Mr. Léonardo Coracini (26) from São Paolo City has been studying Master Shinran's teachings in Toyama since September. His goal is to become a Buddhist teacher. Léonardo is studying Japanese and will try to pass Level 5 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test by December so he can attend training for non-Japanese members at the Buddhist Boarding School. We asked him about his passion for Buddhism.
Léonardo had been wondering about what happens after death since he was 10 years old. His Christian parents told him, "If you do good things, then you can go to Heaven," while his friends said, "You won't find an answer to what happens after death no matter how much you think about it." Nobody he asked had any real answers and he was left dissatisfied. He almost gave up on finding the answer. But 3 years ago, he found Buddhist teacher Mr. Maruyama's website about Buddhism and started listening from him. He told us with passion, "I was astonished to know that Buddhism teaches that salvation happens now, while we are still alive, and that we can come to know clearly what will happen to us in the afterlife. This is called heizei gojo - completion of life's purpose now, in life. The answer that I had been searching for was right here in Buddhism!"
After that, he would listen to Buddhism almost every day via the Internet and also visited São Paolo Shinran Center.
Up until then, he had devoted his energy to volunteer activities, but as he listened to Buddhism, he started to feel that rather than giving others fleeting relative happiness, he should use this life to become a Buddhist teacher and convey everlasting absolute happiness to the world. While working as a business consultant during weekdays, he began to stay at São Paolo Shinran Center over the weekends to learn the basics of a Shinran Follower, such as chanting every morning and evening and how to live an orderly everyday life. He has already memorized scripts in Portuguese on heizei gojo, the life of Shakyamuni Buddha and the law of cause and effect through repeated practice, and gives talks using these.