We face so many hardships today. With the worldwide spread of the Corona pandemic, many precious lives have been lost, and many of us live in grief. We are further afflicted by the social disorders of war, poverty, inequality, and the like, as well as by the natural disasters that seem all too common in recent years.
Faced with such hardships, how should those of us who live in faith in the Sotoshu aim to live today?
In the midst of the sufferings of human life, Shakyamuni sat in zazen under the Bodhi Tree and experienced an awakening. His teachings have been transmitted by the ancestral masters down to us now. By sitting quietly, with body and breath well regulated, we too can experience an awakening of the mind of true faith and see the things around us with the clarity of the Buddha’s wisdom. When we do so, we naturally foster a mind of compassion that feels empathy for others and seeks to help them.
There are so many social barriers between us. As the spread of the pandemic leaves us ever more distant from each other, now more than ever, each of us should manifest the mind of bodhi and deepen our sense of close connection with each other. Let us come together in the cultivation of the bodhisattva’s sense of togetherness with others in Shishobo “DOJI”.
It is the vow of the Buddha to save everyone.
In our daily lives, paying respect to the Buddha and praying that all people throughout the world may live at ease, let us pursue our bodhisattva practice together.
Homage to the Buddha Shakyamuni
Homage to Zen Master Dogen, Great Master Joyo, Eminent Ancestor
Homage to Zen Master Keizan, Great Master Josai, Great Ancestor
1 April 2021
Head Priest of the Sotoshu