fireflies and a buddhist shrine: a sunday inspiration

in this post, i happily join sojourner in her sunday inspiration project.

fireflies. from ancient times we humans have always been fascinated by these little beings. scientists explain that the firefly’s light is produced through a complicated interaction of a number of chemicals. but for me, its light teaches a very valuable lesson: the firefly is not poisonous and does not bite; its lifespan is short and in its brief moments on earth, it just gives off light.

i believe the light it emanates is truly its buddha-nature.

as for me, i am stronger, more intelligent, civilized and live longer, but i cannot give light. it makes me very humble.

this is a meditation by kenryu t. tsuji, the first japanese-american bishop of the buddhist churches of america, of the jodo shinshu path, otherwise known pure land buddhism. it is the path of my in-laws, and every time i visit them, i enjoy getting a little glimpse of that way of life.

the other day i was given the gift of a few moments in front of their little ancestral shrine, spending some minutes bathing in the light of the memory of loved ones that have left this reality. there was a sense of my family – my father, my dog, my cousin – meeting my in-laws’ family – my husband’s aunt, his grandmother, the cat he grew up with.

we are all one.  and the firefly is our teacher.

image by tanakawho

this post can be found at zen school


  1. Much obliged for visiting SjP’s today and for joining in this week for Sunday Inspirations. You know, for me, my Lord has many names and comes in many different manifestations. Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims – we all fall short before the one we call Lord. But, thank goodness we can all be redeemed!

    SjP’s last blog post..sunday inspirations…the angels keep on watching

  2. God Bless You! I know next to nothing about Buddhism … however, I appreciate your post. There is much to make each of us humble … and the firefly is now added to that list for me…

    Thank you for visiting my blog earlier today. I invite your blog readers to to consider the biblical implications of the death penalty and read a great poem for Troy Davis as part of my Sunday Inspirations meme entry this week.

    peace, Villager

    Villager’s last blog post..Israelis for Obama

  3. sojourner and villager, thanks so much for visiting!

    yes, the divine has many facets, like a huge diamond i always say, and what a gift when we can behold a small part.

    i’m writing this just before going to bed. a good way to start off into the new week.

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