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Higan: The Time to Embrace Enlightenment

    The time to embrace our dream of enlightenment.

    The harvest of our actions and practice.
    We have crossed to the other shore.
    We have returned bringing the Awakening
    That the lifeforce of Buddha is always here.

    We have seen our dream of enlightenment.
    We have touched our dream of enlightenment,
    We now embrace our dream of enlightenment,

    And after we enjoy this embracing,
    We become our dream of enlightenment.

The Fall Equinox is a very special time. In the cycle of life, as in the cycle of the seasons, there are four stages. In nature these stages are planting, growing, harvesting and enjoying. These same cycles are in Shingon-shu. They are looking (the process of planting), touching (the process of growing), embracing (the process of harvesting) and mastering (the process of enjoying the harvest).

One Spring when I was young, I planted a garden. I tended the garden all Summer, making sure it was watered. Then I became busy as school started and I forgot to harvest the vegetables that had grown. When I remembered the garden, the vegetables were over ripe and I could not enjoy them. I was very sad. I learned that each stage is of equal importance and they build on each other.

Fall Higan is a time to embrace the fruit of our actions and our practice. It is a time when we can truly experience the World of Lifeforce, that surrounds us. When we embrace our self and see the true nature of our actions, speech and thought, we transcend to the next stage. The stage of becoming an enlightened one.

    Rev. Eijun Eidson
    September 1998

©1998 Shingon Buddhist International Institute