In the next few weeks, we will turn our clocks forward and then later in March the first day of Spring will arrive. The Buddhist celebration of the Spring Equinox is called Ohigan in Japanese. This year’s celebration takes on greater significance as we begin to open up from the ravages of the Covid pandemic.
Spring has always been associated with a feeling of hope, a feeling of rebirth. On March 20, the sun will rise directly from the East and set directly in the West. The length of day and night will be the same, the weather will be neither too hot nor too cold. Nature will be in balance on the day of the equinox. Buddhists celebrate this day as a reminder that balance in nature is an example of harmony. The question for all of us is how can we find balance and harmony in our lives?
The Buddha shared with us that the Six Paramitas or the Six Perfections are the way to find happiness, harmony and balance in our lives. The Buddha also shared that it is during the Spring Equinox that the practice of these perfections can best be practiced.
The Six Paramitas or Perfections are: Dana, being generous and helpful; Sila, being pure and virtuous; Ksanti, being patient; Virya, being energetic and persevering; Dhyana, perfecting concentration and mindfulness; Parjna, gain wisdom to see the world as it truly is.
In a world experiencing war that ravages the lives of thousand we are reminded of the words of Shinran Shonin, “May peace and tranquility prevail, and the Buddha Dharma spread.” Peace, tranquility and harmony can be realized by practicing the Six Perfections in our lives, and ideally spread those teachings beyond our homes, into our communities and to the world.
Rev. Hosei Shinseki leads the Watsonville Buddhist Temple. His opinions are his own and do not necessarily represent those of the Pajaronian.