I would like to talk about fortune cookie today. Do you what this is? It is cookie including a small slip of paper on which you can read the future inside. Let’s imagine it says “Everyone’s wishes in this temple will come true.” Wow, we’re lucky! Do you believe it? What’s your wish? I hope your wish will come true! Believing in this good fortune makes us so happy!
But what if there would be a slip of paper inside, which says “Unfortunately our wishes will not come true.” This fortune must make you so disappointed. Does anyone believe this fortune? I’m sure we all don’t want to believe it.
Here’s the point I would like to talk about today. Let’s take a look back at the condition of our feelings when we got a good fortune. We were all happy and wanted to believe it. But when we got the bad fortune, we didn’t want to believe it. Our feelings change at the sake of our own convenience. Believe it or not we are all kind of selfish, aren’t we? I hope that we can come to realize that we should think about things by ourselves and not believe in superstition. We should try to live without selfish ideas like when we believe only in good fortunes. We should practice Right Views and Right Thoughts, which are two of Eight Noble Path in Buddhism.
Shinran Shonin, our religion’s founder disliked selfish idea, and didn’t believe in fortunes, good or bad luck, or superstition whether or not it was good for him. He chose the selfless life by practicing Right Views and Right Thoughts. I hope we can live with Buddha’s teachings as Shinran Shonin did.
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浄土真宗本願寺派 大見山 超勝寺 衆徒。翻訳家。ハーバード大学 神学部研究員を修了し、帰国。現在は、執筆活動や通訳・翻訳を通して、日本仏教を世界に弘める活動をしています。