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Reflections on the Meaning of Interrelationships at IBS Memorial Service

As I participated via Zoom in the Institute of Buddhist Studies Memorial Service on Nov. 12, 2020, at the Jodo Shinshu Center -- honoring the 141 individuals who did so much in the development of the IBS to become the institution that it has become -- I was overwhelmed with the thought that I had deep and brief contact with 95% of those on the memorial list.

In my long association with IBS, I felt the impact that I was guided by the vision, compassion, and sincere concern of so many great teachers, leaders, ministers, and friends. I was suddenly made aware that without their contribution and support over the years, I would not be participating in that very special memorial that moment. The inconceivableness of that moment was overwhelming.

In our everyday lives, we are so tuned in with ourselves that we cannot see the vast impact of lives, in many ways, countless as the tiny grains of sand on the beach, that make our lives possible in each moment that we live.

Shakyamuni Buddha said that all things are interconnected in a vast net that is limitless, and Shinran calls that net the Primal Vow that embraces each and everyone of us just as we are. The Primal Vow is the dynamic movement of Infinite Light and Life of Wisdom and Compassion of Enlightenment-Truth Itself, known to us as Amida Buddha.

Still caught in the self-absorbed life of ignorance that I live, for a moment, hearing the names of those people being honored, I felt the vastness of Dharma working in my life. Being who I am, I could only say the Nembutsu, which is my true expression of gratitude that I am receiving at this moment in life.




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