Zen Buddhism and Fireflies

For Zen Buddhists, fireflies are not just a quirk of nature — they’re the perfect metaphor for the bitter-sweet brevity of life.
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“One of nature’s odder creatures is the firefly, a soft bodied beetle that emits a warm yellow glow from its lower abdomen, typically at twilight, in order to attract mates or prey. Though relatively rare in Europe and North America, the firefly is a common sight in Japan, where it is known as the hotaru. Hotarus are at their most plentiful in June and July, and can be seen in groups around rivers and lakes. The glittering light of the hotaru is deemed to be so enchanting, the Japanese hold firefly festivals – or hotaru matsuri – to watch their dance…”

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CREDITS

Produced in collaboration with:

Josh Philip Saunders
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Title animation produced in collaboration with

Vale Productions
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