Make a Wish Come True

The Taste of the Nembutsu cover image

A message from Rev. Satoshi Tomioka 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.


Make a Wish Come True

Rev. Satoshi Tomioka

Since I got a driver’s license and a car, I have often been eating out. Recently, I checked my weight and the scale says “1 9 0” pounds. I gained 30 pounds in a year! So, I decided to try not to go to eat out often and try to cook by myself at home. I usually cook stew, curry, fried rice, spaghetti and so forth and I just cook them easily and simply.

While I was cooking, I realized I use a large amount of salt and black pepper in dishes because I have gotten accustomed to the taste of salt in Hawaii. I have to take care of my health and I realized that my mother used only a small amount of salt/shoyu in her cooking. It is said that our sense of taste is decided at a young age. If young people get used to eating salty, oily food, they will keep on wanting that as a habit even after they grow up. Our eating habits at a young age surely have an influence on our future health. My mother has been cooking for me with a wish for me, a wish for good health at each meal. When I was a teenager, I liked to eat instant cup noodles on weekends but mother didn’t allow me to do so. Instead, she made tomato spaghetti for me. In those days I complained to her but now I know that her wish for me was my health, well being and good eating habits. Now that I realize her wish, that wish is blooming in my life.

This fact brings an awakening to me… that we, ourselves, have a wish each time we do something for others. Recently, many of my friends and acquaintances have become parents and have been raising their children. As parents, they feed, change diapers, talk, wash, wipe noses, breast feed and so forth. They do these things as parents, with a wish for their children. A life embraced by the wish is shining, and a child receiving the wish is living a precious and beautiful life.

Then, I thought to myself, “Did I realize my mother’s and other people’s wishes for me and have I been doing things with a wish for others?” It’s a wonder that I have never done things with this idea in my 27 years of life. This fact surprised me and at the same time it made me appreciate the fact that I am the recipient of other people’s good wishes and I show my Mahalo for those people.

As a Buddhist minister and as a human being I would like to share the joy of being embraced by wishes. We know there are many parents, children and families who don’t feel these kinds of wishes and feel lonely that their lives may even seem meaningless. I want to share my wish for such people.

Even when we have a wish for others, sometimes we add too much of our own desires into it and that may put unnecessary pressure on children. That is, parents’ wishes are limited wishes. However, when we are awakened to the Buddha’s great compassion, The Wish, the Buddha’s wish will nurture and guide our lives. Buddha’s wish is boundless, unlimited and without discrimination. It embraces everyone and everything with a great love. Let us listen to The Wish with our whole hearts and strive to respond to The Wish. Then, we will find the way of living our lives most meaningfully guided by The Wish. My life is full of other’s wishes; your lives are full of other’s wishes. Let us live our lives responding to their good will and remember The Buddha’s Wish is always with us and nurtures, embraces, and sustains our lives each moment and every day. Namo Amida Butsu