A New Years tradition at Buddhist temples across Japan is the ringing of the Joya-no-kane (除夜の鐘) ...


... the temple bell near midnight. The bell is typically rung 108 times (sometimes by the temple priests, sometimes by parishioners) to cleanse the listener of the 108 mortal afflictions (bonno ... anger, greed, ignorance, envy, hatred, arrogance and the rest) that, in traditional Buddhist thinking, are the causes of suffering. By ringing out the old year and ringing in the new, each earthly desire will be taken away and therefore we can start the New Year with a pure mind.

From where does that sound come? To where does it go?

Perhaps we might also say that past moments ... the up and downs, happiness and sadness ... are now gone, and a new beginning rings out ... ever new and renewing.

Master Dogen wrote, "Zazen ... is like the hammer striking emptiness, the bell's melodious sound continues to resonate as it echoes, endlessly before and after. It is not limited to this moment ."

HAPPY NEW EVERY-MOMENT, EVERY-ONE!

Joya-no-kane atmosphere at a temple in Tokyo ...