Wonderful, indeed, it is to subdue the mind, so difficult to subdue, ever swift, and seizing whatever it desires. A tamed mind brings happiness.The Dharmapada, chapter 3, verse 35
Hello, Everyone! I hope you are enjoying your summer! I imagine that without the summer festivals and Obons these are truly the hottest times of the year. There is nothing to distract the mind from wandering. Do you remember what made summer so Great in younger days? For most of us it was to get away from school or go away to some type of vacation.
When we look to the above phrase, can you imagine what you would have been like without any kind of discipline in your life? Parents are one major element in our development. Likewise, for family and even school if were able to get it. Let us all imagine what life was like in the past. There have always some kind of structure, but even today the mind sometimes wants and focuses on things that may not be healthy. Buddhism teaches us that we have many distractions and these cause us to lose focus. What do we really need? When eliminating the excess, what do we do with the extra time and energy we may have?
As this thought lingered in my mind, I was reminded that summer also meant having the opportunity to work with our parents. For some it was on a family farm or helping with the family business. It was also combining our efforts for the all the summer festivals we participated in. In the beginning, it may have been a little hard to learn the routines, but with time it became second nature. This makes me again think of the saying above.
Maybe some of you can relate. I hope you will be looking forward to and joining in digitally to our Obon practice, dancing, and other activities this week. The importance of the time of Obon (between June & August) is to reflect within ourselves. Remember who molded you to be the person you are today. Who helped you to tame your mind so that you can be part of a temple, a community, or even a greater family? Who gave you this gift of the importance to rely on each other so that the whole and future generations will benefit?
Through the Buddha’s teaching, these base questions are already installed into your being and with this sense of received compassion let us all be inspired to share. Through this time of year, let us all look inside, give thanks, and celebrate with Joy. This is the True Essence of Obon and with the hope that you will continue to pass on these efforts with Nembutsu.
Namu Amida Butsu
Stay Safe and Stay Sangha Strong!
In Gratitude and Appreciation,
Rev. Kory Quon