A message from Rev. Mieko Majima which appears in the book, “The Taste of the Nembutsu,” published in 2016 by the HHMH State Ministers’ Association. The book is a collection of dharma messages by each of the active ministers.
To extend the reach of the dharma within these messages, we will publish one per week on our website.
Home, Sweet Home
Rev. Mieko Majima
We always seem to be on a journey each day of our lives. We travel from one place to another physically on foot, by car, or plane. We also travel spiritually from one destination to another. Each day, we have one of two paths to follow. Each day, we tend to have one of two choices to make. One is of brightness; the other is of darkness. We cannot deny the fact that we all have a dark passenger within us. Our actions or deeds cause us and others to love or hate. Such is the way of human life.
A policemen’s duty is to protect citizens and enforce the laws of the city. When you are in need of help, you may be happy to see a policeman. On the other hand, when you cheat or break a law, you may fear the sight of the same officer.
Your own actions determine your gratitude or fear.
There are times in the past that we should remember and cherish in our life. Then there are other events that are best to be forgotten. Often we hold grudges against others, and by our hatred or anger, we keep the unpleasant incidents alive. Therefore the past becomes more important than the future. We predict or judge the incident which does not unfold in front of us based on our past experiences. We worry and we think in anger, and we travel backwards. We become the prisoners of our past. Overcoming our dark passenger will set our mind free and we can move on.
Throughout our life, there is a home we return to. It is not the home of our childhood. It is the home of contentment and comfort.
Many of us forget that there is a spiritual home we came from. We also forget that our final destination is home. Our forgetfulness, loneliness and dissatisfaction fill our time, and we wander to places to seek the spiritual comfort. And the desire for escaping from reality takes the place. Some of us try to escape through drugs or other disillusioning methods.
No matter what has happened in our life, we cannot escape from ourselves. Even when we outsmart people there are always regrets. Fortunate people find the reality of life through the Teachings of the Buddha and return to their spiritual home guided by the Buddha.
Buddha is “the awakened one.” When we think of “the awakened one,” we are speaking of one who can find and understand truth and reality. When Nembutsu, Namo Amida Butsu comes out from us, Amida Buddha comes alive in our heart. Amida Buddha hears all cries in this world and watches over us eternally.
All of us are on a spiritual journey. Shinran remarked, “I have come to the end of my human life and must leave this world. But I will not go to any unknown place. I shall return to my home where my mind will never worry or suffer. I am very happy that I am departing to spiritual home. Amida Buddha is always waiting there for me.”
Dwelling on past events makes us unhappy. Instead, we can look forward to each day’s journey. We live here and now. This also will pass. Through Namo Amida Butsu, we can feel the Buddha’s sincere mind guiding us. No one can take away the great act of wisdom and compassion from us. Amida Buddha comes alive and morphs our bad karma into good cause.
We always have a sweet home to heal our wounded heart. Amida Buddha waits for us.