Thank you very much for the opportunity to attend Master Shinran’s birthday celebration. Master Shinran taught us that our life is “the painful sea of birth-and-death.”
Suffering comes one after another in various forms. Our life is indeed a “sea that is difficult to cross” as Master Shinran teaches us. Śākyamuni Buddha expressed it as, “Life is suffering.”
There are four kinds of sufferings, which are the suffering of life, the suffering of old age, the suffering of disease, and suffering of death. No matter how much our world develops, no matter how much money and treasure we amass, we all have to encounter those forms of sufferings.
In America, around 70% of celebrities have had plastic surgery. I heard that one-fourth of all the cosmetic surgery clinics exist in Beverly Hills. Supply and demand is huge where many celebrities live. One famous Hollywood star, Angelina Jolie had her breasts surgically removed to prevent cancer. Three months after the surgery, she returned to the red carpet. Another famous actress, Jane Fonda, had a surgery in her 70’s. I also heard that some actresses even had surgery on their hands to look more beautiful.
Recently, more and more people are revealing their faces online. Therefore, the number of people undergoing surgery has increased by 30% since last year. In ancient Japan, a beautiful woman wrote a poem: “If only my face could remain unchanged as the years pile on, though life must end.”
This is a universal desire that we all possess, no matter how old we are. Thanks to modern technology, we can change our faces to look more beautiful to some extent. However, such joy is trivial compared to the joy of being born as a human being. Master Shinran said: “The painful sea of birth and death knows no bounds. Long have we been sinking in its waters. Only the ship of Amida’s universal Vow will take us aboard and carry us across without fail.” This is the manisfesto of Master Shinran to all people that the great ship of salvation really exists. I want to share Master Shinran’s message with people in America. I’m really glad that I was able to attend your lecture. Thank you.
Hiroki Shima, USA
Source: The Buddhist Village Times #30 | 2013, Plastic Surgery is So Popular in LA
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