From My Diary

The Taste of the Nembutsu cover image

A message from Rev. Toyokazu Hagio 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.


From My Diary

Rev. Toyokazu Hagio

I often live thinking, “I try to spend every day peacefully and calmly.” However, when someone says or does something unpleasant to me, I get angry immediately (anger). I not only get angry immediately, but I often harbor the resentment, never forgetting the resentment and moreover, never forgiving that person (grudge).

However, if I do anything wrong, I quickly forget it and try to deceive, hide and forget it (deception). When it comes to me, I worry about the smallest things, but for others, I hesitate doing things and insensitively trouble others (annoyance).

When things are going well for others, I envy them and think, “Aw, why are they able to have a life like that and I don’t? Damn it!” (jealousy). When things are going smoothly, and I have extra good things, I do not share (stingy). If something is for my gain, I nonchalantly deceive others (deception).

When I am weak, I butter up those who have power, using flattery without any compunction (flattery). Often, I am spiteful, unkind, and sarcastic, using terrible words, expressions, and attitudes to people whom I dislike. In worse situations, I might use violence and weapons to inflict pain (harm).

Then, because I have a lot of things and because I can do many things, I begin to put on an air of importance and become conceited (arrogance). I do not reflect upon myself (unrepentant). I also do not feel ashamed about my behavior to society (unashamed). When even the smallest things go well for me, I am on the top of the world and think that I am a gift to mankind (rapture). On the other hand, if even the smallest thing goes badly for me, I become depressed immediately (mope, brood). I go through a lot of emotional ups and downs.

Moreover, I never seriously think about what I should know, what I should believe, and what I should do (distrust, mistrust). I neglect to do things if I consider them troublesome (lazy). When I do things, I finish them halfheartedly and think that it’ll work out somehow (apathy). Sometimes, even if I learn a serious lesson, I immediately forget it (memory lapse). I think, “Oh, that looks fun, this looks fun, should I do this, should I do that?” and have no focus (scattered). I don’t know what is really right, nor do I really want to know it (no knowledge). This is how I live my life.

 Shinran Shonin’s Diagnosis:

If you have fewer than five of the boldface points, you do not exhibit any symptoms yet, so you must deeply reflect on yourself and research yourself more in detail.

If you have five to ten points, you have already begun to exhibit symptoms of the disease, so you should listen to the Buddha’s teachings and treat the symptoms as they appear.

If you have ten to fifteen points, the disease’s symptoms are quite severe, so it will be difficult to treat it by yourself. You should begin treatment and awaken to the Nembutsu.

Lastly, if you have more than fifteen points, the disease has already progressed to the point where it is untreatable. The only thing you can do is take Amida’s great compassion in the form of the Nembutsu – the almighty medicine – without any sense of doubt.

Although I am without shame and self-reproach
And lack a mind of truth and sincerity,
Because the Name is directed by Amida,
Its virtues fill the ten quarters.

(Hymns of the Dharma-Ages)