REALIZING PARADISE AND PURE LAND

 

 

I visited Costa Rica to attend the Fourth Global Alliance Summit for Ministries and Departments of Peace from September 17 through 23. It started with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and second term president Oscar Arias’ address and ended with that of the Vice Minister of the new Ministry of Justice and Peace.

 

This country became the third to have a Ministry of Peace after the Solomon Islands and Nepal. The atmosphere and content of the conference with 102 delegates from 21 countries were warm and wonderful. The conference was held in open green space at Quinta del Sol.

 

Costa Rica (Rich Coast) has 5% of the world’s biodiversity in its 0.1% of the planet’s land, and it relinquished capital punishment in 1877 and its military force in 1949. Six percent of its budget goes to education, and its literacy rate is 97.5%. Its ecology and tradition of valuing nature and life resulted in the new Ministry of Justice and Peace.

 

To be in nature and in accord with natural principles have made Costa Ricans peaceful, truthful and happy. It is quite natural that the people enjoy their life; Costa Rica is a top raking country in the world satisfaction index and the planet happiness index. The people strive for welfare, peace, disarmament, and ecology.

 

While attending the summit, I stayed at a home across from the Peace Academy, which worked to create the new Ministry of Peace, arranged the Summit, and is devoted to undertaking peace initiatives. There I enjoyed a garden abundant with tropical flowers, trees, butterflies and birds visiting them, and the sound of a creek approaching from afar.

 

Oh, here is Paradise! Genuine joy filled my heart and whole being. Peace is in nature! So I found. About forty years ago I visited Maui Island, and at its northern top in the Pacific Ocean, I felt like I found Paradise there. People there left their homes unlocked as in Costa Rica, and even went bare-footed.

 

When I took a shower in the Costa Rican family’s home, the cold water on a cool night made me wonder if hot water was available. Noting the electrical cords coming from the wall, I saw there was a three step switch at the shower head and guessed there must be a heater in it. I tried decreasing the water volume, and voila!

 

Lukewarm water came out. Back home I tried this on a one handle shower. Yes!, the water temperature increases as water volume decreases. Thus, I enjoyed the warm water of Paradise and Pure Land. People want Paradise with drink and dance, etc., but not Pure Land with all in peace and truth, do they?

 

It is possible to realize unconditioned peace (nirvana) and taste amrita (ambrosia / immortality) in meditation. This gives us the ability to see Paradise and Pure Land. However, it does not necessarily mean we realize them in our Common World (Saha-Loka). “The heart pure: the land pure” in the Yuima-kyo is realized only through our effort together.

 

To purify the world we share in common, we must first cultivate our hearts. Pure hearts can reflect and become truth and peace in original nature. In purity we can reflect each other like crystal balls of the Indra-net. Then we can verify Pure Land together. We can stop our karma (habits) to witness and realize Pure Land only when we’ve first purified our own hearts.

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