Although I am a Buddhist priest, during the weekdays, I am a typical “salary man.” This is because it is impossible to financially maintain my temple by temple work alone. So I have to work outside of the temple during the weekdays to financially support the temple and my family.
Every weekday morning, I put on my business suit and tie and head off to my office. I am probably not so different from most of you and your daily routines and lifestyles.
A few days ago, I was involved in an unfortunate situation at my office. My colleague had made a big mistake, and unfortunately for me, even though I was not directly involved, I ended up having to take responsibility for his mistake since I was indirectly helping him in his responsibilities. I was scolded by my boss as much as my colleague was scolded. I certainly felt this was unfair, but I suppose this is the reality of this world that is full of contradictions. It had been some time since I was so blatantly scolded by a superior, and it really bothered me for the rest of that afternoon and on my train ride home that evening.
But as soon as I walked in the front door of my house, my 18 months-old daughter came running to me, calling out “da da, da da!!” (which means “pa pa”) welcoming me home. She held out her arms and deeply hugged me. This hug changed my whole world and I felt a sense of relief that I can’t express with any words.
I believe this is the same as Amida Buddha’s working which is unconditional embracement. Although we do not realize this working, we are always embraced by Amida Buddha’s compassion even if we turn our back on Amida Buddha.
Let us live with the heart of appreciation and complete contentment reciting the name of Amida Buddha, 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。