Anyway, thank you very much for attending the Shoutsuki service. First of all, I would like to say thank you to Rev. Kusunoki and all of you who gave me this great opportunity to share my Dharma message.
Today, I’d like to share with you about one of Buddha’s words. The word is that “life is suffering”. That sounds so negative. It seems like this is a pessimistic view. But, it is not just negative. It tells us a reality of human life. As you may know, there are a lot of gaps between reality and ideals in the world. Have you experienced that something is going against you? Sometimes we have difficulty with human relation, sometimes we fail at school, and so on. We can’t have our own way in everything. For me, before I came here, I was thinking that I would get a girl friend within three month. Although, I’ve already been in America for three month, thanks to American food, I got a thing that is fat on my body rather than the girl friend! It’s reality. (show SpongeBob). Do you know this? This is SpongeBob. SpongeBob is an extremely energetic and optimistic sea sponge, although his appearance more closely resembles a kitchen sponge. He lives in a pineapple under the sea. When I was in high school, I encountered him and I wanted to live his pineapple house. But I can’t live there because we can’t breathe under the sea. And also, I wanted to spend life like his energetic and optimistic life. But I can’t. You know this is reality.
And also I’d like to talk about my junior high school life. When I was in junior high school, I belonged to tennis club. I practiced in tennis very hard every day because my tennis coach was severe. My goal was to be NO.1 tennis player in Japan. Although at first I was a beginner, when I was in the last summer of junior high school, I won the first prize in the national tennis tournament in Japan. I was very happy and many friends made a fuss over me. I stuck up because their praises had puffed me up. However, gradually, they were getting not made fuss over me little by little. That made me sad because I thought if I achieved my goal, I would attain happiness and the condition would remain long time. However, after winning the game, I remained a feeling of pain and suffering. I didn’t foresee this turn of events. One day, I listened to Dharma talk at temple. The story was that life is suffering. It told me reality. After that I finally realized that no matter how I’ll do my best, life was going against my ideals, which means we cannot have our own way in everything. Even though I accomplished my goal, my feeling didn’t satisfy. Only my ego remained. It is my experience that I could realize a part of reality. You may have each experience that you could realize a part of reality in your life. Truly, your suffering would remain, even if you achieved your goal.
Buddha tells us life is suffering, which is to realize how I am living my life now, or to truly know my ego or ignorance. And his wish is to save us from the world of suffering.
Buddha’s teaching is timeless reality. He sees that suffering is just the way things are and wants to rescue people from illusion and delusion. Jodo Shinshu way is to live with our suffering.
Also, the reality we can’t escape is death. “Everybody dies,” “Life is limited,” these are an unchangeable and inescapable reality for all human beings. Buddhism teaches impermanence. This is not just a pessimistic view. Rather Buddhism encourages us to truly and subjectively consider how to live this impermanent and limited life, and then Buddhism shows us various ways to face and accept this tough reality.
By continuously listening to the Dharma, we come to realize the reality of my existence or my life. Dharma enables us to awaken to the true reality of ourselves. Then someday, you will encounter opportunity to find a way to live positively in this impermanent world. That is why we need to listen to the Buddha Dharma, especially that of Amida, whose wisdom and compassion are constantly working on us to wake us up to true reality.
Thank you for listening my Dharma message. Actually, it is my first Dharma message in America, so I was under a lot of pressure because it is my first big job. I hope my message will touch you as many as possible.
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Thank you for great introduction, Candice. It was too good for me to get it. In Japan, everybody tells me that I don’t look like a minister because of this bomber hair. But thanks to this hair style, people remember me easily. So I recommend this bomber hair. I also recommend that if you want t