Absolute Happiness Can Be Achieved Now
In general use, “Heizei” means “usually” or “daily” and describes the time when you are alive. When you hear “when you are alive,” you probably think that you will live on and on, but the reality is that if you die in a minute, this one minute before you die is your “Heizei.” It was revealed to me that ultimately speaking, “Heizei” is the time between when we inhale and when we exhale. I learned that achieving absolute happiness while we are alive is life’s greatest task and that we are living for this purpose. I was assured that every moment of my life and every lecture gives priceless meaning to my life. When we turn on the TV, it is all about the winter Olympics. The Olympians spend years of their lives to achieve the gold medal, but it is nothing compared to the purpose of life which Master Shinran taught us. Master Shinran taught us that the real purpose of our lives is “Ōjo ichijō”, which means to gain certainty of going to the Pure Land of Amida Buddha whenever we die. Shinran followers who have learned this truth are indeed fortunate.
Sayuri Watanabe, Nanao city, Ishikawa
The Teaching of “Turning toward and Believing in Amida Alone”
Though there are many people in the world, they all can be divided into two categories: wise and foolish. I learned from the lecture that “wise” people are those who know about what will happen in the afterlife, while “foolish” people are those who do not know about what will happen in the afterlife. In both cases, the crucial word is “the afterlife.” The previous year is over. Time passes so quickly. Three months of this year are already gone. Day by day we are approaching the afterlife. Although the afterlife is a certain future for all people, we do not clearly know what will happen. Neither being praised by others nor having money and possessions will enlighten us about our most certain future. Genshin, who had received both, was reproached by his mother for this. Saddened by his actions, she wrote to him, “You must become a priest who is a bridge between all people and the afterlife.” Śākyamuni Buddha, Master Shinran and all true teachers of Buddhism taught that in order to become “wise” people, we must turn to and believe only in Amida Buddha. I must keep this in my mind in the morning and evening while I am chanting the line “Henki annyo kan’issai (偏帰安養勧一 切)” from the chant book.
Ilona Yakimenko, Russia
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #39 | 2014, Absolute Happiness Can Be Achieved Now
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