“I was So Amazed by the Depth of Buddhist Psychology”

The First Non-Japanese American Member in Shinran-kai.

Madeline is the first non-Japanese member in Shinran- kai. Because of her, Shinran-kai started dispatching language trainees to the US.

I met the teaching of Master Shinran almost thirty-five years ago. While I was having dinner with my mother in San Francisco, where we were visiting for sightseeing, I met a missionary of Pure Land Buddhism.

I was just reading a biography of Śākyamuni out of some interest in Buddhism. The missionary explained to me the parable of the tiger of impermanence written in the sutra. I was so amazed by this story that I wanted to listen more.

I didn’t find any answer to such questions as “For what do we live?” “Why do people have to suffer?” in Christianity or other religions but Buddhism, on the other hand, gave me all the answers logically and thoroughly.

In addition, I realized that Buddhism teaches eight minds, which gave detailed explanation of our mind. I once learned the Jungian psychology, which puts forward a theory of deep psyche. But Buddhism goes deeper than that and elaborates on the “dark mind” that hides at the bottom of our mind. I was very surprised by this.

In later years when I watched the animated movie, “The Tragedy of Osha Castle,” tears kept filling my eyes. Among many touching parts, especially, the climax scene when queen Vaidehi attained true faith was moving and I was speechless. I had been waiting for this kind of movie for twenty years.

I also enjoyed watching the series of animated movies, “The Light of the world: Master Shinran.” Among the series, part one resonated with me the most. I wondered how joyful Master Shinran was when, after giving up asceticism on Mt. Hiei, he encountered Master Honen, who was the true teacher of Buddhism. This scene overlapped with my own experience.

In the course of listening to Takamori Sensei’s lectures, I memorized some important Buddhist terminology in Japanese such as “zettai no kofuku (absolute happiness),” or “shinjin ketsujo (attaining true faith).”

A lot of Westerners are greatly interested in Buddhism. I would like as many of them as possible to listen to the teaching of Master Shinran.

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #28 | 2013, “I was So Amazed by the Depth of Buddhist Psychology”

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