What is the purpose of living? Life, as poets and songwriters remind us, is like a journey. From yesterday to today, from today to tomorrow, on we travel without cease, but where are we bound? Imagine this scene. We are riding on a boat headed downriver. On board we pass our time busily, making friends with some, quarreling with others whom we dislike, drinking liquor, making and losing money, weeping and laughing. Day after day we are engrossed in such things, but what of ou
On page 36 of YOU WERE BORN FOR A REASON there is a quote from the book The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. The quote is, “Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down for dinner and life as you know it ends.” This quote is in reference to the sudden death of the author’s husband, that happened one evening as they sat down to eat. They had been married for forty years, and in a moment their union together was over. Didion explains that she considered
“Though I Have Always Heard That We Meet Only to Part …” As Master Shinran says, “Among the Eight Sufferings, the anguish of parting is the most unbearable” (Notes on Oral Transmissions), nothing is more painful in life than losing loved ones. However, while going through grief, there were quite a few people who had chances to listen to Buddhism by joining the memorial service for the deceased Shinran Followers. Let us introduce a Buddhist friend. Buddhism is for Living Peopl
Once I heard the following from an acquaintance: “I once asked my mother how many more years she expected to live as a joke. She answered, ‘Five years.’ I then said, ‘Didn’t you say the same thing five years ago?’” We all know that we are mortal, but no one thinks that death will come today. At heart we expect to live forever. I wonder how many more years I’m going to live on. The other day I had a full-body body medical checkup, and the doctor showed me things like a picture
The answer is in Tannisho The dreadful earthquake and tsunami on 3/11 deprived many of their precious lives in a instant The ocean-like pile of rubbles seems like a burnt ruins after a thorough asir assault. In some areas, priests are seen chanting sutra or praying in front of the dead bodies. However, is that the real role of Buddhism? Master Shinran, whose sole mission was teaching the Vow of Amida Buddha, clarified the true way to remember our deceased loved ones. Shall we
I recently bought a new money wallet. The one I had became very used over the years. The old one was a rectangular shape, brown leather wallet. When I made the switch from the old wallet to a new one, and put the old wallet away, I couldn’t help but think of my grandfather, who I never met. He passed away over ten years before I was born, but my grandmother had kept his wallet in her possession, and at one point she gave it to me. My grandfather’s wallet was also a rectangle,
Thirty thousand, six hundred and fifty one. This is the number of people who committed suicide last year in Japan. I was almost going to be counted as one of the persons who had committed suicide. I received a flier and thanks to Master Shinran and Takamori-sensei, I am now standing on this stage! I had a pessimistic mind like a load of lead weighing heavily on me, and I was always thinking about death. Sixty years ago, I was born in a deep mountain in Shimane prefecture. Whe
I recently started running again for exercise. Appropriate footwear for running is essential, and the more I run, the more I thought about the kind of trainer I would get. When thinking of running footwear, one of the first places to buy that came to mind was a shop called “Phidippides” in Encino. I knew the owner of “Phidippides”. His name was Craig Chambers. I knew him from the first class I took at college in the USA, a journalism class at Santa Monica College. I and Craig
“Revelation of the Primal Vow means the end of life in the former-moment.” —Gutoku’s Notes With these words, Master Shinran taught that once we have come to know, “Amida’s Vow is true!” in a split second of ichinen, the life of illusion in which we have been transmigrating for untold aeons ends. Amida Buddha pledged, “I will save all people into absolute happiness without fail.” As this is a promise which is beyond our imagination, anyone who hears it will doubt it for sure.
One hundred years ago on April 14, RMS Titanic sank with the loss of 1514 lives. On centenary of the sinking, there is a lot of interest in the ship and its history. Various items that have been held in private hands until now are going on sale. One such item was the luncheon menu dated April 14, 1912 that was sold for $122,000. A sample of the dishes on offer to the shipʼs wealthiest included chicken a la Maryland and eggs Argenteuil, a plate of poached eggs with asparagus.