Vol. XLX, No. 7                     July 2004

From Death to life


Look at me, remember me. I am you, I am your life. Look behind your mask. Don’t look at the masks you
wear, look to who is wearing them. Be a real and honest human being and don’t let your masks or the masks of
others sway you one way and the other. No one can tell you how to do it. The only thing that can be said is that
it is done by looking inside yourself – you must look inward. All your happiness and unhappiness comes from
within. You are the self-hidden key to all the past, present, and future. We are far deeper and far better than the
self we can see. We are also, at the same time, far shallower and far less than the self we imagine ourselves to
be. This is Namuamidabutsu.

Under the tossing and turning waters of our normal life, there flows an underlying stream of our natural life
– which is largely unnoticed and ignored. Yet it is this natural stream that nurtures and sustains us, giving us
our sense of humor, our sense of the ridiculous and the sublime, our sense of wonder and joy, our sense of
embarrassment and gratitude. Given what we are, we cannot permanently float on this natural stream, but we
can be made to sense it and be buoyed up by it for a while. And when this happens, not even death can spoil
that sense of wonder, beauty, and joy. It is a sense that affects everything it comes in contact with and remains
in the memory bank of those who perceive it. This natural stream of life is the River of Nembutsu.
Namoamidabutsu. Hear it by saying it.

The minute we forget ourself and look at others, others look to us in appreciation. But when we look at others
in order to get that appreciation, we are no longer appreciated.

Gassho,
 Rev. Mas