Plates. . .
There was once a girl, Okiku, who lived in Himeji Castle as a servant of the samurai Aoyama. One of Okiku’s tasks was to care for her master’s collection of ten valuable plates. But one day, while Okiku was washing the plates, she realized one was missing. No matter how many times she counted, she always came up one short. Her master was so enraged that she had lost his plate that he threw her down a well.
Murdered so brutally, Okiku’s soul could not rest. Every night, her ghost crawled out from the well to continue counting her master’s plates. She would count to nine, then, upon realizing that the tenth plate was still gone, she would let out an ear-piercing shriek. Okiku’s screams kept everyone in the castle up all night long for weeks on end, until a Buddhist priest finally appeased her.
Our lesson: We should carefully attend to that which we are charged with. Our neglect will not only haunt us one day but haunt those we have shared our journeys with.
“In neglect lies the world’s greatest misery; in attention lies ones true strength.” – Buddha
Peace and Love, Jim