” Of vital importance is that the Buddha-dharma should come to life within your own being .” Head Priest.
“When we entrust ourselves to the Original Vow, the great Ocean of that Vow fills our minds with the waters of faith, waters that, beyond good and evil, all taste the same, for the ‘waters of faith’ are a metaphor for the great energy of the Original Vow that melts away good and evil until these two have but a single flavour.” (Head Priest at a seminar on the Shozomatsu-wasan in Fukuoka.)
“Regarding the meaning of the phrase ‘Let’s give rise to a diamond-like bodhicitta (enlightenment-mind),’ the Head Priest helped me understand by explaining, ‘That line means we should travel together the path to the Pure Land, because, left just to ourselves, there is no way we will manage to find a solution to our problems’.” (Female Dharma friend at a meeting held at the Sokokan Taya house).
“I found that conversation with my husband was like one-way traffic: when he talked to me I barely listened to him and vice versa. It was not proper communication at all, in fact. What really we should do is each of us speak and listen to the other.” Dharma friend at a meeting in Takeo city, Saga prefecture.
The accepted wisdom is that above the darkness of clouds and mists there is light. Shinran Shonin, however, states in the Shoshinge: The mind-light that embraces us always illumines and protects us. Though the darkness of ignorance is already broken through, The clouds and mists of tenacious greed and repulsive hatred Still continue to cover the sky of true and real faith. It is as if, though the sun-light is veiled by clouds and mists, Below the clouds and mists brightness reigns and there is no darkness. What is meant here is that even below the clouds and mists of our blind passions there is light.” Rev. S. Takahara’s talk at the Hoonko ceremony in November of 2007.
“Though our new Buddha Hall now stands complete, were our faith to wither away, it would be but an empty shell. Maintaining the building is not what matters, what matters is continuing to welcome the children of those who collaborated in its construction so that the children can seek after truth at the temple for their spiritual development.” The words of Dharma-mother, Ekai-ni, on the completion of the new Buddha Hall.
“During the Hoonko services I attended in the Buddha Hall, I felt as if the chanting of the priests and congregation was full of urgency telling me, ‘You must go forward as soon as possible’. ” A young English Dharma friend who attended the Hoonko Ceremony for the first time in October of 2007.
“When I asked my mother living in America whether she would like to visit Shogyoji Temple in Japan with me, she replied that certainly she would, since this was the temple where I had been awakened to the truth of life. Being allowed to have my mother here at the temple like this now makes me feel really at home .” (Young American Dharma friend from London who attended the Hoonko Ceremony in October 2007.)
“At the start of my apprenticeship in Kyoto I complained about my boss, a master carpenter, to the Dharma master of my home temple where I was born. My master, however, replied, ‘It is not someone else that you are confronting here, but your own self.’ Ever since then, I have always thought that it is simply my own self that I need to deal with.” Rev. Washin Uenosono
“It is generally said that ‘service to others’ comes from ‘a feeling of gratitude,’ but I think that ‘a feeling of gratitude’ can come from ‘service to others’.” His Eminence Koken Otani, Supreme Primate of Higashi Honganji.
「感謝から報恩へ」というのが、奉仕の根本にある哲学ですが、私の体験から言いますと、感謝、つまり生かされている幸せを感じると言うことと、報恩、つま り奉仕の心を持つことは、どちらが先だとは、言えないのではないかと思うのです。 （東本願寺 大谷光見御法主台下）