My Gohonzon’s Birthday
In the Nichiren Buddhist tradition I once practiced, the anniversary of one receiving their object of devotion (The Gohonzon) is celebrated as a second birthday.
On this day, April 11th in nineteen-eighty-something-or other I received my 1st Gohonzon.
I had no idea what that would actually mean, at the time. In the years that followed, never in my wildest imagination could I have fashioned all the things that actually transpired (If you are just tuning in check out posts Cult or Culture parts 1 thru 20).
Even after my choice to no longer embrace the Nichiren Tradition, I am still summoned to attention by the interconnectivity of life and the mystical events which led me on my Nichiren journey.
For example, the woman who took me to my 1st Nichiren Buddhist gathering – Evelyn, was actually born on this April 11th day – the same day the Gohonzon was bestowed upon me.
What does that mean? I wonder…
Of all the dates and all the people that could have inducted me into the tradition, it was April 11th and it was Evelyn and it was her birthday.
Evelyn called me early this morning. It’s been our tradition for years, that she calls me very early in the pre-dawn hours on day of her birth singing this greeting: “Happy my birthday to you!”
I love it. It always makes me laugh. And I love her. Despite our differences and disconnects about the Nichiren tradition we ended up in together, we are truly interconnected.
I wish I could get a glimpse of what our connections were in previous lifetimes.
How did we help each other?
How did we hurt each other?
Why is she in my life now?
Why am I in hers?
What will happen now?
What will happen next?
But in the meantime, to Evelyn and to my 1st Gohonzon: Happy your birthday to me!!!