死中得生：“In death, gain life.”
Many people might find this saying especially suitable during the Covid-19 outbreak. Although quarantine has not impacted my life too seriously, this last year has challenged and disrupted it in many other ways. The violence of the Hong Kong protests shook me considerably. Moving to a new university and grappling with adult life has also uprooted many of my relationships, ambitions, and beliefs. In this moment, I experience “death” not as a battle against a concrete virus, but rather as gradual annihilation of my general self-concept.
This scroll reminds me of the Buddhist teaching of not-self. Many concepts often associated with the self are transient, so I should not cling to them. In letting parts of myself wither and “die,” I recognize that they are not me, and allow myself to grow. By embracing change, I can truly live.
Tea students in the Urasenke Urbana-Champaign association