This month, I would like to reflect on Right View (正見, Shoken in Japanese). In Buddhism, the term "Right View" is one of the Eightfold Noble Paths which collectively represent the eight aspects of a path taught by the Shakyamuni Buddha which can lead to the cessation of our delusional suffering and Right View is the first aspect of this Path. However, what is the most important word in this term "Right View?" For Buddhists, the word “Right” is the most important part of the term because in Buddhism, the dual concepts of good and bad do not exist. The meaning of the word “Right” in this instance represents that this path is not just a moral judgement but represents the “true” or “authentic” path to our freedom from delusional suffering.
For example, imagine you meet someone whom you have never met before but even before you met this person, you had already heard rumors about this person. Then, when you actually meet this person, your view is already tainted by the rumor that you previously heard. In this situation, your personal view of this person has already been determined by the preconception you developed because of the rumor. And this preconception prevents you from being able to see the true nature of this person. This is why Right View is precisely needed to wipe away the delusion always covering our eyes.
We all have our own feelings and judgements based on our experiences and this usually determines whether we see something as good or bad. In other words, we judge things based solely on our self-centered mind. And it is this self-centeredness which prevents us from seeing the Truth. What each of us needs to do is to reflect on ourselves. The most important aspect of walking the Buddhist Path is to open your mind and embrace others. This is the first step to reducing the eye of delusion. When the way you see things change, your view of the world will also naturally change and a real and true clarity will emerge.
In Gassho, Namo Amida Butsu
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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。