Rie’s Buddhist friends all say that whenever she shows up, she brightens the atmosphere. She is an indispensible member of the Buddhist gatherings held at cafes in the mornings.
She encountered Buddhism a year ago. The shock of her classmate’s death was what made her think about life. She and her coworkers all got along well together just like family, and they often did things together besides work such as cherry blossom viewing, enjoying soccer games and going out for drinks. However, after her friend’s death, she started feeling the fragility of life.
While her coworkers partied hard and got drunk, she realized something. “I suddenly found myself thinking, the more fun they seemed to be having, the more lonely and sad I became. So I always tried to keep a smile on my face, holding a cocktail glass in my hand.”
In the meantime, she went to a Buddhist seminar she had found online last July. “I heard the term ‘absolute happiness’ and thought if Master Shinran teaches this kind of happiness, I must listen to his teachings.”
I learned that gazing at the impermanence of life is the first step to true happiness. My friend’s death taught me that life and death are inextricably linked together.
Rie Kimitsuka, works in accounting at a high-precision optical equipment manufacturer
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #55, Sadness in a Cocktail Glass
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