Summer/Obon 1999 Teaching
As we enter this Obon Season and begin to pray for the souls of our ancestors let us not forget how Obon developed. Sakyamuni was asked by one of his disciples how he could help his deceased Mother. Sakyamuni replied to make offerings to Priests to pray for her.
As a Priest prays for our ancestors it is through Buddha's great vow produced from compassion and mercy, that merit is transfered to our ancestors. We can become one with this great power through our practice and our prayer, but when we try to repay this obligation by saving others by our own action we cut ourself off from the natural flow of the Buddha's great power. This poem expresses this idea that we must always be aware of the infinite power of Mahavairocana, to transform our life and the lives of others.
We can not return our great obligation, to our ancestors, on our own. Through our prayers and practice we become one with the Buddha and infinite power to transform our ancestors is everpresent. Our heart is the bridge that helps to transform our ancestors. This heart transforms the present creating a bridge to the radiance of our future.
Rev. Eijun Eidson
©1999 Shingon Buddhist International Institute