lives, reevaluate, let go, and discover our own path towards a more positive present. As I go about this annual practice, my mind drifts back to the mesmerizing experience of being a part of the Yi Peng festival of light in Chiang Mai, Thailand this past year.

For Buddhists, this traditional lantern ceremony symbolizes shedding anger, resentment, sadness, and sins ~ letting your worries float away as you pay homage to Buddha.
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The day of the festival, thousands gather in the sprawling field at Mai Jo University, arriving in all white garb with lanterns in hand. The ceremony begins at dusk as Buddhist monks begin their traditional chants, hypnotizing the masses into a reflective, silent trance. It’s a time for prayer, meditation, contemplation and gratitude, a moment of quiet in which to consider not only your individual life, but also your place in the great oneness of humanity. It’s emotional and deeply humbling. As the chanting comes to a close, the monks begin to light the lantern sticks, and the flames hastily radiate across the field. The lantern lighting has begun.
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There is a series of three releases: the first is for the Buddha, the second is for the Dharma, and the third is for the Sangha ~ the Three Jewels in which Buddhists take refuge and look toward for guidance. The sky erupts in light with each release as 10,000 lanterns simultaneously float into the sky and fireworks explode above them. I’ve never experienced anything so deeply awe-inspiring.YiPeng4
The ceremony, like the new year, is a reminder to live in the present, live in the positive, and live each day with purpose; a practice of shedding negativity, of letting your own darkness turn to light and slowly drift away.

Happy New Year to all ~ here’s hoping 2015 will be our best one yet!YiPeng5

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TheGlamourai is a webzine produced by Kelly Framel, a multi-media creative director based in downtown New York (but constantly bouncing around the world). Part fashion blog, part glossy mag, part fantasy travel portal, it's your ultimate online destination for stylish daydreams. Tune in for inspirational editorials, beauty tutorials, outfit ideas, DIYs, jet-set travel tips and more!
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