I Want to Know “Why We Live”

Lecture Report from Kyoto

This spring, in Kyoto, we often saw Buddhist lectures and study sessions overflowing with people. The phrase on the flyers, “why we live,” has attracted more and more people to Buddhist lectures. The encounter with Master Shinran's teachings makes such a strong impression on the attendees that they are starting to convey the teachings to their families.

The picture on the next page shows a study session in Kyoto City.

A man sitting in front entered the room during the lecture, took out his small folding chair and sat on it. There were no seats available and so four to five people had to stand while listening, which cannot be seen in the Hall. Two thirds of the attendees were those who came to the lecture for the first time or just started listening to Buddhism recently. In the Kyoto Juhachibankan (a local Shinran followers' gathering place), Kenta Ouchi (25, see picture below), who also was attracted by the phrase on the flyer “why we live” and became a Shinran follower in March, attended the lecture with his cousin (19). After knowing the purpose of life, Ouchi overcame his illness and became healthy. That impressed his aunt so much that she asked him to take her son to a lecture.

The cousin, who wanted to know the meaning of life, listened to the lecture on “the reality of human beings” in the front row that day. Ouchi said, “I was so glad to hear him saying, ?I'll go with you,' after I told him what I had learned. I was almost crying.” After the lecture, when they came back to the cousin's house, the aunt said, “Thank you, Kenta.” Now Ouchi wants to attend the lecture with his mother.

Akiko Takeshita, who started listening to Buddhism through a flyer and became a Shinran follower last year, attended the lecture with her sister, Tetsuko. When Tetsuko introduced herself and said, “I'll listen to Buddhism from now on,” she was applauded by the other attendees. Listening to the teachings from her sister, Tetsuko is thinking about having seigohonzon (the solemn object of worship, The Name) at her home.

Moreover, Takeshita held a memorial service for her late mother with her relatives living in Kanto at the Juhachibankan in May. “My mother was a caring person and I believe that to convey Amida Buddha's Vow is the best thing for her to be happy,” says Takeshita.

Yoshiki Oikawa, a freshman at university, was invited by his grandmother Fumiko Fukushima. “I had some trouble and talked about it with my grandmother. She said, ?If you listen to true Buddhism, you will have the answer,” and invited me to come here.” He listened to the lecture all day and said, “I thought I was lonely. But today I have learned that the most important thing is to know the purpose of life, which gives me a lot of energy to live.” He smiled shyly.

Tatsuya Nishida (18), a freshman at university, had moved from Toyama to Kyoto. He was invited by his family in Toyama and attended the lecture for the first time. He said, “I will focus on the purpose of life and keep working hard toward it.” Kenji Ishida (see picture left), chief follower in Kyoto, holds webinars at his family's home. He says, “Kyoto is filled with people who want to know the purpose of living. I just can't listen to these precious teachings by myself. We always discuss how to invite our families and other people to attend the lecture in The 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall.

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #17 | 2012, I Want to Know “Why We Live”

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The Buddhist Village Times #17

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