The Blessings of Local Buddhist Castles
Many people have become Shinran Followers one after another through listening to the teachings of Master Shinran in their local Shinran Centers.
“The morning chant in the Tokachi-Obihiro Center cheers me up,” says Yoshimi Nishida (age 71, Kushiro City), who has just become a Shinran Follower. Staying at the Center, she attends almost all Buddhist lectures held in Obihiro City.
Nishida started to listen to Buddhism three years ago. Even though she wanted to listen to the teachings, she had to drive two and a half hours from Kushiro to Obihiro, where lectures are often held. However, since the Tokachi-Obihiro Center was inaugurated last June, she has been able to listen to Buddhism as much as she likes, staying at the Center.
“To become a follower was not an easy choice for me, but as I continued listening to the teachings, I made up my mind to listen to Buddhism as a Shinran Follower.”
Nishida even helps with preparation for lecture halls. Now she listens to Buddhism with greater intensity than before.
The house of Chieko Kamiyama (75) is a five minutes’ drive from Hokkaido Center. She has been listening to Buddhism since she attended an Animation Showing last February.
At first, she attended the lectures a few times a month. But since the Hokkaido Center was inaugurated this June, she has been able to focus on listening to Buddhism at the Center. In August, she decided to listen to Buddhism as a Shinran Follower.
“After lectures at the Center, we discuss what we have learned, which helps us have a deeper understanding of the teachings. I appreciate that. Also, we do cleaning and eat meals together. I really like having such a warm circle of Shinran followers,” she said, smiling.
“I wanted to enshrine the Myogo (the Name), ‘Namu Amida Butsu’, at home,” said Sumie Watanabe (85). Watanabe started to read the monthly Buddhist magazine last year, and she became concerned about the wooden statue of Amida Buddha enshrined in her family altar.
After she came to the Animation Showing, she came to attend lectures at the Tottori-Yonago Center and the Shimane Center, where the Name is enshrined. She asked her long-held question to Missionary Kazuhiro Koizumi: “What’s the difference between the statue of Amida Buddha and the Name?”
With consideration he taught her that we are saved by receiving the Myogo (the Name) made by Amida Buddha. Then she immediately applied to receive the true object of reverence and became a Shinran Follower in September.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #-- | 2013, “I’d Like to be a Shinran Follower, Too.”
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