Ash Wednesday


foreheads with crosses-
Ash Wednesday

I imagine that future anthropologists will ponder over the curious rituals of our cultural and think us superstitious, backward barbarians as we have of past cultures.

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

7 responses »

  1. I had a lot of interesting thoughts today while I was sitting in a clinical staff meeting and checking out all of the ashen crosses on foreheads… I wondered how many people had really taken time to be mindful of what those ashes meant… if anyone had spent time thinking about the fact that some day their existence might be that of ash as well….

    • Funny. I saw mine at the hospital and wondered the same thing. My wife, a recovering catholic, said that she would have taken part but only as a reminder of her childhood and in honor of her grandmother.

      • I have a friend who is still Catholic and would probably say the same thing. My folks are still catholic but didn’t go… I honor my dad for going through hospice volunteer training and doing the work of “jesus” more than giving up fish on Fridays… besides, he loves to brag that he is old enough now that he doesn’t have to give it up! I would gladly take him out for a burger and beer while doing good for all sentient beings. Thanks for the thought provoking blog, like always!

  2. When you strip our unquestioned rituals and beliefs into basic and geometric components, they do seem rather “backward”, don’t they?

    Good post, made me think.

    • Thank you.

      As a child I got into trouble so many times by asking questions about our cultural traditions and rituals. I would like to think that such thinking helped me step outside the expected and see things anew.

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