Many traditions continue to follow the rhythm of the natural world for their rituals and festivals. Just as a sailor sets his course according to the wind that is available, it is always easier to work with, rather than against, the ebb and flow of the energies that surround us. In this way, our goals become easier to attain and we cultivate a relationship of awareness and harmony between ourselves and the external forces that pervade the universe.
In the Bön Buddhist tradition, great attention is paid to these forces and our relationship with them. During each lunar month, the 8th, 15th, 22nd and 30th day are considered auspicious. These are the days of the Full Moon, the two Quarter Moons and the New Moon. On these days, the power and impact of all of our actions is multiplied. Practitioners engage in virtuous activity such as reciting mantra and prayers, giving to charity, setting free animals that are designated to be killed for food,and making offerings to the enlightened beings. They are also extra mindful to avoid negative actions. Traditionally, even lay people avoid meat and alcohol on these days. When choosing a date to begin a new project, perform a healing ritual, or other special ceremony for example, it is very auspicious to choose the day of the Full Moon, as it is this day when the energy of the month is at its peak. In general, the time from the New Moon to the Full Moon is a time of increasing and cultivating. The time from the Full Moon to the New Moon is a time more appropriate for purification and letting go.