“Although I am actually weighed down by a vast ocean of suffering, my happiness at having a few drops lifted away knows no substitute.” Priest at the temple.
“The Venerable Head Priest said to me, ‘It is in the Samgha that you will find a creative way of living. It is important for you to live in a place where words of encounter with the Buddha and Dharma friends are spoken.’ For me this teaching has now become a beacon of light.” Dharma friend.
“For the past thirty years three generations of our family have been cared for by the temple. Now I understand that chomon ( listening to the Dharma) in itself amounts to an ongoing education graciously offered us by the temple.” Dharma friend.
“I attended the meeting held to commemorate Ekai-sama through whom the world first learned of Daigyoin-sama, a great person whose being went far beyond the confines of this world. The day I attended this meeting was the day I actually went and expressed my thanks to the Head Priest, our true teacher, for all his instruction and leadership.” Resident at Hasugayama.
“In the past I used to imagine that all the adornments of the Buddha Shrine were themselves affected by the voices of those giving service. On attending this year’s ceremony I felt as if, at the sound of the Gagaku music, they were actually dancing. The flower arrangements offered to the Buddha, the service with its chanted sutras, the strains of Gagaku music and the radiance in the eyes of the temple followers as they listened to the Dharma, all combined in this Eitaikyo Ceremony to become adornments of the Buddha Land.” Head Priest of a neighboring temple.
“It is not enough merely to appreciate how much we have been protected by the Samgha and by our good teachers; the real challenge is for us to go ahead and actually practise the Seven Rules for Non-retrogression.” Young priest.
One day Ekai-sama challenged us saying, “All those who have been keeping silent, who have spoken no word of thanks for the last ten years, stand up!”
“On listening to you talk, I sense an atmosphere of dependence wherein you merely rely on the Buddha, presuming that it is natural for the Buddha to save you. If you are not moved to take refuge in the merit-transference of the Tathagata, forsaking all else, it cannot be called true faith.” Senior person.
“The Buddha-dharma is not something you can comprehend simply by listening. The moment you are awakened to impermanence, friend and foe become one. When we pass one another, please demonstrate your joy to me, even if it is but in a single phrase from the Sacred Texts. I am very sad to find no one visiting the temple with gratitude in their hearts for what Shinran Shonin has done for us. Alas!” Dharma-Mother Ekai.
“When by chance a performer’s foot strays too far while dancing on a Kabuki stage and he draws the other foot up next to it, people will often say “a speck of dust has appeared.” Similarly, if you try instantaneously to remedy the disaccord between your words and your actions, you will merely make matters even worse.” Senior priest.