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The first chapter: Beyond distinctions above and below any hierarchy

“Then, Shonin, you say, Amitabha Buddha is here now too?”
“Yes, whenever and wherever. By chanting Nembutu, Amitabha Buddha will appear in front of me.”

“Namu Amida Butu, Amida Butu. Namu Amida Butu, Amida Butu.”

Sunlight shining from the blue sky

In the capital city where blue sky covers the sky and blue wind blows, Kuya Shonin, dressed in deerskin robe, speaks with people today as well. In the midst of the bustle of the city, he is sitting there with a straw mat put under, a broken tray for beggars in front of him, calmly begging for food and sharing the teachings of the Nembutu together with the people.

“Hey, where is it?”
“Now and here.”
“What the hell, I can’t see it.”
“Amitabha Buddha has no form, Shibaki.”
Then, Kuya Shonin took a piece of branch that had fallen there, wrote the character for “sky” on the ground, and surrounded it with a circle.

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The character for sky (ku) is circled.

“Amitabha Buddha is showing us the teaching of emptiness.”
“Emptiness?”
“Yes, emptiness.”
Kuya Shonin pointed to the character for “emptiness” with a branch.

“The teaching of emptiness, to say it in a word, it is the teaching that everything existing in this world is made up of a great variety of relationships, and that there is no fixed entity in the first place. Amitabha Budda always show us the teaching.”

“So, even now and this time, Amitabha Buddha exists without having its form and fixed entity.”

Image of the Formless Amitabha Buddha

“As it can be applied to everything, I, the Buddha, originally am the existence without fixed entity.”

“But Shonin.”
The person called “Shibaki” threw a question to Shonin-sama on end.
“What does the teachings of the “emptiness” have to do with our lives?”
“Well, for example.”
Then, the Shonin-sama used a branch piece to write “Higashi ichi” vertically to the left of the character for “emptiness”, and enclosed it in a square.

The character for sky (ku) surrounded by circles and the character for east city (higashi no ichi) surrounded by squares.

Everything that exists in this world originally has no fixed entity and it does not exist. This East Market is also…”
Then he refers to the character for “East Market” in the branch.
“Originally, it never existed here.”
Shonin-sama continues the story.
“Then why is the Market established here? It is undeniably due to all of us here.”
“Thanks to us?”

“Yes.”
The seller of goods gives comfort to the buyer, and the buyer of goods gives comfort to the seller.
・The goods sold at Higashi Market are transported from the countryside to the capital of Kyoto by hand, and eventually placed on display in stores.
・And the East Market is kept in a semblance of security and safety thanks to the city magistrate (ichi no tukasa) appointed by the imperial court.
・Furthermore, the people who make various things in the region also play a role in supporting the lives of all those living in the East Market, and by extension, all those living in the capital.

“The East Market now transcends all hierarchical distinctions and is made up thanks to activities of a great diverse of people.”

“To be continued to the latter part”

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京都三条会商店街北 薬膳&カフェ 雅(みやび) サイト制作・運営 一般社団法人シシン

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