“’From the indigo, an even deeper blue.’ This passage means that, if one dyes something repeatedly in indigo, it becomes even bluer than the indigo leaves.” –Nichiren Diashonin
Since I first started practicing this Buddhism 20 years ago (wow really?) this passage has stood out for me. It has changed significance over the years. At first it was about following my mentor’s path in fighting for world peace and becoming a deep blue activist for human rights. Then it meant keeping up a consistent practice of meditation every morning and evening to deepen the color of faith. When I got married, I wore a blue dress and had a Buddhist ceremony promising to continue to grow and develop that precious relationship. Now this passage is all about my children. I want so much for them to surpass me in terms of riches of the heart. I wish for them an unshakable happiness and a life full of discoveries. The how-to-build-this-life-for-them part is a bit fuzzy though. Clearly I don’t keep the cleanest house and frequently wash the whites with the darks, and there’s a pile of unsorted socks in the laundry room with pairs the kids have grown out of by now. But the house is relatively peaceful (except when it’s not) and I try and support my kids in what they like to do, and encourage them to get up at a Buddhist meeting and read a poem, and let them experience extreme boredom until a brilliant idea of something fun flashes into their brains. I try and do my best while learning from all the crazy things I try–like coaching my son’s soccer team even though I’d never even played the game before. So hopefully someday after getting washed in the indigo of our family life the kids will turn out stronger than I with a heart filled with hope, never letting go of their dreams, and with a seeking spirit to learn and do more.