Spiritual Healing and Waking Up

Spiritual Healing and Waking UpThe tremendous devastation and loss of life caused by the 921 Earthquake in 1999 sent the nation into grieving. The following talk was given just before the commencement of the annual Water-Earth Repentance Ceremony to commemorate the event.

The main purpose of this ceremony is to bring peace to disaster victims. When people die in a disaster, at the time of death they are confused and terrified, and may even be unaware that they have died. Thus we carry out this ceremony in order to invite them to this place and help them gain some clarity and peace; otherwise they don’t know where to go, where to find their loved ones, or how to communicate with them. The ceremony brings consolation to the disaster victims, reunites them with their loved ones, and helps them to accept the fact that they are dead. It’s also good for surviving family members to help the deceased by promptly performing meritorious deeds.

The sympathetic resonance produced by a large group of people helps bring peace to the departed, and to the survivors as well. Those who have died are often frightened, and this also affects their loved ones, so when they gain a sense of peace, their loved one’s also become more peaceful and accepting.

The ceremony helps us calm down and let go of our trepidation. In the Buddha-dharma, birth and death are both a part of life. We are born into this world due to the existence of the right conditions; when we die, we proceed to some other place and start over again; death doesn’t mean that life comes to an end. The dead person continues to exist, but in a different dimension. Thus we can help the departed to be happy by performing virtuous deeds and reciting scriptures, and inviting them to rejoice in the merit.

Even though your home may have collapsed, you must not allow yourself to be overcome by depression. You may have lost loved ones, but you still have the universal love of large numbers good-hearted people in this society. We need to cherish the moment, rebuild, and find new meaning in life. This is our blessing and prayer for everybody.