All over the world, Buddhists gather in early December for retreats that celebrate the Buddha’s enlightenment. This half day retreat includes sitting and walking meditation, a light breakfast, a dharma talk by Nomon Tim Burnett, and a special Rohatsu celebration.
Our Guiding Teacher wrote about Rohatsu:
When Shakyamuni Buddha sat under the bodhi tree, and looked up, and saw the morning star, the candle of the Dharma was lit. The Dharma candle that Buddha lit almost two thousand five hundred years ago has been burning ever since. If you use a candle to light another candle and you use that candle to light another candle and that candle to light another candle, you can keep the same flame of the original candle burning for thousands and thousands of years. And this is our tradition: the single candle flame that the Buddha lit thousands of years ago has literally been passed on from candle to candle to the present to us. And we can see everything in the light of the candle of the Dharma.
— Zoketsu Norman Fischer, Green Gulch Rohatsu Sesshin, 1996