Vol. XLX, No. 6
A mono-purpose Obon
In an age of multi-purpose, 3-in-one, convenience-is-best living, Senshin
Temple would like to maintain
its traditional commitment and support for truth/beauty-wisdom/compassion
and ones connection with it.
Because Bon Odori is a part of the Gathering of Joy religious
festival, it is not called “Ondo” a euphemism
created by non-Buddhist Japanese Americans. In Japanese Ondo does
not mean a dance. It means to take the
lead and refers to someone taking the lead in a song, a chant, or
a cheer. It is also a type of song in which there
is a lead singer and a small number of back-up singers. This Ondo
song is the most common form of Bon Odori
music. Japanese-Americans who were not familiar with the term, assumed that
Ondo must mean dance since so
many of the Bon Odori dance songs ended in the word Ondo
Bon Odori as a religious dance means to dance joyfully in memory of our ancestors,
and to dance
joyfully means to dance without ego-calculation
Where self is, Truth cannot be; yet when Truth comes, self
Unlike “fun”, “Joy” is not something one creates. Joy is a discovery, fun
is a futile attempt to create joy.
Therefore let the mind rest in the truth; propagate the Truth, put your
Whole will into it, and let it spread. In the Truth, one lives forever.
Is death and Truth is life. The cleaving to self is a perpetual dying,
moving in the Truth is partaking of Nirvana.
When you dance, pay attention to the dance and all who dance with you, forgetting
the self. The dance spreads
in ever expanding circles, including Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, humans, animals,
plants, demons, goblins and fleas.
It is the gathering of Joy.
For this purpose, no solicitations, passing out of pamphlets, PR flyers,
etc. are allowed. You would not
pass out flyers at your parents memorial service – and Bon Odori is a joyous
memorial service for the universe.