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by Anura Guruge
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Click to ENLARGE. Phases of the Moon for November 2015.
Did you notice that I have been on a 6-week vacation? Well, I have which is why you saw so many posts on this blog, and others, e.g., Papam & Lumix FZ1000, of late. Yes, I took 6 weeks off from writing any books. That is the longest break I have taken, as an author of books, in 7 years. I had got into the habit of starting a new book WHILE the previous one was being published or proofed. But I decided to take a break this time. Given the hard deadline that I had for the ‘Pope Francis Visit to U.S.‘ book — i.e., having it published before the pope arrived — I had been writing like a crazy person for 6 weeks. I realized that that wasn’t much fun.
Well the vacation is over. This week I am going to start writing again — and you will notice that I don’t consider this, i.e., all my blog posts, writing! Writing to me, these days, is that of writing books.
I am going to TRY writing two books, on two very different subjects, in parallel. One about ‘Vatican intrigues’ and the other, autobiographical, of ‘growing up a Buddhist’. So yes, I will be writing one book about Catholicism and the other about Buddhism. Makes sense right? Well the plan is 2 days on one, 2 days on the other and then 3 DAYS off to do other things, including the blogs and Websites.
My plan was to take Saturday, Sunday and Monday off. Then work Tuesday & Wednesday on the Buddhism book and Thursday & Friday on the Vatican book.
Then a friend, a reformed Jew, who I have known for decades, suggested that I should TAKE OFF Friday, Saturday and Sunday — so as to ‘cover all bases’!
That amused me. Friday, Saturday & Sunday have NO significance in Buddhism. The Buddhist calendar is based on the phases of the Moon.
In the 1960s we in Ceylon actually scrapped the Western calendar and went to a phases of the Moon based calendar. Since we call the full Moon Poya, this calendar was called the ‘Poya-calendar‘ 0r more commonly the ‘P-calendar‘ (and PLEASE no urination jokes). So the 4 days of the month corresponding to the 4 phases were ‘P-days’. The day prior to those were ‘P-1 Days’. So ‘P-Days’ were the equivalent of Sundays and ‘P-1’ was ‘Saturday’. P+1 = Monday. Yes?
Well NOT as simple as you would think. For the dates for the phases used in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) could be +/- 1 day OFF from those used in the rest of the World and MOREOVER, as you can see from the above image for November 25, the 4 phases do not happen exactly a week apart. So we also had to have P+6.
My adoptive father was one of the architects of this P-calendar. So I got to see it evolve, first hand. We used it in Ceylon for a number of years. I am actually going to write about it in my Buddhist book. So I am not going to talk much more about it.
So I was thinking. My 3 days off. Should I do: Saturday & Sunday (which will work well with the kids) and the the P-days? Might be neat. Will have the advantage that it will FORCE me to pay attention to the phases of the Moon.
Friday has NO meaning for me. So this could be neat. I will let you know.