April 21, 2020
Our present situation has made some of us hypochondriacs or neurotics. Each time I sneeze, cough, feel tired or uneasy I wonder is it the virus? It is silly to worry and we should spend our time better. The world of truth for us means things just as they are. If we get sick, we get sick, if we survive this pandemic we will survive. Either way it is a life experience that teaches us about the self.
It is not a good use of our time to worry, but it is human nature to worry. This is especially true in the current situation we find ourselves in. We worry about our jobs, our health our relationships, our finances. We worry because we expect the world to operate in a way in which it will not cause us suffering or anxiety.
This is what the Buddha called dukkha, a world of suffering caused by our inability to see the world as it truly is. Our dilemma is not new; it is just magnified by the pandemic changing our world. Shinran called it the saha world or the mundane world we live in.
In those moments of anxiety and worry, just say namoamidabutsu and we are embraced in the infinite wisdom and compassion of Amida Buddha, just as we are.
Rev. Jay Shinseki