Fiona writes: I have long auburn hair. I can feel it resting on my shoulders as I type.
This time next week, it will be gone. I am being ordained as a Buddhist priest in the Amida Order, and letting go of my hair is an optional part of the ceremony which feels important to me. I will be become a slightly different person, as you do when you get married. I will be taking vows. I will even get a new first name, which I’ll use when I’m with my sangha.
Shaving my head will signal this new identity to the world and to myself, and will also challenge me to let go of some of my self-conscious vanity. I want to ask myself, what is really important in this life of ours? How will I spend the time I have left?
My friend Caroline suggested that rather than throw my hair away, I should give it to a cancer charity so it can be made into a real-hair wig. Thank you, Caroline – I’m going to do just that – and give my hair to Little Princess Trust who offer real-hair wigs and support to children (boys and girls) with cancer or alopecia. and along with the hair I thought it would be nice to send some money to help them make a wig or two.
Here is my charity page, where you can offer a little money towards this charity and allow them to carry on doing good things. Please feel free to donate even a very small amount if that’s what you can afford – these little amounts will add up! And please do share this blog or my charity page with your friends.
Here is a bit of liturgy from our evening service, which feels relevant. Do replace the word ‘Dharma’ with ‘the truth that is important to you’. And underneath is a video from Little Princess Trust so you can hear a little more about where your money will be going. Thank you, lovely people.
Alas, people busily engaged in secular matters
Take no notice of life wearing away by day by day, night by night.
Like a lamp in the wind – how long can it last?
In the six realms of vast Samsara, there is no fixed abode.
Until we are emancipated from the sea of affliction,
How can we rest in peace? Should we not be afraid?
While still young and strong, let us each hear the Dharma;
Let us strive and diligently seek the path to Eternity.
Photo: candles in the wind by Exiled Bacchus