IOBT Obon Cemetery Visits 2021: Reflections & Logistics
Our annual Obon cemetery visits and services start tomorrow, July 27, 2021.
Bonye No Uta*
Lanterns aglow from the house to house,
Lighting the path of the Dharma
Those who live and those now gone
All come together this festival day.
Time that flows shall not return,
But deep within the cemetery’s moss
Hearts beckon each other, every year,
And loved ones meet, this Festival Day.
*(Original version in Japanese by S. Shibutani and Kiyomi Fujii)
Standing here in the cemetery surrounded by the living and the dead, we reflect on the fact that we would not be living our current lives if all of these people had not come before us. Each contributed in some way to life as we know it. Obon is a chance to acknowledge their lives, to say “Thank You” for what others have done and to hope that our lives will reflect that best qualities of those who have gone before.
As we head home to our homes, we should remember this moment and realize that we are never really alone; we are constantly supported by everyone who has gone before us. So if, over the next several weeks and months, you feel lonely, remember all these people, both the living and the dead. Then say the Nembutsu ("Namo Amida Butsu") and perhaps offer a flower, light a candle, or burn incense at your Obutsudan (home Buddhist altar). And remember that the infinite wisdom and compassion of Amida Buddha surrounds you at all times.
Namo Amida ButsuIn Gassho,
Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple