What Is Life Like Living In The Real World?
Hello, everyone! It’s been awhile since I have had an opportunity to prepare an article for the Temple Newsletter.
My topic this time deals with the struggles and pleasures found in living life.
About 2,600 years ago Lord Shakyamuni founded the Buddhist Mission in India. Born a prince, his father, the king, was told by a prophet that if he didn’t keep his son at home, the son would leave and not return. Lord Shakyamuni was never allowed out of the palace alone; always accompanied by a servant. The first time Lord Shakyamuni left the palace, he left through the east gate. The second time he left through the south gate, the third time through the west gate, and the last time from the north gate. In those excursions he saw how people got older, became sick and passed away.
It was the sights from these four gates that Lord Shakyamuni turned into Buddha. As Buddha, he defined life in the real world as suffering from the moment we are born. We have to realize this while we are alive, but when we are dying, we find that life was actually wonderful.
You might feel that this is a contradiction, but when we think of the suffering we endured, there are also moments of happiness, like recovering from a severe illness or injury. Without the suffering there would be no happiness from a good outcome. We often cannot control the suffering we encounter, but as John Lennon said, “Let it be.” Eventually things will turn around and you will find happiness, sometimes small, sometimes great, but we should never quit searching for it. Opportunities always abound to find happiness even in the worst of situations. Hope is always needed to find our happiness or ability to cope.
During this current crisis of the pandemic and how it has disrupted our daily lives, we need to hold on to hope for a better tomorrow. It will eventually come, and we need to stay safe and motivated to achieve that better outcome. We should continue to care about others, not just ourselves, and offer our thoughts and prayers as well.
Until this crisis has passed, please stay safe and healthy. I look forward to being able to see you all again in person.
Rev. Kanpo Mimats