There is No Tomorrow in Buddhism

Misfortune is Brought About By Deluded Beliefs

In the Buddhist lectue at the 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall, we learned about the poem of Master Shinran (right). Do you know its real meaning? We received a letter from a follower about this poem:

“Like the cherry blossom, the heart planning on tomorrow is ephemeral indeed What sudden storm may not arise in the middle of the night? ” (Master Shinran)

I realized in the lecture that I was the one who was counting on tomorrow firmly and who stiffly resisted Master Shinran’s warning in this poem. I keep justifying myself that we can’t live without believing in tomorrow. I am afraid of accepting Shinran’s true words which strictly show us the truth, and I persist in my own thoughts. Even watching news reports on the earthquake, I cannot believe it might happen to me tomorrow. Instead, I keep thinking that “I don’t want to be in their situation, I should be fine.”I always thought that I would never have deluded beliefs because Misfortune is Brought About By Deluded Beliefs that is for ignorant people. But I am the most ignorant person who resists the truth while clinging to the deluded belief that “tomorrow will come.”Deluded beliefs have brought happiness to no one. I am living in order to obtain eternal happiness in this life time. I learned there is no other path to true happiness than following the teachings of Master Shinran.

The following is an excerpt from a letter written by a foreign member who contributed to the hosting of the lecture on April 24.

Listening to the Lecture From the 1st Row

I am overwhelmed with gratitude to find myself in the 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall listening to the precious teachings directly from Takamori Sensei after overcoming a lot of obstacles. The lecture sounded totally different from the first row. I felt Takamori Sensei was preaching to me alone. It was the greatest opportunity ever. I could listen to it more seriously and learn from it more than ever. “I, Shinran, have been saved by the Buddha of Infinite Life. I, Shinran, have been rescued by the Buddha of Inconceivable Light.” Having heard the teaching of “Hei Zei Go Jo” which clarifies Amida’s salvation to occur while still alive, it became clear to me why Master Shinran is called “the light of the world.” I will show Master’s direct words and share his teachings with people in my country.

In the same lecture, we could not help but to think about our true self. Who are we? Is the body ourselves? Or the brain? Let's hear from Eriko Kobayashi.

I am Not Only My Physical Body Eriko Kobayashi,Chiba

Having heard in the lecture that the dark mind means the mind of being ignorant regarding what happens after death, I remembered my father’s death three years ago. Although his body still remained as if he were alive, it never moved no matter how long I kept watching it. There was no sign of motion, and I had to admit that it would never move again. It was just like an empty shell. He was alive and moving until seconds ago. In his last few days of life, even though his condition got worse and he finally fell into a coma, I never thought his body was just an empty shell. My father was there indeed. He took a provisional form of “my father” in this life time. Then where did the “real him” go leaving his provisional body behind? I couldn’t believe that my father had ceased to exist just because his body had lost mobility. When we look at people moving, we call them alive. But what is it that moves their bodies? My body is also with me for a while. There must be the time for me to leave it. It is called “death.” What happens then to the “real me” that is moving my body? What is the substance of “real me?” I am caught up in a strange feeling. The harder I think of it, the more it becomes mysterious to me. To be born, to live and to die are only matters regarding the physical body. What Buddhism focuses on is not this provisional body but our eternal self which has been in flow through past, present and into the future. I will listen to Buddhism seriously until the moment of ichinen when the “real me” is revealed.

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #06 | 2011, There is No Tomorrow in Buddhism

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