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Having passed another year safe and sound, I’m deeply moved by the thought of how much the Buddha has watched over me.

A line of a certain poem goes: “The dandelion blossoms thanks to its roots and leaves.” How often are we so taken with the beauty of a flower that we forget it blooms thanks to its roots and leaves? Likewise, don’t we live our lives taking each other for granted, seeing no need to be thankful to our husbands, wives, parents, children, and all the people around us? We aren’t able to see the most important things in life unless we keep the eyes of our hearts wide open.

Onishi Ryokei (1875–1983), who lived to the grand old age of 107, was chief priest of Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple in Kyoto. He left us with the saying,

“Paradise is living life saying ‘thank you’ to others.”

At the end of another year, I hope that we reflect on our debts of gratitude to all the people in our lives.

Nikkyo Niwano

Kaiso zuikan 9 (Kosei Publishing, 1997), pp. 2020-203