As the hot and relaxing summer days recede, the Buddhist communities in Arizona are reminded of the coming Higan, a time to reflect on the human condition and examine the options open to us through the Infinite Wisdom and Compassion of Amida Buddha. Arizona Buddhist Temple will observe the Higan (Autumn Rededication) Service on Sunday, September 16, 2012 at 10:00AM. The members of Arizona Buddhist Temple and their families are invited to attend the Autumn Higan Service which is one of the Six Major Services in the Hongwanji tradition.
Higan is an abbreviation of “To-Higan” - literally meaning “to reach the other shore.” In Buddhism, the world of suffering is referred to as “this shore” and the world of Enlightenment is called “the other shore.”
The term Higan comes from the Sanskrit word Paramita - “gone to the other shore,” and suggests the Six Paramita of charity, morality, patience, effort, meditation, and wisdom. Various sutras teach that six paramita or perfections of practice are the way of reaching the other shore from this shore.
In Jodo Shin Buddhism, the observance of Higan is simply the expressing of our gratitude to Amida Buddha for awakening us to his Boundless Compassion and Wisdom. Our part in this observance would be to put into action the Compassion which comes to us vertically from Amida Buddha and to apply it horizontally in our relation with man and other living beings on this earth. This appreciation in our daily life is the Jodo Shin Buddhism way of expressing our gratitude and thanksgiving for the wondrous blessings extended to us unconditionally and equally for all just like the sun’s ray which falls on the earth.