Posted by Michael Finkelstein | July 3rd, 2012
Hungry Ghost Moon
It’s mid-year and we’re in the full swing of summer, as we enter into the Chinese Moon cycle, and the Hungry Ghost Moon. According to their calendar, at this specific time, the Chinese believe that spirits of hungry ghosts roam the earth, driven by intense emotional needs, searching for something on which to feed. As part of their tradition, the “living” offer gifts of food and charms — hoping to assuage the hunger of the ghosts — in the spirit of compassion, but also for self-preservation, to ward off any threat.
Similarly, the mid-summer’s heat has the potential to stir a wild energy within us, charging us and propelling us to move; which can turn us into hungry ghosts; running, wandering and searching like directionless zombies if we don’t take care. While it is important to enjoy the energy and play as I mentioned in the last moon-letter, you must not lose your bearings and get swept away by the tide of hedonism.
The difference is immeasurable. Play is a beautiful expression of human emotion that is crucial to feeling joy. Indeed, there is great value in play, which is a truly natural and both Skillful act. However, getting lost in the thrill and wandering aimlessly lacks purpose and though you may feel a similar sense of freedom, for a moment, drifting too far away from your central purpose will only lead to emptiness.
So, enjoy the heat, but don’t lose your focus in the mirage.