Saturday, June 10, 2017

The right attitude of mind when working for Amidaji

Working to strenghten the walls and roof of  the  
Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji. 
You can see me in the right corner of the photo.
Once, when I was doing my daily work for Amidaji,  in the unbearable heat, I suddenly remembered a passage from Thus I Have Heard from Rennyo Shonin, in which there is a recorded saying of Zenshu, a close disciple of Rennyo Shonin:

"Zenshū said, 'When I make offerings to the Shōnin, I do this as if they were my own. How shameful!' When asked why, he said, 'They are the things given by the Buddha, but I offer them to the Shōnin as if they were my own gift. My role is only to pass the Buddha's gift over to the Shōnin. How shameful I am to make these offerings as if they were my own.'"

Then I said to myself, "This is wonderful! This is the right attitude of mind in which this temple should be built!" I was very tired during the time when that passage came to my memory, but suddenly my mind and body felt revigorated and Namo Amida Butsu appeared spontaneously on my lips.

This temple that I am trying so hard to build is Amida Buddha's gift to sentient beings. No matter how hard or how painful and stressful it is, I should never think that "I" am the builder of this temple, like it is my personal merit.

Such are the things for a person of faith, that whatever he (or she) does to benefit others (to help them receive faith), it is due to Amida's influence on him. So, I can say that the building of this temple as a place for listening the Amida Dharma and helping others to receive faith is, in fact, the manifestation of Amida's Power.  Because of Amida's influence on me and on my nembutsu friends, we decided to give a contribution, either as a small donation or by physical work. And this contribution is nothing else than passing the Buddha's gift to sentient beings. No personal merit is involved.
Namo Amida Butsu

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NEW poems by Gansen John Welch