Obon is this Saturday August 18 2012 and we are preparing for a wondrous evening of family and fun. Obon is an opportunity to celebrate our family and friends both living and deceased. With the rush of daily life and the pursuit of the grasping and consuming self we loose our connection and grounding with those whose who have given our lives its shape. There appears to be a forward only
direction when perceiving time in the west, and what is viewed as in the past, is forgotten and given little significance other than a passing cue and ensuing memory. Time is not so linear, within the present is both the past and future working within a beautiful synergy to create what is now. They reside in one another, and although we separate them, and draw clear lines between them, this is of no significance to anything but, ourselves. The mind can resurrect worlds of ash and summon things to come at the turning of word or the sway of a willow. During Obon we suspend linear time and invite the spirits to once again walk within our world and partake of food and drink through our being. We light the bonfire and call their names to help the spirits find us. We also offer those stray spirits who have no one to call their names rice and water to honor and feed them. Our ancestors then visit with us and enjoy the food, drink and music that is offered in their honor. Through us, they once again return and remind us of their presence; in our lives, guiding our hand, in every exhalation and inhalation they sit in shadow, hidden by our linear mind. At the close of Obon, it is time for the spirits to return to their place and they are sent off with silence and deep gratitude. In their rightful place, our ancestors are now content and live on as a part of us, our family and our lives.