Showing posts from March, 2022

Spring Equinox: Finding Harmony Between Light and Dark

In March we celebrate the Spring Ohigan.   Ohigan is a Japanese Buddhist holiday that marks the equinoxes.   The equinox days--one in spring and one in fall--are the times when the days and nights are of equal length. At the equinox  the sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west almost exactly 12 hours later. It is a time of balance, of harmony, when it is not too hot or too cold, not too bright or too dark. It is a time of fertility and growth in the spring and of abundance and harvest in the fall.   The Japanese term “ higan ” ( 彼岸 or ひがん) actually means "other shore" and refers to the realm of enlightenment, of freedom from suffering, the state of being and of understanding that Buddhists aspire to. The opposite of "Higan" is "Shigan," which means "this shore," our current life of suffering and delusion. Monks in Japan consider the equinoxes to be the ideal time to meditate and engage in spiritual practices to help them move

Love and Impermanence: A Gift of Wisdom From My Mother

  “All conditioned things are impermanent—when one sees this with wisdom, one turns away from suffering.”   --Shakyamuni Buddha,  The Dhammapada My mother died in January.   She was 90 years old and had been hospitalized several times over the last year. For the last 3 weeks of her life, we were supported by hospice services, which allowed her to spend Christmas and New Year’s at home.   Many people have asked me how I am doing--how I am coping with my mother’s death.   I tell them that I’m doing pretty well.   I think that one reason that I am doing OK is that both my mother and I, each in our own way, accepted this basic teaching of the Buddha— that all things are impermanent .   Here I am giving my mom a COVID-haircut in the summer of 2020  My mom faced the pain of impermanence when her mother died. Our family lived in Washington and my grandmother was in California.   We were busy with the farm and school back in 1980 when my mother’s mother fell and broke her hip which wou