I am going to turn for a moment from our look at the Eightfold Path (although all these teachings are interconnected), for the cherry blossoms are abloom here in Japan today. Spring has come. So, I would like to turn our attention to another fundamental of the Buddha's teachings:
Impermanence... No composite thing will last, and all are ever changing. [Click through for more and for today's "Sit-A-Long" video.]
Traditionally in Japan, the Sakura, the soft leaves of the cherry blossom tree which last but a few days, have symbolized the coming of new life in Spring, the ephemerality of that life and beauty, and the sad impermanence of all things as they flutter to the ground. We may be tempted to say that, because things are impermanent, there is suffering. But no less, because there is change and death, there is birth and life in nature. Ōtagaki Rengetsu (太田垣蓮月), the great 19th century poet and Pure Land Buddhist nun, wrote:
Cherry blossoms Fall at the peak of their beauty In this world To teach our hearts To be free of attachment
Impermanence is both the root of suffering, and the doorway to freedom when seen with a Buddha's eyes.
Today's Sit-A-Long video follows. Remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells; a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended.
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About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Jundo published on April 9, 2010 2:11 PM.