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Thread: fire-snow

  1. #1
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    fire-snow

    As I was visiting my dear friend and Shingon priest Yasuo, he took me to visit a priest in a remote Shingon temple, far away in the valley of the river Yono. This priest had organised a Goma ceremony, a purification ritual through which wooden slats written with prayers and wishes are burnt in front of the Mahavairocana Buddha and within the body of its mandala. So we were met by this great fellow with a heart bigger than the sky wrapped in his robes and okesa, he invited us to write our wishes on wooden slats and he started this incredible ceremony. Various sounds, mantras and purification mudras were performed first and then the little stake was lit and we all recited the Heart sutra while flames were leaping into the darkness. As the ceremony ended, snow was whirling outside filling up our shoes and turning the whole space into moon-like glow, making silence so vivid and clear. Pure magic. The perfect merging of the extraordinary of a very esoteric tradition and the absolute ineffable experience of ordinary and simplicity itself. Fire giving birth to snow. Snow shining like fire. Both moments perfect as they were. We shared a very hot coffee and bicuits later on, laughing and just happy to be together. The priest invited me to stay as long as I wished to sit and also to sing and learn some traditionnal Shingon rituals. That will be for the summer to come. What really stroke me is that this apparent complexity of gestures, sounds and procedures arises from the space we all unfold when we sit. A way to translate into the phenomenal flow the vast body of suchness. And the fact that it all returns to It.
    Indeed Shikantaza is the source and through its simplicity, one can turn this day to day reality into a colorful mandala.

    The flames of goma
    lick space
    outside snow in my shoes



    For the very first time
    this silence bathes me
    snowflakes


    Attached files

  2. #2

    Re: fire-snow

    Dear Taigu,

    thank you for sharing this wonderful experience. Wish I could have been there. It is interesting to note that usually the same universal ideas take on new outer forms, whilst in the case of Goma ceremonies, it seems to have been a little bit the other way around. The ritual itself is so beautiful, that it just took on completely new meanings when it migrated from vedic India to Buddhist Japan.

    Fire and ice/snow are such vivid expressions of the great spectrum that is life itself that even thinking about them puts a smile on my face. How wonderful to share the cold and then hot coffee with good friends of the way.

    Gassho,

    Hans

  3. #3

    Re: fire-snow

    Wow! Thank you for sharing that! Sounds surreal!

    Gassho
    Shohei

  4. #4
    Treeleaf Unsui Kyrillos's Avatar
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    Re: fire-snow

    Taigu,

    Your description transported me to that scene and I could hear the crackling of the fire in the cold silence of the falling snow. Wonderful!

    Gassho,

    Seishin Kyrill

  5. #5
    Senior Member Nenka's Avatar
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    Re: fire-snow

    Thank you for the story, and the haiku!

    Gassho,

    Jennifer

  6. #6

    Re: fire-snow

    Hi.

    Thx for sharing.

    Mtfbwy
    Fugen

  7. #7
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    Re: fire-snow

    The picture completes the prettiness.

  8. #8

    Re: fire-snow

    Thank you. Your description is beautiful.

    Gassho,

    Cyril

  9. #9
    Member miheco's Avatar
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    Temescal Valley, California
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    Re: fire-snow

    Thank you Taigu,
    For one minute while reading of your experience I was visually and otherwise lost in the narrative.

    Gassho,
    Jintai

  10. #10
    Treeleaf Unsui Dosho's Avatar
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    Re: fire-snow

    Thank you Sensei...

  11. #11

    Re: fire-snow

    Thank you very much for sharing!

    gassho,
    Jinyu

  12. #12

    Re: fire-snow

    What a wonderful way to release! Thank you.

    Jonathan

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