donderdag 2 februari 2012

A different kind of sewing.

I’m not the only one who sewed, last year. Mark joined me for a very special project: he sewed his rakusu. That’s a Japanese word for an official garment you wear around your neck when you’re a Buddhist. Ever since we met (more than 20 years ago) my husband has been interested in meditating. He followed different teachings and got more and more involved in the Zen way of thinking and living. Last year he did Jukai, which means he was initiated as a Buddhist. In the ceremony, you get your name and you wear your rakusu.
Mark is called ‘Ekai’, Ocean of Generosity, and I think this name characterizes him very well. He’s a kind and trustful person, humorous and gentle.
The rakusu is made by hand. The sewing is done as a meditation practice and you speak the following sentence as you go along: Namu Kie Butsu, Namu Kie Ho, Namu Kie So: I take refuge to the Buddha, I take refuge to the Dharma (the teachings of the Buddha), I take refuge to the Sanga (the community). The pattern is a patchwork, representing the ricefields in Japan.
Pelle made a few stitches, supervised by his father, and I contributed as well.
After the ceremony in May our every day life has not changed much. Mark goes to work (he’s a psychologist), meets his friends, is an joyful father and a great husband. He meditates almost daily and goes to the monastery a couple of times a year, and to a group of Zen people every week. Our live is more conscience though and the dimension Buddhism gives to it is still growing.

The pouch I made him to store his rakusu. The lining is silk and this one's made on the machine.

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