Contrary to current heavy snow in Japan, the sun glares from early morning here in Hawaii. Every day, under the sunshine, I am actively going around the town with fliers for Buddhist lectures in my hands!
Rachel, who I handed a flier last June (the picture below), wanted to solve her ignorance and anxiety about what happens after death. She started listening to Buddhism in Shinrankai Hawaii Center, feeling that Buddhism has the answer, and making her first visit to Japan for Master Shinranʼs 750th Commemorative Anniversary. She is quite happy to have listened to Takamori Senseiʼs lecture in The 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall.
The other day, I asked her, “What topic has impressed you the most?” She replied, “The difference between the compassion of the Buddhism of sages and Pure Land compassion.” She is impressed by Amidaʼs Vow that will save all people equally into absolute happiness without fail, and keeps on listening and seeking Amidaʼs salvation.
Moreover, listening to the Law of Cause and Effect again and again, she has learned that no matter how much pain she may have, she just reaps what she has sown in the past, and knowing the Law makes her feel better.
From her joy in listening to Buddhism, she has become grateful for everything and is eager to convey the teachings to her family and friends.
“I Didn’t Know the Direction in My Life.”
Jerry Iwata also received a flier and started listening to Buddhism. He was attracted to the phrase “the purpose of life.” His parents believed in True Pure Land Buddhism and his ancestors lived in Hiroshima. He
has a strong will to donate and believed that his purpose of life was to make other people happy. However, he said, “Until I encountered Buddhism, I was not sure about what kind of people I should offer my money to and how. The direcHawaii Report / Hiroka Watanabe Happily on the Path towards Amida Buddhation was not clear. But now I know the direction, towards the light.” He is listening to Buddhism diligently. I really hope he comes to The 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall with me this year.
“I Always felt like life was a lie, like being in a dream”
It has been eight months since I came to Hawaii. I feel a strong bond from previous lives with people that I have met. Had I not come here, I would have never been able to meet these wonderful people.
Kent Young, a freshman at Hawaii University, is American Chinese who loves Japanese cartoons and ramen. At the beginning of December last year, when he received a flyer, the words “you were born for a reason” got his attention. He thought, “there may not be a purpose to life”. But he could not get this thought off his mind and then he sent us an email. Kent says, “My friends and family never respond to my concerns about the purpose of life. My classmates party all the time but I cannot be like them. I have always felt that life is a fake dream. It doesnʼt feel real. Itʼs so lonely.”
He was nodding earnestly as he was listening to the parable of “The reality of our true selves” as taught by Sakyamuni Buddha. He has been listening to Buddhism enthusiastically to know the real purpose of life.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #15 | 2012, Happily on the Path towards Amida Buddha
Hawaii Report / Hiroka Watanabe
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Buddhist Village Times #15