Jizo Bodhisattva has many names. The original was Sanskrit: Ksitigarbha. It’s translation to English is roughly Earth Womb or Earth Treasury. As the Bodhisattva who promised Buddha he would remain on the earth until everyone was finished suffering, his role is like that of Mother Earth. The earth holds each plant, each seedling and each old tree alike as they grow.
The plant, the seedling, the tree need not worry about the earth. It is there. Constant.
Thus, in seeking to know our own Jizo-nature, we are seeking a sense of ground to hold us while we grow. We may not feel comfortable while we are growing. We may feel intense resistance to the challenges and changes of any given day. But if we can get in touch with
the comforting idea of Jizo, of what holds us safe to the ground, then we may cultivate the ability to face life with equanimity.
In practice, there are many ways to utilize Jizo. If we are living a hectic life, we may use Jizo in the beginning of the day to meditate consistently. Instead of oversleeping and fighting our day, if we begin with setting an egg-timer for five minutes, we can sit and use our breathing. In. I am safe… Out. I am safe… In. Safe… Out. Safe. We will notice restlessness. We will judge it. But we can also can notice that we are judging and return to the Jizo breath: In… Safe… And out… Safe…
That’s it. Simple. Yet, most people who try to meditate are quick to give up. They have expectations of “quieting the mind” and when those expectations are not met, they quit. If we give up any expectation of what will happen during meditation, and instead Just Notice Our minds Whatever They Are Doing, that is good enough.
Try for a seven days in a row. If you quit, return to this page and start again. Almost everyone I know has quit meditating, again and again. Just gently return to the practice. For now, that’s all there is. Just practicing. Later there is time for more.
See you there.