As temperatures warm and we prepare to welcome the arrival of Spring with our Ohigan Service on March 19, I am reminded of the following verse from Shinran Shonin’s Hymns of the Pure Land Masters:
Obstructions of karmic evil turn into virtues;
It is like the relation of ice and water:
The more the ice, the more the water;
The more the obstructions, the more the virtues.
(From Shinran Shonin’s Hymns of the Pure Land Masters, Hymn 40)
In the verse above, Shinran Shonin describes how, just as the warm spring temperatures melt ice into water, the warm light of the Buddha’s wisdom melts the hard obstructions in our minds into the flowing virtues of awakening. Greed turns into Generosity. Indulgence turns into Self-control. Anger turns into Patience. Laziness turns into Dedication. Distraction turns into Concentration. Delusion turns into Wisdom
Growing up in Minnesota, the springtimes of my childhood were filled with joy and wonder, as I experienced the warm sunlight melting away ice and snow, making way for blades of green grass to sprout up on the lawn. During the long winter, the cold of the snow and ice had turned the grass brown. The water of the melted snow and the warmth of the sun brought new life to the grass.Continue reading “Ice Melts Into Water, Obstructions Melt Into Virtues”