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Nagaraja
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  • Setsubun is the day before the beginning of spring in the old calendar in Japan. The name literally means 'seasonal division'. Setsubun is now typically held on February 3, with the day after – the first day of spring in the old calendar – known as Risshun. Both Setsubun and Risshun are celebrated yearly as part of the Spring Festival in Japan. Setsubun is accompanied by a number of rituals and traditions held at various levels to drive away the previous year's bad fortunes and evil spirits for the year to come.

    The main ritual associated with the observance of Setsubun is mamemaki. Mamemaki is an event in which roasted soybeans are thrown inside the house or at the entrance to drive away evil spirits.

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    Looking at a computer for long times inevitably causes neck and shoulder tension. I have been struggling with this problem for several years now and have found a simple way to solve it. It uses an exersize rubber, such as those sold in $1 shops. Yoga and stretching are good, but the point is to put a bit of strain on the muscles. Simply pull the rubber band from overhead to the side of the shoulder. Doing this about 10 rounds at one time, several times a day, will lighten the shoulders and neck.

    肩凝りチューブsmall.jpg
    A fire festival called Saitoyaki was recently held in my area.

    This is a festival celebrated in Japan, usually on January 14 or 15 During this local event, town or village residents burn their gate pine and other New Year's decorations, as well as to pray for good fortune in the new year.

    I took a photo with people in it to show its size.

    サイト焼き2-1.jpg

    Children receive sweets and adults are served Sake(rice wine). Within an hour, the bamboo tower burns down and the rice dumplings are roasted over the embers.

    だんご.jpg

    This festival, like Imbolc, celebrates the beginning of spring.
    I happened to turn on the TV and saw a programme called "Why do students clean their classrooms at school?" Then I found out that it comes from a Buddhist story.

    Suddhipanthaka was a disciple of the Buddha. He was known for being the most dim-witted of the Buddha's disciples, unable to understand the Buddha's teachings, and almost completely forgetting everything the Buddha said.

    According to legend, one day the Buddha assigned him to sweep the ground. After a long time, Suddhipanthaka said "The ground is clean, but is my mind-ground clean?" Thereupon he attained enlightenment.

    (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suddhipanthaka)

    This led to cleaning being considered a form of training in Buddhist temples, which was then passed on to the temple school (the private elementary school in the Edo period), and now students still clean their own classrooms in Japanese schools.

    Knowing JoS, I know that the story of Suddhipanthaka is a spiritual story. Cleaning the room and environment is important for hygiene, but spiritual cleaning means cleaning the chakras and aura. Yet, Japanese temples only teach people to clean their rooms and houses.

    By the way, physical and mental illnesses caused by Zen practice and meditation are called Zen illnesses in Japan. Symptoms of Zen illness include headache, nausea, chest pain, diarrhoea, constipation, cold, bloating, uncontrolled emotions, hallucinations and auditory hallucinations, which vary from person to person. Zen practitioners have suffered from Zen illness since ancient times, and the method of visualization and breathing was proposed by Zen Master Hakuin in the Edo period as a way of curing this Zen illness.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hakuin_Ekaku)That seems like a breakthrough, but in fact it was already conveyed by the story of Suddhipanthaka.

    I am concerned that I am giving it the wrong consideration...
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Al Jilwah: Chapter IV

"It is my desire that all my followers unite in a bond of unity, lest those who are without prevail against them." - Satan

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