• Luigi

“I am in a Deadlock on My Path of Pursuing Buddhism and Cannot See the Light”


Question:

I have learned that we cannot live without some kind of light. In order to keep living, we need something that brightens our hearts. I feel that I live day by day with the hope that I too will be able to attain true faith. But when I am in a deadlock on my path of pursuing Buddhism, I even get apathetic. Even though I consider myself to be my own light, I realized that I am so changeable and unreliable. What should we, who pursue Buddhism, consider to be the light? What should be the light for a Buddhist seeker?


Answer:

“Light” here refers to our hope or something we rely on. Money, possessions, fame, and status are all lights that will all disappear in the end. They will give no solace in the face of death. The light for those who seek the truth is the teachings of Master Shinran. There is no light that will never disappear, except this light. That is why the teachings of Master Shinran are called the light of the world. Some of you tell me that I am the light of your life. But if that was the case, if I died, the light of your life would be extinguished. I am like the moon. The moon in the night sky may seem bright, but actually, the moon is a graceless and ugly thing. However, the moon reflects the light of the sun and so appears to emit bright light. The sun refers to the Vow of Amida Buddha. Its light shines upon me, who is like the ugly moon. So it seems as if the moon itself is emitting the light. Regarding this, I think Master Shinran would say the same thing as me.

The True Light The true light is only the Vow of Amida Buddha. There is no true light other than this. The Vow of Amida Buddha is this: “I will save all sentient beings into absolute happiness without fail. If not, I will do away with my life.” This incomprehensible Vow-power of Amida Buddha is the one and only light. But, for us, Amida Buddha seems to be far off in the distance and we may even feel that we have no bond with him. That is why we consider the teachings of Master Shinran to be our light. The light of our hearts is this: “Master Shinran teaches us that we will be able to attain absolute happiness without fail, so I too will be able to attain true faith without fail.” We rely on this light of our hearts as we pursue Buddhism.

If you consider yourself to be the light, you will lose heart and give up. Someone who left the house cheerfully in the morning can come home dead in the evening. You will not be able to enter into the absolute world while relying on unreliable things. Consider the teachings of Master Shinran to be your light and go toward the light. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


What Does “Let’s Have a Dream” Mean? Question:

I cannot understand the meaning of “Let’s have a dream” in the Phrase-A-Day Calendar. I think that having a dream for the future will obstruct us from conveying Buddhism at the risk of our life.


Answer:

A “dream” refers to a purpose. This is different from ephemeral dreams. This person misunderstands that a dream for the future would be a worldly job or something like that. But our ultimate dream is attaining absolute happiness. However, relative dreams are also important for us to move forward and make progress. A “dream” here means that instead of being complacent about our current situation, we try to aim high.