No.21 On Saying Sorry

A young English gentleman visited the temple to undergo a session of introspection. I found myself deeply moved to listen to him talk about his faith experience. It was as if all the scales had fallen away from my eyes.

His actual words were “Without saying sorry from the bottom of my heart I can only feel suffering. Truly saying sorry I can then say thank-you and go forward with gratitude.”
“Sorry” in this sense, expressed by the one individual alone, is true repentance. It cannot be an agreement between two people saying, “I thought you were wrong but I was wrong too.”

This feeling of “sorry” is not based on the ordinary self that lives life on groundless ground (delusion), but based on one’s awakening to the truth of one’s own ignorance.
Shin Buddhist faith is to confirm one’s ignorance as something quite fundamental.

The very foundation of the Buddha-dharma is the awareness that I am wrong.


Chimyo Takehara
April 2004


「苦しみの中から、スミマセンが出てはじめて、アリガトウの感謝が沸いて出てきた」と。「スミマセン」は、「君が悪いと思っていたが、僕も悪かった」とい う悪を分け合うものではない。根拠のない根拠に寄りかかって生きる日常の「我」によってではなく、「愚か」という自己の真実に裏づけられている。