Peace Day in Hawaii 2019 Message by Bishop Matsumoto

Message from “Bishop’s Corner”
HQ Update Newsletter
August 2019

Peace Day in Hawaii logo - dove and leafy branchAs Peace Day in Hawaii (September 21st) approaches and our various Hongwanji Shin Buddhist Temples prepare to spread the important message of peace, harmony, non-violence and reconciliation, and other community organizations also observe remembrances related to World War II in August and September, I would like to share my message and aspiration for this year’s Peace Day in Hawaii. I humbly ask that we all take some time to reflect guided by the Wisdom and Compassion of Supreme Enlightenment. May Amida Buddha’s Light of Wisdom and Compassion illumine our hearts and minds so we may be able to deeply reflect, come to some life-changing realizations which has the potential of transforming myself and the world and thus contributing to lasting peace and happiness.

As we lament about the suffering from wars including the mass shootings and bombings which are continuing to happen around the world and in our nation too, let us take a deeper look at ourselves and the world. Many times, as we look at situations of our life and world, we focus only on the conditions. However, with the Wisdom of Enlightenment to guide us, let us see the need to become aware of the deeper causes of suffering together with the conditions. Any fix by only addressing the conditions will be good only as long as the conditions do not change, but by addressing the cause of suffering we can snip the suffering at its root. It is, indeed, most difficult for us humans, people, to look at our own selves. My ego does not want to reveal itself even to its own self.

With Enlightened Wisdom to guide, we are able to understand that the true cause of suffering in the world is ignorance and the afflictions which arise from it like arrogance, anger, greed, envy, self-centeredness, fear and so forth. Unless we address the root cause which is ignorance and these afflictions which arise from it, we will continue to be plagued by negatives which in its extreme forms result in so much devastation, destruction and even loss of life which our normal minds cannot even fathom unless one has experienced it or seen it for oneself. Hence, the importance of listening to voices of those who have experienced the worst of humankind.

However, at the same time, we must also hear the voices, the Wisdom and Compassion, of those who have attained the highest levels of attainment, so we have hope, can aspire and begin to walk the path of peace and harmony. Thus, today, regardless of religious affiliation or even if you do not have one, let us embrace Wisdom and Compassion which aspires for the peace and happiness of not only one, a few, or many, but all life, all existence. May we be guided by an All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion known as the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Infinite Light whose Name is Namo Amida Butsu (the Buddha’s Name That Calls Us (to entrust). May we be guided and our path be illuminated by a Presence which goes beyond our ego as a person, nation, religion, and even as humankind to realize true interdependence and realize the common wish of all life, all existence to be happy, free and safe. May the Buddha’s Light of Wisdom and Compassion guide, nurture and inspire us!

Please allow me to recite the Buddha’s Name Which I Call (in gratitude) to conclude my message. Namo Amida Butsu.