Happy New Year!
Several weeks ago, I visited the United States for work. There, I carelessly lost my cell phone. Have you ever lost your cell phone? If you have, I am sure you understand how terrible I felt all of a sudden, feelings of anxiety, uneasiness, and even a sense of anger arose within me that I could have done something so stupid! I felt as if I lost a part of my body. How did this convenience become seemingly so important as my ears or eyes?
This experience made me realize how much I depended on my cell phone. But it also brought about this self-reflection: “Just how much do I really need this cell phone to exist in this world today?” “Why did the loss of something as simple as my cell phone cause me to suffer like this?”
Reflecting on these questions, my feeling of uneasiness and sense of suffering suddenly disappeared. This suffering brought me to the realization of the Buddha’s teaching of “let it go.”
Why did I have such attachment to my cell? The loss of my cell phone was strangling me, but why? It wasn’t as if I lost a finger or eye. When I unfolded my hand and let go of my feeling of attachment to the cellphone, I was able to laugh at MY foolishness! Here I am, a Buddhist priest who shares the importance of the Buddha’s teaching BUT even I could not understand the meaning of such a basic teaching as “let it go.” My own foolishness is ever present!!
Shinran Shonin, the founder of the Shin Buddhist Path, shared:
Each of us, in outward appearance,
Makes a show of being wise, good, and dedicated;
But so great are our greed, anger, perversity, and deceit,
That we are filled with all forms of malice and cunning.
（CWS, p. 421）
So true, so true!! Listening to the Buddha’s teaching, I must keep looking at the mirror of my SELF-reflection and be reminded of my ever-present ignorant self! May the coming new year be filled with continued awakening for all.
All content published on the Site (documents, images, voices and audio tracks, programs, etc.) is protected by copyright laws, related agreements and other laws. Making copies or using this content without consent of the copyright holder(s) is prohibited by law except for personal use or other purposes explicitly permitted by law. You are required to contact the Company and obtain permission before reprinting or publishing any of the content published on the Site in magazines or other publications.
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。