The fool who knows that he is a fool
is for that very reason a wise man;
the fool who thinks he is wise is a fool indeed.
~ Dhammapada 63
Though I seek my refuge in the true faith of the Pure Land,
Yet my heart has not been truly sincere.
Deceit and untruth are in my flesh,
And in my soul is no clear shining.
In their outward seeming all men are diligent and truth speaking,
But in their souls are greed and anger and unjust deceitfulness,
And in their flesh do lying and cunning triumph.
Too strong for me is the evil of my heart.
I cannot overcome it.
Therefore my soul is like unto the poison of serpents;
Even my righteous deeds, being mingled with this poison,
Must be named deeds of deceitfulness.
Shameless though I be and having no truth in my soul,
Yet the virtue of the Holy Name, the gift of Him that is enlightened,
Is spread throughout the world through my words,
Although I am as I am.
There is no mercy in my soul.
The good of my fellow man is not dear in my eyes.
If it were not for the Ark of Mercy,
The divine promise of the Infinite Wisdom,
How should I cross the Ocean of Misery?
I, whose mind is filled with cunning and deceit as the poison of reptiles,
Am impotent to practice righteous deeds.
If I sought not refuge in the gift of our Father,
I should die the death of the shameless.
(Shinran Shohin, founder of Shin Buddhism)
This Week’s Affirmation:
“I give freely without expecting a reward.”
(For more on Affirmations, go to my Affirmations Page.)