Thank you Letters

Now at Last I am Willing to Listen to Buddhism

Kazushi Kiyonishi, Niigata prefecture

Good deeds from the past reflect in our desire to listen to Buddhism: this I grasped in particular. Even if one guides a horse to the river, the horse won’t drink the water if it is not willing to do so. Now the horse is in the middle of abundant water and yet it’s not inclined to have even a sip. The water has no meaning to the horse.

I was born and brought up in an environment suitable for listening to Buddhism. It was like the horse surrounded with plenty of water. However, I kept refusing to drink water. Even though water was forcibly poured into my mouth, I spat it all out. But now, after twenty years, I have begun to drink the water of Buddhism little by little. I was not willing to listen to Buddhism at all, but I have come to feel like listening to Master Shinran’s teachings.

I can’t help but think this is totally due to Amida Buddha’s great power. Thinking deeply about how happy I am, I will continue listening to Buddhism until I clearly realize that the only way to be saved is to “believe in the Buddha of immeasurable life and follow him alone.”

Nobody Can Protect His or Her Life Forever.

Keita Sugimoto, Missionary

We all are on board a ship heading for life’s waterfall into the basin of death. The future of all human beings is the waterfall basin. Either joy or sorrow, all things happen in the ship that is headed for the waterfall basin; this is a fact that nobody can deny. At the moment of plunging down into the basin of the afterlife, whether one is laughing or crying, as they are they will plunge into the basin of the waterfall called the afterlife.

People say, “Protect yourself by yourself,” but actually it is impossible to protect your life forever. I have realized that we will never be able to escape from the crucial matter of the afterlife. We listen to Buddhism in order to change ships: from the ship headed for the waterfall basin to the great ship headed for the Pure Land. That is exactly the purpose of why we were born as humans. For all humanity at anytime and anywhere, the only way to salvation is the great ship which carries us across the painful sea of life and death. I was very moved by the ship drawn big on the blackboard.

The great ship represents the Primal Vow of Amida Buddha. The introduction to Teaching, Practice, Faith, Enlightenment, Master Shinran’s most important work, begins with this assertion: “Amida’s inconceivable Vow is a great ship that carries us across the sea that is difficult to cross.” Now I know how precious these words are to us and they definitely are the light of all humanity. What a wonderful assertion!

Source: The Buddhist Village Times #36 | 2014, Thank you Letters

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