Dharma Card for New Year, 2007


      The light of wisdom exceeds all measure,

      And every finite living being

      Receives this illumination that is like the dawn,

      So take refuge in Amida, the true and real light.

                                                             Shinran’s Jodo Wasan



Worshipping the Light of Infinity on New Year’s day, I sincerely share the joy with you for

welcoming the new year in the way we are.

     Shoma-san in Sanuki, Shikoku, was a Myokonin or wondrously excellent person, who had

attained deep shinjin (true entrusting) in spite of being unable to read or write.

One day, when he was turning the pages of the three-volume Pure Land Sutras in the temple,

the resident priest mockingly asked him, “Can you read the Sutra, Shoma?”  “Sure, I can,” he

replied.  “How does it go then?   Read it aloud for me.”   “OK.  It says, ‘Shoma, come to me.

I will save you, Shoma.  I will save you, Shoma…,’” so he went on to the priest’s astonishment.

    Reciting the Sutra involves knowledge, which can be measured by a test.  Hence knowledge

stays at the level of “measure.”  In order for it to be really useful, it must meet the light of

immeasurable wisdom.  When you encounter the light, you will have your own self revealed as

an ignorant being, for whom the Original Vow was made.

This realization comes from immeasurable wisdom, the inconceivable wisdom of Buddha.

    I hope we will keep looking up to this Immeasurable Light this year.


          “New Year comes around

           Ignorance upon ignorance

          which is one’s old home”