Obon ceremony in Szczecin

Last Sunday in commemoration for our ancestors a simple Obon ceremony took place in our Szczecin zendo.
Each of us offered a lantern with candle, incense stick, Maha Hannya Haramita Shingyo sutra and our zazen to those who passed away.
During ceremony, we also was reading Roshi Shodo Harada's translations and some "Jisei" - death poems.

The death poem is a genre of poetry that developed in the literary traditions of East Asian cultures—most prominently in Japan as well as certain periods of Chinese history and Joseon Korea. They tend to offer a reflection on death—both in general and concerning the imminent death of the author—that is often coupled with a meaningful observation on life. The practice of writing a death poem has its origins in Zen Buddhism. It is a concept or worldview derived from the Buddhist teaching of the three marks of existence (三法印 sanbōin), specifically that the material world is transient and impermanent (無常 mujō), that attachment to it causes suffering (苦 ku), and ultimately all reality is an emptiness or absence of self-nature (空 kū). These poems became associated with the literate, spiritual, and ruling segments of society, as they were customarily composed by a poet, warrior, nobleman, or Buddhist monk.

Some You can read below:

A small night storm blows
Saying 'falling is the essence of a flower'
Preceding those who hesitate

byYukio Mishima (1925-1970)

Falling ill on a journey
my dreams go wandering
over withered fields

by Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694)

Now that my storehouse
has burned down, nothing
conceals the moon.

by Masahide (1656 – 1723)

Oh young folk —
if you fear death,
die now!
Having died once
you won't die again.

by Hakuin Ekaku (1685-1768)


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