December 19th, 2020
“The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.”
― Blaise Pascal
“Create with the heart; build with the mind.”
― Criss Jami
Senji Kanaeda is a Japanese Buddhist monk. He and I met on a peace walk back in 2014. During that time, Senji and I became friends; perhaps more like brothers then friends. My wife, Karin, and I have stayed at Senji’s temple on Bainbridge Island several times. Over the years, Karin and Senji have connected in a deep way. It’s hard to explain in words. They just seem to have an intuitive understanding of each other.
Senji has a strong artistic talent. He is especially skilled in calligraphy. His beautiful writing is also part of his prayer, much like the painting of an icon is a prayer for an Orthodox Christian monk. Senji’s prayers are repetitive in a way. He almost always chants or writes “Na Mu Myo Ho Ren Ge Kyo”. However, each time he writes that prayer, the end result is unique. None of his prayers are exactly the same, and none of his calligraphy is ever exactly the same.
When Senji learned that Karin was sick with COVID, he sent her this:
It is a prayer for Karin’s recovery and healing. Senji created it specifically for her. It is a message from his heart to hers.
The piece of paper hangs on the wall above Karin’s bed. Will the prayer make her better? Will it help her to physically recovery from the virus?
I don’t know. All I know is that the calligraphy was created with love.
With love all things are possible.