Auspicious. It’s a word we don’t use much. When I travel, I hear it often. Auspicious days. Auspicious colors. Auspicious events. Part of eastern spiritual practice is to maximize what promises success. To do what one can to be favored by fortune.
A friend in Nepal said, “The oddest thing about being in Europe and North America is that people just open the door and walk out.” There’s no ceremony. No smudge of red on the forehead. No activity saying, “Now I am leaving my house and going out into the world.”
Thai spirit houses (san phra phum) go in an auspicious location. Not in the shade of the house. In a good spot for the spirits to live. If the spirits don’t have a place, they’ll be in the house with you where they’re bound to cause trouble. Each morning the head of household offers food, drink, flowers, incense.
Offerings to the spirits are common in eastern countries. Leaf dishes filled with food and flowers laid out on the walk and in front of the door in Bali. Candles lit at stupas in Nepal. Sometimes I think we have too few markers in our lives. Too few moments of awareness. Not enough sense of who we are in the world and what might be possible.