Twice a year in the Spring and the Fall, Jodo Shinshu Buddhists gather to welcome in a new season. The celebration is called Ohigan which literally means the Other Shore. If we can imagine you and I standing on this shore looking across a vast expanse of water and on the other shore a land of bliss, peace and happiness. That land would be the world of Enlightenment. As we stand on this shore and view the peace and serenity of the Other Shore, we become more intimately aware of this shore that we stand on. We realize that we can be selfish, undisciplined, immoral, lazy, intolerant, mean and ignorant. This is the world of samsara, the world of suffering.
Ohigan or the Spring Equinox is when we can see and feel the harmony in the world around us. The sun rises directly from the East and sets directly in the West. The length of day and night are equal and the weather tends to be very mild. This is when conditions are right for the practice of selfless sharing, discipline, diligence, patience loving kindness and wisdom.
As Jodoshinshu Buddhists, it is a time for deep self reflection on all that we have received from others as well as the world. It is a time to reflect on our imperfect self and be reminded that we have already received the mind of true entrusting. Amida Buddha’s Great Vow is directed toward all sentient beings including all in the world of Samsara.
How grateful I am to have encountered this wonderful teaching. Please join us on March 17th at 10:00 for our Ohigan Celebration.