by Angela Oh
HOW DO WE CELEBRATE?
Celebration is a part of human existence - just like suffering and sadness.
No matter the circumstances of a person, there is always an inclination that leads to celebration, whether in a quiet way by oneself; or, in a collective with others. Being in nature, one can celebrate the miracles of our natural world and truly feel the joy that rises with being oriented toward such miracles being brought to one’s senses and consciousness. Being in community with others, one becomes One with others.
In my many communities (gender, race, spiritual, geographic, political, and family - among others), I have an abundance of opportunities to celebrate and, there are even times when communities intersect and glide with one another in a moment of laughter, insight, or recognition of a shared memory.
We celebrate in the present, always with memories and hopes. We celebrate with ritual, both known and invented in the moment. We celebrate with food, with color, with music, with dance, crafts and most important: with time shared. Person to person, person to nature, person to community, and person to spirit — the abundance of opportunities to celebrate are only limited by the awareness (or lack) of the fact that this too, is a part of living.
How do we celebrate? There are an infinite number of ways. Why do we celebrate? It’s natural; and invites “letting go!”
Angela Oh is a mediator who helps resolve claims of discrimination in the workplace, housing, public services/accommodations. Her work also involves claims of hate crimes based on protected class status. She is also a student of Zen and trains at Daihonzan Chozen-ji in the Kalihi Valley on the island of Oahu. Her interest is to promote peace through sharing of tea, food, and meditation.