The journey of life brings adversity. In life we cannot escape hindrances and setbacks. For some people, these hindrances and setbacks become sources of empty complaints and grudges, but for others, the hindrances surpass their mundane life. This difference comes from how they face their own lives, or rather, from whether they have received the wisdom with which they deal with obstructions in life.
When we understand that in prosperity or in adversity, every event in life is the practice hall of the Dharma where we can look at truth and reality and realize that nothing is useless or meaningless in the world. That is why Shinran says, “This Tathagata pervades the countless worlds.” For the practice of shinjin who humbly tries to hear truth from everything and every event, even devils and followers of other religions turn into good teachers. However, to be able to see the Tathagata in devils, we must have the wisdom given by Tathagata.
Jodo Shinshu is not a religion that prays for elimination of misfortunes from life, for Amida Buddha directs to us the wisdom that turns misfortune into merit.
On our own journey in our everyday lives we encounter opportunities to experience the Nembustu as we deal with the challenge of understanding ourselves in our relationship with our lives. This is the kind of realization we experience in everyday life. The great teacher shows up in many ways in our lives. Shinran spoke to this kind of realization in the saying:
May we give thanks to our teacher Shinran whose path to gain emancipation, was compassionately shared with others and therefore allows us to share and experience this great path of awakening.
Namo Amida Butsu
Rev. David Nakamoto