Ohigan – September 23, 2012 Meditation


TODAY the first day of autumn we celebrate Ohigan. Actually the autumnal equinox occurred during the afternoon yesterday, but today is the first full day of fall.

“They had already trained themselves out of their compassion towards others, entered the Way to the wisdom of the Buddha, obtained great wisdom, and reached the Other Shore so that their fame had already extended over innumerable worlds.” (Lotus Sutra, Chapter I)

It is traditional that during the days before and after the equinox we redouble our efforts observing the Six Paramitas. Our efforts at observing these Six Perfections are not just so we can improve our lives. Instead it is so that we will be able to lead countless others to the Way of Buddhahood.

Ohigan means literally to cross over to the other shore. Our efforts at improving our lives are done because of the compassion we have to eliminate the sufferings of all beings.

As Bodhisattvas from beneath the ground our training did not begin when we took faith in Buddhism in this lifetime; it began countless eons ago with our relationship with the Eternal Buddha. This lifetime of practice gives us the opportunity to manifest the possibility of changing ourselves from ordinary humans to those Bodhisattvas who appear in the Lotus Sutra and vow to spread the Dharma in this world in which we live, the Saha world.

The fall and spring equinox can be an exciting time in our calendar year. In the spring we move from long nights and short days to longer days, we move from cold to warm. In the fall the air becomes crisper as we move from the hot days of summer to the more mild days of fall. The equinox is a time of balance in transition just as our lives are in transition to enlightenment.

I hope that you will not only use this time to redouble your efforts but also continue throughout the remainder of the year as we prepare for a new year in just a few months.

About Ryusho 龍昇

Nichiren Shu Buddhist priest. My home temple is Myosho-ji, Wonderful Voice Temple, in Charlotte, NC. You may visit the temple’s web page by going to http://www.myoshoji.org. I am also training at Carolinas Medical Center as a Chaplain intern. It is my hope that I eventually become a Board Certified Chaplain. Currently I am also taking healing touch classes leading to become a certified Healing Touch Practitioner. I do volunteer work with the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network (you may learn more about them by following the link) caring for individuals who are HIV+ or who have AIDS/SIDA.
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