The Buddha, The Dharma, The Sangha

"Spiritual powers and their wondrous functioning--hauling water and carrying firewood." --Layman Pang, upon his realization

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I Aint Afraid of No Ghosts

Sorry, I couldn't resist....
Segaki seems like a good time to watch any version of Ghost Busters, eat marshmallows (nice food offering!) and sing along to the theme song!  Makes me feel good, makes the Gakis feel good and ensures that my ghosts relinquish any thought of sticking around after they have been honored with our Liturgy of Reconciliation and Forgiveness.

We are expecting the first effects of Hurricane Sandy on Sunday, our Segaki Day, and I really hope we will be able to light a fire, and keep it going long enough to make our fire offerings.
What do I intend to write on my slip of paper or craft stick to feed the flame this year?
It always seems to be one thing, over the many years I've participated in this Liturgy: Fear.
Just Fear.

Some years that fear has a name or a face.  Sometimes it is amorphous, pervading my energy in ways I can not explain, but I feel none the less--a little shadow in the heart and a sense that the throat can't open wide enough for sustenance or to release the bitterness.
Like a Gaki, I look everywhere for nurturance, for a food to sustain me, but I forget the Dharma is all the food I need, and continue grasping and hoarding, remaining famished.

One of my favorite lines in the Heart Sutra comes about mid way:
"No hindrance, therefore no fear"
For me, this is a pivotal sentence, so succinct and subtle, yet our growth as human beings rests exactly here....and then as the vivid mantra is recited, we are compelled to move beyond everything, even the sutra itself.

Each year I ask myself how my fear is manifested--who does it repel, what negative karma and conditioning am I holding on to, what anger or wound would I prefer not to release, even while it chokes me?  As debilitating as they might be, these delusions are still "my" delusions and they fill some necessary void, or so the ego self believes...but the Heart Sutra says otherwise, and then blasts me into space!

Good-bye Giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!

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