The 2,000-Matt Hall is the Transshipment Area
Master Shinran proclaims at the very beginning of “The Hymn of True Faith” that he himself is saved from the great problem of the afterlife through the power of Amida Buddha. Takamori Sensei gave us a lecture on January 6 about how Master Zendo, one of the seven eminent priests and who was referred to as an incarnation of the Buddha by Master Shinran, clarified Amida Buddha’s salvation.
We Feel Happy, Angry and Sad While on the Boat
Katsutoshi Hanakawa Toyama
I learned from the lecture that “Everything in this world takes place while we are on the boat moving to the waterfall of death.” All human beings are practicing the same routines every day. They suffer, become happy, laugh, get angry, and make merry in the boat, but the boat itself is surely getting closer and closer to the waterfall. Though seven billion people are heading for tragedy, they do not see what lies in front of them.
Amida Buddha discerned that “a huge ship” is necessary to save all the human beings destined to fall into the waterfall. So ten kalpas (10 times 432 million years) ago Amida Buddha made Myogo, or the Name Namu-Amida-Butsu, consisting of six Chinese characters. The Name Myogo is the huge ship. Sakyamuni Buddha, who is Amida Buddha’s disciple, has been crying out to us to transfer to that huge ship. I learned that it is in this 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall that we can transfer. I am very grateful.
Today is the Last Day. The Basin is Right Ahead
Tatsuru Kamide, Ishikawa
Whether we are aware of it or not, we are surely heading towards the basin of the waterfall. That is what I learned in the last session, which I found horrifying. We take it for granted that we are going to live to see tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, and the next year. But eventually we must leave everything behind and fall into the world of suffering for eternity.
The 2000-Tatami-Mat Hall is the place of transfer from the boat heading towards the basin of the waterfall to the great ship going to the Pure Land. We may be positioned just a few inches from the edge of the waterfall, so no one knows when listening to Buddhism at the 2,000-Matt Hall would be their last time. I will bear in mind that every time I listen to Buddhism it may be my last chance to listen, and I will move forward toward the ichinen point of accomplishing the purpose of life.
Onto Amida’s Great Ship that Goes to the Pure Land
Chieko Sunouchi, Toyama
In my life so far many of my dreams have come true, but still I felt empty. I could not share such a feeling, so I pretended to be satisfied with my life. I do not say that I am as successful as the general Hideyoshi Toyotomi, but it is a fact that I have achieved my dreams to a great extent. Then why is my heart always filled with questions such as “What is my life all about?” Takamori Sensei gave me the exact answer on this question, explaining that all of us are on a boat going toward the basin of a waterfall.
There is no way we can feel satisfaction or joy from the bottom of our hearts while we are in the dark about our future. Amida Buddha’s Vow makes us transfer from the boat that is certain to go down the waterfall to the great ship of utmost compassion bound for the Pure Land. I became duly aware that the only path through which we can feel peace of mind and satisfaction from the bottom of our hearts is through the power of Amida Buddha alone.
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #26 | 2013, Birth in the Pure Land is Our Ultimate Purpose of Life
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