At the beginning of the new year, I would like to extend my greeting to you.
On June 6, 2014, receiving the Jodo Shinshu tradition from Monshu Emeritus, I was inaugurated as the Hongwanji Resident Head Priest and Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha 25th Monshu. To commemorate the occasion together with all of you in front of Amida Buddha and the Founder Shinran Shonin, Dento Hokoku Hoyo, or the Commemoration on the Accession of the Jodo Shinshu Tradition will be observed at Hongwanji, Kyoto, Japan from this coming October 1. With this observance as an opportunity, it is my hope that the Jodo Shinshu teaching will spread to as many as possible.
The Jodo Shinshu teaching was set forth by Shinran Shonin nearly eight hundred years ago and it has been carefully transmitted to us today. Be it Shinran Shonin’s time or the present day, the Jodo Shinshu teaching remains unchanged and continues to serve as our spiritual foundation. This is because in this world of impermanence we live our lives never knowing when it may end. No one can guarantee that tomorrow I will not be involved in an incident or accident that will bring about the end of my life.
In closing, let us continue our journey along the Nembutsu path by going to the temple to hear more of Amida Buddha’s constant working for our benefit. In doing so, throughout this year, let us reflect on our true selves, come to appreciate all the encounters of our everyday lives, and in gratitude, recite the Nembutsu.
Namo Amida Butsu.
January 1, 2016
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha