Enjoy Holding Memorial Services for Ancestors With a Happy Heart

森羅万象第6巻 表紙

I hold a memorial service for my ancestral spirits every morning. I light three incense sticks at the same time, give one of them to my wife sitting left side of me and, holding the two incense sticks with each one in my hand, place one of them upright at the back of a bowl for ash breathing in sync with her, who does the other. We offer the smoke of the two incense sticks to the whole ancestral spirits.When I’m alone, I place two incense sticks from the left back of the bowl in order. In each case, I offer the third incense stick to any other spirits related to me.

  • at the same time 同時に
  • upright 直立に
  • whole 全体の
  • related 関係した
  • alone 一人で
  • in order 順番に

Being able to hold the third incense stick before its ash falls on the floor means that my memorial service is a brief, simple one. You can give more time and attention to the service before lighting the third incense stick. It’s no problem to make a change to the way to hold a memorial service as you like as long as you show gratitude to and use three incense sticks. Also It’s important for Yorishiro, namely Tanzaku or a memorial tablet, to be placed stably so that it won’t fall flat on the table.

  • brief 短い
  • make a change 変更を加える
  • as long as S+V SがVする限り
  • namely すなわち
  • stably 安定して

Having practiced holding memorial services for my ancestral spirits for more than 20 years, I have no expectation from or dependency on doing it. I concentrate on offering my gratitude to my ancestral spirits for being kept alive, trying not to do it by inertia. During the memorial service, I don’t care if it is effective. I’m just doing it because I want to show gratitude to my ancestors. In this respect, it can be said that it’s just one-sided affection from offspring to my ancestors and I’m leaving the consequences to them. I respect the individuality of each ancestral spirit as a traveling soul. Offspring have to offer the place and energy for their ancestral spirits to sublime, which also means that a living human must not interfere in spirits too much.

  • practice 実践する
  • expectation 期待
  • dependency 依存心
  • concentrate 集中する
  • inertia 惰性
  • effective 効果的な
  • respect 点
  • one-sided 一方的な
  • affection 愛情
  • consequence 結果
  • leave A to B AをBに任せる
  • sublime 昇華する
  • interfere in A  Aに干渉する

For example, there is often work in an office done by a worker independently though such work is evaluated directly. Such an attentive worker takes care of things, thinking “If I’ve done this, it’s convenient for the others,”or “I’ll do it so that the task can be finished easily.” Though this kind of work done independently behind the scene does contribute to the company, such work is often ignored in personnel assessments or restructuring. Only after such a worker leaves the company can the others find the difference. Some workers do nothing but work that make a positive influence on their personnel evaluation. Companies with only such employees will go into decline. I think those who expect positive effects from holding memorial services and such shifty workers have something in common.

  • employee 従業員
  • independently 自主的に
  • esteem 評価する
  • attentive 気がきく
  • convenient 都合がよい
  • behind the scene 見えないところで
  • contribute 貢献する
  • be apt to~ 〜しがちである
  • ignore 無視する
  • personnel assessment 人事評価
  • difference 違い
  • decline 衰退する
  • shifty ずる賢い

Going back to the subject, do not touch the lighted incense sticks during the service because the spiritual magnetism of your ancestral spirits is coming close to Yorishiro or the incense sticks. Touching them could neutralize the magnetism. But if an incense stick should fall flat, do not hesitate to touch it. The spirits will come back later. You don’t need to be anxious about the arrangement of the three incense sticks forming a triangle, so don’t touch them during the service if at all possible.

  • magnetism 磁気
  • neutralize 中和する
  • hesitate ためらう
  • anxious 心配な
  • arrangement 配置
  • triangle 三角形

If the fire of an incense stick goes out midway, you can throw it away in about one hour after the service because it is still wet. It’s just that the fire of the incense stick went out on the day. There’s no problem. You don’t have to worry about small things of a memorial service you hold everyday. You have only to be careful from the next day. Just enjoy the memorial service with a happy heart, looking at the smoke of the incense sticks and thinking like “How is the arrangement of the incense sticks today? How about the smoke flow?” ?

  • midway 途中で
  • throw A away Aを捨てる
  • have only to~ 〜しさえすればよい
  • a happy heart 明るい心

生かして頂いて ありがとう御座位ます

I Ka Shi Te I Ta Da I Te  A Ri Ga To U Go Za I Ma Su

Thank you so much for keeping me/us alive.