It is said that, just as there are 108 klesas (“defilements” or vices), so too there are 108 Dharma gates, or pathways leading to the understanding of Buddhist doctrine. In fact, of course, both the klesas and the Dharma gates are innumerable. It is to be hoped that readers of Volume XV of the Organ for the Universal Buddhist League will have found among its Leaves not only evidence of Toshiyori’s many shortcomings, but also an expanded knowledge of the purpose and promise of the Buddhadharma.
Everything changes; everything passes away. At 86, Toshiyori has said (in the course of Vol. XV) everything he wished to say and everything he believed needed saying. He regrets that, in so doing, he may have given offense to some. Such was not his intent. Rather, he hopes to have proven a worthy successor to his dear friend and mentor, Rev. Tyuuzi Hasimoto, the founder and only President of the Universal Buddhist League. In Vol. I through Vol. XIV of the Organ, Rev. Hasimoto never once conceded to popular opinion, but always expounded the truth as he saw it. It is that example which Toshiyori has tried to follow. His only regret is that not so much as a single reader submitted a question concerning the Dharma. Ergo, he was forced to conclude that all his readers already understand Buddhism, and do not require his assistance.
Therefore, it is time lay aside the fude and prepare for the end of this sojourn in samsara.
Death is certain, only the hour of its coming is unknown. So, even during our working years, we strive to attain enlightenment and to use every moment of freedom. In retirement, of course, we usually have more time for Dharma practice. Indeed, at that point, Dharma practice should become the focal point of one’s life. If you subscribe to the Zen sect, that would imply spending as much time as possible on your assigned koan; it should become an obsession. If (like Toshiyori) you follow the Shingon mikkyo tradition, it would entail focusing on the sound of mantras. But, in any case, read and think about the Pure Land sutras. If they are untrue, why were they written? It may be that, in the end, the Nembutsu will prove to have been the most important mantra of all. So Rev. Hasimoto believed.
To all those who helped and encouraged Toshiyori in this venture, sincere thanks; domo arigato!
Alike to those in fear of the bleak and menacing future, as also to those who pine for some brighter age whose time has passed, I would urge striving to live in the moment. The past is gone, and the future never comes. The present is all we have.
Don’t waste your time on angry thoughts about politicians. Try to forgive their greed and ignorance. Soon enough, they will be replaced by others cut from the same chintzy cloth.
Above all, be kind to others.
If you have enjoyed or benefited from reading any of the 108 Leaves of Volume XV of the Organ for the Universal Buddhist League, please consider making a tax deductible donation to the Shingonji Temple in Lomita, CA (http://www.shingonjitemple.org/). Thank you, and farewell.
Toshiyori Hodo san