Who am I kidding?Posted: August 22, 2008 | Author: Doug | Filed under: Buddhism, Jodo Shinshu, Religion | 1 Comment »
I think all along I have been a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist, even when I said I wasn’t. I guess everyone goes through this phase sooner or later as they walk the path. As I listen to the Shōshinge hymn on my iPod, it reminds me of many things I miss, and also reminds me why I wanted to follow the Jodo Shinshu path over 3 years ago. Beyond the institutional things that annoy me, the truth that Shinran spoke* with regard to our lives, the compassion of others, and the fleeting nature of existence cannot be ignored. This morning over breakfast, my wife and I talked about the day someday when we must leave this world behind and leave our daughter behind. It’s a sobering thought, especially since she’s so young and cute and has the world ahead of her, but it’s true nevertheless.
This world is fleeting, our pursuits in this world are petty and small, and at the same time our existence is so frail and contingent on things outside our control. All we can do is take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha. That is the only true refuge.
P.S. This is now the third attempt at writing this post (the other two have been removed). I guess I am a little embarrassed to admit all this, considering I made such a big deal before about leaving Jodo Shinshu before. But in the end, why should I worry so much? Faith is weird and confusing and stupid at times, but somehow we keep moving forward on the Path in spite of ourselves.
* – from his teacher, Honen and the patriarchs in China and India going all the way back to the Buddha.