I am occasionally asked, as a Buddhist, why I observe Ash Wednesday and Lent. I was raised catholic, and as a child, Lent was that annoying time when I’d have to give up chocolate or ice cream. I did not understand the deeper message until I was older.

As a Buddhist, Lent has become a time of quiet contemplation. It is now a reminder of the impermanence of all things. There is beauty in impermanence. It allows us to better appreciate the moments in the present. It allows us to spark our awareness that all things pass away, our moments are magical, and our experiences are ripe with the whole spectrum of human emotion.

During Lent, I take time to pray and meditate each day with the intention of compassion for this planet. This year, Pope Francis has appealed “to everyone, believers and nonbelievers alike” to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, “a day of prayer and fasting for peace.”

Will you join me in a day of fasting and hold the hope of peace & the end of suffering for so many on this tiny little planet we ALL call home?

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