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You might have noticed that we really like jizo, those monk-like guys in robes that feature prominently on our site and on our socials (and in my home, too). They almost always travel in groups of six, so I'm using jizo in the plural here.

They seem like monks and maybe buddhas, but they're actually bodhisattva, enlightened beings who postpone Buddhahood and serve as aides to anyone who asks. Jizo embody supreme spiritual optimism and maximum compassion for all living beings.

There are worse ways to go through life. If you ask yourself what a jizo would do in a given situation, you can almost guarantee a better outcome if you maximize your compassion and turn the spiritual optimism dial up by 50 percent.

Jizo are beloved in Japan, and they are everywhere. You see them often in the countryside in the form of stone statues. They are above all guardians of lost children. Jizō are always easing the suffering of others. Many people pray to them and ask for better outcomes/success in life, including good health, meeting of material needs, raising children, and all kinds of other personal asks. I somehow wish it wasn't so transactional.

Even today, in Japan jizo are all-around excellent saviors who befriend all, especially children. Jizo portrayed in the media are often kawaii (cute) and cartoonish, which is superweird but fascinating. They seem to embody Buddhism, Taoism, and Shintoism, all in one.

We are fans. For anyone just discovering jizo, look them up. They seem to show up when you need them. Maybe jizo are, in essence, expressions of our higher selves.

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