A Necessity

The Taste of the Nembutsu cover image

A message from Rev. Shinkai Murakami 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.


A Necessity

Rev. Shinkai Murakami

Namo Amida Butsu

Since I have passed the age of 45, I must use eyeglasses whenever I read the newspaper or books, otherwise I have difficulty reading, and it gets very tiring. So, as far as I am concerned, eyeglasses are a necessity for me. However, I did not realize the importance until I started to face this difficulty. When I was young, I didn’t think that I would ever need eyeglasses like other people, especially the elderly. But now I am in the situation where I have to rely upon them to be able to read without any frustration. Am I the only one to be confronted with such a problem?

Let me share with you about Buddha Shakyamuni’s very important guidance that reminds us that “Everything in our lives is impermanent. Everything is changing every single second.” It is said that we have four great sufferings in our lives; namely, birth, old age, sickness, and death. But we sometimes ignore this important guidance which is the reality of life.

When people start facing difficulties, they visit temples for help. Yes, this is a very natural act for all of us. However, if we listen to the guidance of the Dharma, we might be aware of these difficulties as part of our lives, accept these things as they are, and be able to live more strongly with the Nembutsu in our lives. The guidance of the Nembutsu is giving us great courage for us to see the reality of our life. So once we are able to accept the Amida’s great guidance as our truth, then we are able to rely upon Amida Buddha’s Infinite Wisdom and Compassion, and we will firmly feel that we will never be left alone. His great spiritual guidance (Light of Wisdom and Light of Compassion) is always surrounding and encouraging our precious lives, so to have a firm faith in the Nembutsu is an important necessity in our lives. It is a truly an important necessity in our lives. We don’t have to worry about anything, just rely upon Amida Buddha’s great Wisdom and Compassion without having any mind of doubt and entrust Amida’s guidance which is live the life of Nembutsu. It is simple, but may be hard to do. Eyeglasses are one of the important items for me, but Amida Buddha’s Nembutsu guidance is the one we must have in our lives as the true guidance.

This Infinite Light and Life is showing us that the path of the truth in our precious lives.

Shinran Shonin expresses his true mind of entrusting to Amida Tathagata in his first section of “Hymns of the Dharma-age” and it is said as followed:

Entrust yourself to Amida’s Primal Vow.

Through the benefit of being grasped, never to be abandoned,

All who entrust themselves to the Primal Vow

Attain the supreme enlightenment.

By the way, how old am I? Oh, I am old enough to use eyeglasses, and I am using bifocals.

Namo Amida Butsu