Namu Amida Butsu
Thank you very much for your kind "Kokua" and support at our most important fundraising project which was held in September. Because of your sincere support and understanding our fundraising project was a huge success.
This month I would like to share with you a warm feeling of Dana story and heart of Nembutsu life.
One day, a young man who had lost his job went to the town looking for a job all day. However, he couldn’t find any good news. In the late afternoon walking on the way home, he discovered an old homeless man sitting by the entrance of the bridge.
When he saw this old homeless man, he really wanted to offer some money to him and searched in his pockets. However, he didn’t have any money to offer him. It was a very cold afternoon and the homeless man looked so cold,
What happened was, this young man bent his knee in front of this homeless person and said, "My friend, I am sorry, I don’t have anything to offer to you. Please forgive me. What I can do for you is at least I can hold your cold hands with my warm hands until your hands get warm." This young man held this homeless person’s dirty hands until his hands became warm,
This old homeless person was so impressed and expressed his true gratitude with full of tears and said, "Sir, I have never received such a wonderful and kind offering from anyone. To the homeless people like me, you offered your true kindness and heart. I feel so grateful and received a most important thing in my life." This homeless person expressed his true gratitude to the young man saying "Thank you" with a full smile.
When this young man returned home, he recalled the old homeless man’s words. He closed his eyes and thought it over about what happened. Then he was able to realize that he received a true and wonderful Dana from the old homeless person. He said, "I received the heartfelt gratitude from an old homeless person with his sincere words. It gave me a warm feeling in my heart." The homeless man’s kind and honest words made the true feeling of peace and spiritual happiness in his life.
The month of October, our Wailuku Hongwanji’s theme is "Interdependence" Interdependence is the act of supporting each other and a very important thing we learned from our society, especially from our temple and members.
Our lives are always interdependent and we are always relying upon each other. Shinran Shonin expresses his true heart in the collected works of Shinran and it is as follow: "Ah, hard to encounter, even in many lifetimes, is the decisive cause of birth, Amida’s universal Vow! Hard to realize, even in myriads of kalpas, is pure shinjin that is true and real! If you should come to realize this practice and shinjin, rejoice at the conditions from the distant past that have brought it about. (Collected Works of Shinran p.4)
The word "Okagesama," “O” means honorific express, “Kage” means shadow, and "Sama" is the word of respect. So my understanding of "Okagesama" is "because of you, I am here as I am. Because of you, I am able to have this wonderful life." And because of you I received this precious time."
Likewise, may we continue to express our true gratitude by the kind words to others, so that we are able to rejoice in happiness with others. I firmly believe that this is the Jodo Shinshu way of life and happiness for the Nembutsu followers.