“Though the universe should become a sea of flames,
he who crosses it to hear the Name of Amida
will achieve everlasting salvation.”
This hymn by Master Shinran means that if you keep on listening to Buddhism “through hell and high water” and you are saved by Amida, you are certain to achieve radiant, eternal bliss.
The teachings of Buddhism are very precious, and they are not something you can listen to while sucking on candy or while half asleep.
While listening to a lecture, some people may start fanning themselves when it is hot and stop sitting on their legs whenever they start hurting. If they feel sleepy, they just doze off right there. They attend Buddhist lectures only when the venue is nearby and lose motivation to attend if it is even only a little far away. Their belief is still at a kindergarten level.
In order to listen with utmost seriousness, it is important to pay attention to our form as well. When you listen to Buddhism, it is advisable to sit in seiza—sitting formally on our heels. Amida Buddha made his Vow at the risk of his life, and it is this Vow that we listen to. So how can we listen to Buddhism seriously while sitting in a comfortable position?
Once you realize the preciousness of Buddhism and the profoundness of the crucial matter of the afterlife, sitting comfortably in a chair to listen will no longer be an option.
Of course, one's physical condition must be taken into consideration. However, you must bear in mind that you cannot listen to Buddhism in a true sense through comfortable listening.
We are saved through hearing alone, so listening is everything in Buddhism. Focus all your energy into listening. Listen with all your being. Listen at the risk of your life.