I believe our members already know my diligence, but I can tell you only my wife knows how hardest I am working everyday.....because she seldom see me resting. I wake up early before she wakes up and go to sleep after she does. But this never mean she is always sleeping for the sake of her honor... Otherwise, I’ll get scolded….no, no, no...I mean I just like being busy working more than she does.
One of my interesting customs I want to disclose at this time, is, I always sleep not on bed, but on the floor by the entrance door and sometimes sleep at temple. This custom was actually started in 1990 when I was influenced by the books and philosophy by Yukichi Fukuzawa(1835-1901) who founded Keio University. According to his autobiography, he never used a pillow until his age of 40 years old in order to prevent longer sleep and indeed he studied very hard. So after reading his book, I decided to study day and night, not using bed and pajama. I have never used pajama actually.
Though the custom to study day and night didn't last, but the custom to sleep not on the bed, I am still doing it, except staying at hotel.
Another reason, I try to sleep less hours, is my realization of life. After learning and practicing Buddhism from my childhood, I came to hold an idea that I might die anytime and it surely made me work harder . The older I get, the more I feel life is short and uncertain. The old saying, " Don't put off till tomorrow, what you can do today", is very true. If I don’t do it right now, I might not get a chance to do tomorrow.
Especially, the 3.11 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami four years ago was more than shocking. Many people tended to think they could live tomorrow, but it taught us that many people could die so suddenly without any foretaste.
Needless to say, it's sad and we feel sorry for the victims, but from the view point of universe, natural disasters are naturally happening all the time. The fact we are living is just miracle if we are mindful of our environments. Accidents are also happening all the time. If we don't encounter disasters around us, this means we are just lucky.
For example, meteorite. According to the book I read, meteor from outer space is falling to the earth once in five minutes. Because most meteors are burned before they reach the earth and also 70 % of the earth is ocean, they rarely hit people. But some meteorites reach the earth once in a while. This means falling stones are natural and the fact it doesn’t hit the person is miracle. In like manner, lightning, typhoon or hurricane, earthquakes, tornado are always happening somewhere on this earth and what a miracle that we are living! This is called "Arigato" in Japanese and "Arigato" means more than "thank you". It's a sense of miracle of life for which we are grateful.
I don't know if you ever notice it, but theme of my message, whether sermon or not, is always this "Arigato". I am always talking about "Arigato" in different ways and in different expressions, so that you don't feel bored, I hope!
If you are more interested in my messages or blog posts, please, please, please come to Sunday Service! I have a feeling and confidence that more and more people are coming to this temple in the future. As I said before, if you newly come to the service, I will be happy to make Sushi for you. So please call me 742-6735 and tell me you are coming to the service.
For more information, please look at a schedule on this website.
PS. Today and tomorrow, I will have my days-off together with my kids. Arigato gozaimasu!