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A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

For discussion of Buddha Dharma, including teachings common to all Buddhist schools, such as the Four Noble Truths, Dependent Origination, etc., that is not specific to Mahayana or Therevada

A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby jundo on Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:59 am

ImageImage
AN IMAGE SHOWING THE ANCESTORS NEAR AS THE PURE LAND IS CLOSE, AND A FAMILY VISITING THE FAMILY GRAVE


In Japan today, it is O-Higan (お彼岸), a holiday in Japanese Buddhism celebrated at the Spring and Fall Equinox. It is said that the etymology of the name, the "other shore", is from "the other shore of the Sanzu River" which river traditionally is said to separate this life from the world of the afterlife, much as the River Hades. The "other shore" can mean as well the world of Enlightenment, which transcends the life and death of this world, this shore. On this day, when the seasons change, the spirits of the dead ancestors are said to be close, and it is a time for communion and remembrance. Many Japanese people will return to their hometowns during the holiday season to pay respects to their ancestors, and Japanese Zen and other Buddhist priests are busy visiting the homes of their temple parishioners to chant for the ancestors in front of the family Buddhist altar.

In our Sangha, we do not follow all the traditional Japanese customs, but today is a reminder of the preciousness of this life. Today, I would like to offer some interpretations of some other traditional Buddhist Teachings, such as images of Rebirth and Karma, Heavens and Hells. Perhaps each was a way to express something important about this life, and this world, that is subtle and hard to understand for most of us, like a lesson eased for a child's ears, more symbol for Truth than itself a literal truth. Perhaps these is something vital pointed to in these Teachings, beyond either believing them exactly or throwing them away. I am a modernist and skeptical of some traditional claims, but I don't believe in tossing the Baby Buddha out with the bathwater either. Not everyone need agree with me.

As with the Japanese customs of O-Higan, they are perspectives to speak to the heart, and to remind us that their is something miraculous about just being alive, about where we "come from and go to" surrounding that time, that there is something important for us to recall in this time we have, that our actions have consequences both for ourself and for this world of others (not two).

In our Sangha this week, some of our members have experienced the birth of children in their family, the death of loved ones, and much unknowing in between. There have been smiles and tears, silliness and fear and cheer and all that can be experienced in life. This life is precious.

A Talk on all this during our Zazenkai at Treeleaf Today (about 18 minutes or so) ...

Founder Treeleaf Zendo, Japan. Member SZBA. Treeleaf is an online Sangha for those unable to commute to a Sangha, w/ netcast Zazen, interaction with other practitioners and teachers & all activities of a Soto Sangha, fully online without charge (http://www.treeleaf.org) Nishijima/Niwa
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby desert_woodworker on Sun Sep 24, 2017 5:36 am

J.,

jundo wrote:<exit_stage_left-3.jpg>

I recall the sign that P. T. Barnum so famously posted in his American Museum, "This Way to the Egress", which people followed, ...and then had to pay another admission charge to get back in. ;)

Wishing everyone a happy Autumn (in the N. hemisphere; and Spring, in the South. People on the Equator, ...take your choice!).

I think "O" is the word for "Great"? As in Otani (Great-Valley) University?

--Joe

ps Bernardo O'Higgins was the great liberator of Chile, it came to mind when I read the name of the holiday.
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby jundo on Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:56 am

Just to mention that this talk is now available in audio on the Treeleaf podcast as well. I am trying to offer a modern take on Karma and Rebirth and related topics for skeptical, non-literal folks like me :heya: :

https://treeleaf.podbean.com/e/septembe ... t-in-fall/

Gassho, Jundo
Founder Treeleaf Zendo, Japan. Member SZBA. Treeleaf is an online Sangha for those unable to commute to a Sangha, w/ netcast Zazen, interaction with other practitioners and teachers & all activities of a Soto Sangha, fully online without charge (http://www.treeleaf.org) Nishijima/Niwa
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby bokki on Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:55 pm

the questions about reincarnation always fascinated me.
so, through d years, iv seen many variations on definitions of revelations.
from linear platonistic
linear karmic
many incarnations at a single time across ages
incarnations from other planes
backward incarnations
one incarnated in every1
in all
incarnation in a thought
parallel worlds
and so on
..
i dont dismiss it, i may say iv even practiced some
...
i do recognise and understand
astral planes, reincarnation, clear..tele..psych..powe..so on so on
but id rather
if talking bout zen
stay at the
everyday mind
just as R Jundo proposed.
thnx RJ
Another log on the fire,
10,000 frogs singing in the rain
burst into flames

-Linda Anderson, aka LA Chef
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby TTT on Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:17 am

I have looked at the Dharma video och it was a great one!

Thanks for posting it.

First i did not reflekt on it, but after a wile i did. At times this things come to mind later and that was what happened. Parhaps i will think more on this my favorit topic, the passing of time, later.
Ps, got to love autumn.

Where am i and wher am i going, and so on..

/TTT
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby Larry on Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:06 am

TTT wrote:och it was a great one!


Spoken like a true Scotsman :)
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Re: A Talk for O-Higan: Enter in Spring, Exit in Fall

Postby TTT on Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:35 am

Larry wrote:
TTT wrote:och it was a great one!


Spoken like a true Scotsman :)


Yes! But i am not from Scotland.
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