Monday, January 12, 2009

Little Jizo

Little Jizo is a beloved bodhisattva in Korea, China, and especially Japan. He is regarded as a protector of children, travelers, and women and helps those who are working through life problems, illness, or disability. He plunges fearlessly into any situation to help those in need, and is known for his unflagging optimism, fearlessness, and gentleness. Little Jizo is usually depicted as a child monk. A bodhisattva devotes their life to freeing others from suffering and are an inspiration to awaken the qualities of an enlightened being that are inherent in everyone. (Source: Zen Community of Oregon)

I’ve been carrying around my own Little Jizo for a while now. What I seldom talk about is the really rough year we’ve had because there just seem to be no adequate words for it. Our son has served for the last 14 months as a medic in Mosul, Iraq. I can not even begin to describe what his platoon has been through or his experience as medic in one of the most violent sectors of Mosul. Only a handful of them are coming home unharmed. Our baby leaves Mosul in a couple of days. We are filled with gratitude.

I got my Little Jizo from a woman called Petra who lives in Sweden. At the time I had no idea what a Little Jizo was. Petra contacted me about a trade for buttons from her Etsy shop, LillaJizo. The Little Jizo figure features frequently in her art and the one I have just spoke to me. He just quietly sits in my hand, lending more comfort than I can convey. How such a simple tiny object can give me so much quiet is a mystery, but one that I am thankful for. Thank you, Petra

What ever the source, may all of our soldiers over there and coming home experience some of the Little Jizo comfort that I’ve had.


Erin Siegel said...


So glad to hear your son is coming home! May he return safe and sound. My brother-in-law is also a Medic in the Army. He also had a tour of duty over in Iraq for about a year. I know how you feel. We always worried about him. Luckily, he returned home safe about 6 months ago now and is enjoying this life at home. God bless all who serve. Thank you for your son's service and for introducing me to the little Jizo!

SummersStudio said...

Thank you for your kind words, Erin. It's been a long 14 months. We'll be just so happy when he gets back here.

Komyo said...

I was so happy, and moved to tears, to find this post... It seems that I am in the process of getting more devoted to my practice of making Jizo-figures. This is both an inner and outer transformance that is taking place seemingly even without my own intentions. When I read this post I realized at a deeper level than before how much good this practice is able to bring to people. I feel so much gratitude to you for sharing your experience, I can´t say how much it means to me! I constantly doubt that what I am doing has any true meaning to people, so this was very uplifting to me! It is clear to me that I am not the one doing, but I am a vessel holding this blessing and letting it flow through me. There is nothing special about this, still it is a miracle (like Life itself and everything in it) and I can´t find anything that would be more meaningful for me to do. It seems that Jizo is taking more and more room in my Etsy shop and in my life and this post was like a hint that I am going in the right direction. I am so happy that my Jizo face found its home in your hands! My humble gratitude to you / Petra (Lilla Jizo)

Komyo said...

I thought I'd tell you that I was inspired to reopen my blog Lilla Jizo, which I had put to rest because I didn't know exactly how I would make use of it. After reading your post I found myself to be inspired to share my Jizo experiences and the blog just happened to become alive. Thanks to you for your inspiration and thanks to Jizo :)