The radiant light, unhindered and inconceivable, eradicates suffering and brings realization of joy; the excellent Name, perfectly embodying all practices, eliminates obstacles and dispels doubt. This is the teaching and practice for our latter age; devote yourself solely to it. It is eye and limb in this defiled world; do not fail to endeavor in it. Accepting and living the supreme, universal Vow, then, abandon the defiled and aspire for the pure. Reverently embracing the Tathagata's teaching, respond in gratitude to his benevolence and be thankful for his compassion.

~ Shinran Shonin, Passages on the Pure Land Way

Monday, December 16, 2013

Humility

Had it not been for Shinran Shonin-sama,
I might never have known what true humility was.
For when I contemplate that our Teacher
Who risked life and limb to spread the Nembutsu,
Awakening others to true faith in Amida,
Yet referred to himself as a bombu --
An ignorant, foolish person --
I am amazed, and tears come to my eyes.
Surely in the person of this aged man --
A bombu to himself,
A bodhisattva to his companions --
Was the very Life and Light of the Buddha
Made manifest to those of us living
In this deluded age.
Therefore, harken to the words of our Master;
Listen carefully, heed them well!
If you have heard correctly
You will be free forever
Of the heavy burden you carry.

~ In gratitude, November 26, 2013