【When we realize we are one with the life of the Buddha
we are purifying our hearts and minds】
The season is about to enter June. Usually at this time, we start to feel a slight humidity during the day. This year, here in Manhattan, the season in which the green and young leaves penetrate our eyes has finally come.Yet, there are also signs in the air that summer may quickly arrive. How are you, everyone?
We find the following in “The verse of admonishment of the seven Buddhas,” which specifies the basic teaching on how a Buddhist should live.
“Commit no evil; Do various good deeds; And purify your heart and mind.
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.”
This means the teachings of the Buddha can be summed up as “Do no evil; Do good deeds.” This, however, is very difficult.
That is because one cannot say one truly understands Buddhism by knowing this only abstractly.It would then be no different from ethics or moral education.
“To purify our hearts and minds” is indeed the true intention of Buddhism. How do we, then, “purify our hearts and minds”? It is through encountering the Buddha that is in our own hearts and minds.
Yes, human beings’ true nature is our buddha nature. Nay, it is not only ourselves. We are taught that everything in this world is the manifestation of buddha nature, itself.
Another way to express this is that we are all “part of the life of the Buddha.”
And yet, while we may be considerate toward someone who is in need,
we might simultaneously resent someone or have self-centered desires.
That is, we have both the potential to fall into hell as well as the potential to become a buddha. We may humbly think, “Thus, it is remarkable that I, who is imperfect, have been given the same life as the Buddha.” However, we are taught that it is such self-reflection that is indeed the workings of our buddha nature and is testamentof nothing less than “the life of the Buddha.”
What is important is to realize that we are one with the life of the Buddha. It is also about revering our own buddha nature. First, become aware of our own value…then the heart and mind to value others will start to sprout.
This is precisely the idea that is the basis of the Lotus Sutra. It is also the starting point of “purifying our hearts and minds.”
Fortunately, we encounter numerous people every day. When we see the person in front of us as “the life of the Buddha,” then we will be able to respect that person. And when we make our contacts with such an attitude, that person in front of us will become aware of his or her dignity.
The true value of the teachings of the Buddha manifest for the first time when the teaching is put into practice in the activities of our daily lives. It is the daily repetition of our diligent efforts.
New York Center Minister