Visiting Japan after thirteen years of interval, Christina was reminded of her encounter with Buddhism in Little Tokyo downtown LA.
In her teens, she started doubting Christianity because of the inconsistency in its teachings. This led her to feel drawn to Buddhism instead.
At around age forty, she visied the Zen Buddhist center and devoted herself to meditation. Although she could attain some peace of mind, she never heard any teaching on Buddhism. However, when she read a passage from Tannisho, which she received from a Zen priest, “In this fleeting and unstable as a burning house, inhabited by human beings beset by worldly passions, all is idleness and foolishness, utterly devoid of truth. Only the nembutsu is true,” she was astonished.
In this world, all is empty and foolishness. We wonʼt be truly happy with money, position, or fame. Impressed by the depth of the teaching, she started wondering if she could listen to the same teachings somewhere nearby. She knew that there were some magnificent-looking temples in downtown LA run by Hongwanji. She visited one of them several times trying to find a clue; however, she could hear no teaching over there.
One day when she was walking in Little Tokyo looking for a Japanese restaurant, a missionary of Shinrankai talked to her on the street telling her the teachings of Master Shinran in English. She felt so happy that she asked him to give her more lectures.
Three months later, there was a lecture by Takamori Sensei in San Francisco. She drove her car for seven hours and attended it. Hearing for the first time that Amida Buddhaʼs Vow saves all people without fail, she decided to become a Shinran follower. Soon after that she moved to the neighborhood of Shinran Center in Gardena, Los Angeles, for the convenience of joining the sermons regularly.
At the beginning of this year she lost her mother and became more aware of the severly realized the impermanence of life. To solve the crucial matter of the afterlife, she pledged at the Shinran Center Headquarters, after thirteen years interval, that she will make efforts and continue listening to Buddhism
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #15 | 2012, No Teachings on Tannisho at Hongwanji School in LA
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