an entrusting mind

Last night at the Tsukiji Hongwangi Jodo Shinshu Temple in Tokyo, Rev. Youmyou Kadono spoke on the theme of “The most important Jodo Shinshu teaching: an entrusting mind”. And he told a story from his own life many years ago, as a young parent on a day trip with his daughter to Disneyland in Florida.

His child was really excited about seeing Mickey and all his pals, so much so that as soon as Mickey appeared she ran off towards him and was soon lost in the crowd. Rev. Kadono ran to catch up, but his daughter, aware that she was now lost and separated from her parents, had burst into tears.

“Don’t worry,” Rev. Kadono said, bending down to pick her up, “I’m here, I’ve got you. And if you get lost again,” he said, “just stay where you are, stay calm, I’ll be right there, I’ll find you.” Sure enough, later in the day she ran off again, and again got lost. This time though, when Rev. Kadono found his child, she was perfectly calm, simply trusting that he’d soon be there.

“This”, Rev.Kandono said, “is the everyday benefit of the entrust mind, the mind that rests in faith” and it reminded me at once of Daehaeng Sunim’s teaching on entrusting. “Entrust everything to Juingong: entrust the things you understand and the things you don’t understand, entrust happiness and entrust suffering, entrust poverty and entrust disease.”

I know Japanese Pure Land is not Korean Zen, and some might think me mistaken for mixing the two, but this is how my path is, and I can’t help but be delighted by it. After all, as Daehaeng Sunim writes just a few lines later: “Don’t try to take care of things by relying upon theories, sutras, clever words, or other people’s ideas. Instead, just let go while believing that only Juingong can solve it.”

The great saving power of all Buddhas
becomes the saving power of my one mind.
With it I can live every day
free of entanglements.
So wonderful!
 – A Thousand Hands of Compassion 

5 thoughts on “an entrusting mind”

  1. lovely post. The example uses both rational thought (telling the little girl to stay where she is, if she gets lost again) and faith or “entrusting”. We don’t abandon the helpful use of our minds.

    To entrust everything, this is such a good reminder, something I forget when things don’t go well.]. My old Zen teacher would remind me that “the world was not out to get me” when something “bad” happened. Yes, entrust.

    And in to your comment of mixing traditions, for me, it’s all one Dharma.

  2. Thank you for sharing that lesson, it’s full of meaning. While I think I can appreciate the gyst of it, something troubles me, as I found often the case to be with religion.

    Aren’t we falling here for a classical Wittgensteinian trap when we start talking about the trusting feeling of a child on her father’s almost supranatural power to find her, her trust in her father’s love, even she herself wouldn’t probably know that this is really her feeling with the action of “entrusting” something to somebody, in this case suffering, setbacks, etc.?

    Although one might be tempted to say “it doesn’t matter” I think there are many differences, that constitute a fundamental difficulty to extrapolate the situation. Let’s imagine a kid that is about to be beaten at school by bullies the following day. He comes to his dad and entrusts it to him, but he can’t really prevent it from happening. I am sure that the kid will be better off knowing his father loves him and feels for him, but one can see how the story rings a different tone.

    I am sorry to bring a rather bleak note to the debate, really am, but at this point I don’t think this is trusting idea is getting through to me. I would appreciate refutation, however…

  3. Funny. Some things happened yesterday that were somewhat of a setback to the project I am working on this past year.

    My attitude is constantly positive/can do/will do, yet I remarked to my girlfriend that I am frustrated. I went on to inform her that I am not quitting, rather I am more determined to find the correct way and succeed. All in all, my frustration was disconcerting.

    Here I am reminded how always when times are challenging I have always come through successfully by calming down. Calming myself and relaxing into the situation fully with confidence and faith … a solution will be provided, or an action or path will be discovered that will ensure my success. This process has NEVER failed me.

    I would have gotten around to it eventually. This post just hastened the realization.

    g- ;-))

    “Everything happens for a reason and a purpose that serves us”

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