Buddhist throughout the world will commemorate February 15, 2022 as the 2,405-year memorial for the Buddha Shakyamuni. As the Buddha was approaching death at the age of 80 years he told his disciples not to lament, “because life is ever changing; no one can escape the dissolution of the body. This I am now to show by my own death, my body falling apart like a dilapidated cart.” He went on to say that death is only the end of the physical body and the true Buddha is not the body, but the Wisdom of Enlightenment and the Truth of the Dharma will exist forever.
The past year we have faced unprecedented events and many challenging situations. I don’t need to list them here we all know all the events that have upset our peaceful lives. The fear of uncertainty has make many feel anxious and depressed. Some have lost their tolerance and are unable to accept other views and actions.
The Buddha constantly and consistently wanted his disciples to control their minds, to keep their minds from greed, he wanted them to keep their minds pure with words and actions. On his death bed he reminded them to all think on the transiency of your lives and you will be able to resist greed and anger. He wanted us all to be masters of our own mind. He reminded his disciples with his last breath to respect each other and to refrain from disputes. By studying his teachings, he said you will all together enjoy the blossoms of Enlightenment.
Without a doubt we will all encounter moments of anger, greed and intolerance. These are the moments when we truly need to look deeply at the self as the Buddha encouraged us to do. We will also encounter Truths in our life that encourage us to be in control and stop the anger, control the greed and be tolerant of others.
Many people were anxious for the end of 2021 and looked forward to a better year in 2022. I too wish for that, but it begins with me. It begins with me embracing the Truths taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. There is much in the world that we cannot control, but we can begin to control the mind, and our lives will be become shining examples of the wisdom and compassion taught by the Buddha.
Rev. Hosei Shinseki
 Teachings of the Buddha, Kosaido Publications, 1966