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Harada Roshi

Haru Higan - Spring equinox

The 20th of March is the day of the Haru Higan, beginning of spring as well as the ceremony to remember our ancestors. HIGAN meaning the other shore, yet it is nowhere to be found but in our mind. This other shore is satori. This is where we need to go, that is the reason we practice Zazen. When we have no body, like our dead ancestors, we are free of ego, we are in satori. Ego comes up once we have a body, yet through our practice we can forget the body, and in those instances, enter the mind of satori. When sitting Zazen, when sweeping, when cleaning – when we - for a moment -forget ourselves, right there we are at one with our ancestors, with the Buddha. We can use the sussokan, a mantra to enter this state of mind. The mind melting into oneness with everything.

And from that experience, after sitting Zazen, we are deeply filled with thankfulness and read a Heart Sutra in thanks to our ancestors. There is no need to name them all, just to hold them in our mind.

On this day of the spring equinox, we experience the middle path, half in light - half in darkness. Because we only see half of it, we only see life and don´t want to see death, we only see daylight and not the night – that is why we become confused.

Returning to that mind of satori on this day feeling our ancestors deeply in our mind.


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