(Photo Credit: Bob Murphy, our Dive Instructor in Koh Tao, Thailand)
Aloha from Kyoto! Mimy and I arrived safely in Japan on March 2nd jet-lagged and tired from three weeks of packing up our ‘stuff’ and moving it into storage. Moving for the fifth time in six years, we realized that ‘attachment’ to ‘things’ is indeed the cause of suffering, especially after carrying our ‘stuff’ up and down three flights of stairs 100 times, haha!
The next morning, we transited to the Hongwanji International Center in Kyoto, where we were grateful for the warm welcome by the international staff, who helped us take 300 pounds of ‘stuff’ up three flights of stairs to the dormitory floor for guests.
Waking up early the next day, I joined the early morning service at the Hongwanji. Despite being dressed for the freezing cold Kyoto winter, I shivered in the Amida-do and Goei-do halls while chanting Sanbutsu-ge and Shoshin-ge, and listening to the Dharma talk.
Since then, we’ve found an apartment, registered our residence in Kyoto, obtained National Health Insurance, and…I took the entrance exams for Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, the seminary where I’ll be studying for a year.
I was stumped by the math section, which included:
X2 + 2X = 15
What? I remembered why I became a language major more than 30 years ago…my brain just doesn’t think this way, so I left it blank.
Later, I realized the answer was obvious.
X = Namo Amida Butsu!
I am profoundly grateful for this opportunity to awaken to the truth I have much to learn, that the causes and conditions of life have brought me and Mimy here to Kyoto only because of the support and encouragement of innumerable kind and gentle people—especially Rev. Bert and the Sangha of Moiliili Hongwanji.
Every day I awaken to the working of Great Compassion and Wisdom in my life. Me, of all people—Mottainai, Arigatai, Namo Amida Butsu!
May your days be filled with aloha, ‘ohana, and mahalo!
Kerry & Mimy in Kyoto
March 19, 2017