Half Asleep or Half Awake?

April 7, 2020

As we move into the second month of being sheltered in place, we find ourselves getting into a daily routine.  I am usually in bed by 10:00 am and start to stir around 6:00 am.   Sunrise is usually around 6:20 am.  Even though I try to keep my eyes closed the light of morning comes into the room and I can “see” the light through my eyelids.  No matter how I try the morning sun wins and I wake up.

I am reminded of Shinran’s words in his Kyogyoshinsho (Teaching, Practice, Faith & Attainment). “The unhindered light is the sun of wisdom dispersing the darkness of our ignorance”

Even my stubborn resistance to the light of wisdom and my refusal to open my eyes to the truth, the light of Amida’s compassion is unhindered and forces me awake.  Even when I pull the covers over my head to escape the truth/reality that is Amida, the light has already snapped me out of my sleeping state.  The truth has grasped me despite my efforts to stay asleep.

Our encounter with Amida Buddha and the Primal Vow arises like the morning sun jostling us from the doldrums of sleep, awakening us to the reality of life.


Rev. Hosei Shinseki