Father and I Burst into Laughter. A Feeling of Deep Gratitude

I visited the 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall with my parents during the three days of 750th memorial anniversary of Master Shinran. We reviewed what we had learned about Master Shinran’s Last Words.

My father used to say, “I can not be dedicated enough like Master Shinran to chant Ondokusan, the Hymn of Gratitude, because the state of my mind now is too far from the state of mind of the one who says, “I must repay, though I grind my body to dust.”

However, we learned in this sermon that the mind of Ondokusan is also given by Amida Buddha. So I told my father, “Takamori Sensei knows full well what we talked about in our review of previous lecture.”

He smiled painfully and said, “Amida Buddha gives us both the gifts of going to the Pure Land and returning to the defiled world. It is not our own thoughts, whether we think so or not. This True Pure land Buddhism is totally different from what I know about other religions. It is just amazing.” And he continued with an indistinct muttering, “Yumeko, I used to grumble about this and that , but after all I appreciate your kindness.”

So, I told him with a mocking intention, “Who said to me to get out of here if you want to talk about Buddhism?” “Well, there was a lot going on...”

I recall what had happened, and almost burst into tears. Right after we came home from the 2000-Tatami-Hall, we placed the Gomyougo in Buddhist altar.

I was looking at the Buddhist altar in which the Gomyougou was placed, and suddenly my father sat next to me and said, “Yumeko, you look very happy.”

I tried to explain, “I just recalled our three days of the 750th memorial anniversary of Master Shinran.”

And he said, “You are liar. You are happy because we can finally place the Gomyougou in the altar, aren’t you?” “Well... You got it right!”

We burst into laughter.

The 750th memorial anniversary of Master Shinran is not the end, instead it is the beginning. At last, my family too is on the same path as me.

“I would like to tell the truth of Amida Buddha’s Vow more to My father, mother,and younger sister.”

What drives me to share Buddhism with my family is none other than the gifts of Genso and Oso given by Amida Buddha. Because of Amida Buddha, we single-mindedly proceed on the brightest path. I cannot help but to spread this true teaching of Buddhism. With all my might I will share these two gifts of Amida.

Yumeko Ito, Mie

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #12 | 2011, Father and I Burst into Laughter. A Feeling of Deep Gratitude

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The Buddhist Village Times #12

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