Monday, February 12, 2007

further reflections on practical Buddhism

On the stroke of midnight on New Year's Day, the local Buddhist temple in any Japanese city, town, or village will sound out 108 bells to cleanse its parishoners of the 108 deadly sins (I don't know what the 108 sins are but I'd LOVE to know some day to see how many I can check off my list).

Before the ringing of the bells and the general exculpation, though, there is a big spiritual scuttle to prepare oneself (shitaku suru) both mentally and physically for the cleansing and for the new, fresh start it will bring. This is why Japanese people spend the last week of December frantically cleaning their houses--every single speck of dust from the old year is supposed to be beaten out, lest it carry through to the new year some remnant unpleasantness or stashed-away sin. Debts must also be settled--it's inauspicious to give oneself anything but the cleanest of slates with which to start afresh.

So this is New Job's Eve for me. The would-be Buddhist in me says I should be cleaning my room, maybe sorting out outfits for the rest of the week to dave myself time and stress in the morning, or at the very least folding the two Santa's sacks of laundry I washed yesterday and then left on my stripped bed. Or at the very VERY least pushing the launndry onto the floor and re-sheeting the bed so I don't have to sleep in my sleeping back in the furniture-free common area tonight (with Mr. Bug the cockroach, wily thing).

But alas, no. The inner Buddhist in me only experiences unenergetic dismay at the idea of getting up off my belly. Darn tootin' langour.


Bluenana said...

Your body and soul are no longer trapped by evil Phill. Believe me, Moonie, that's plenty enough cleansing.

hugguhbear said...

Best of luck on the new job.


jalexissmith said...

I was at the Yuki Matsuri in Sapporo this weekend. Crazy times. Check out my blog later for details (or stay up and talk to me on gtalk!)