"What is the real cause of your suffering? It is your dark mind," says Sakyamuni Buddha. Our minds are dark, and this is known as mumyo no yami, literally translated as darkness of no light.

In Buddhism this is known as darkness about the purpose of life. We don't know why we live or where we go when we die; we are in the dark about the purpose of life.

We live each day moving toward the future. Ultimately, the future is death. So, each day that we live means that we have moved one day closer to death. Whether asleep or awake, we are always moving closer and closer to death. This year we are closer to death than last year. Next year we will be closer than this year. Without exception, everybody is moving toward death. Death is our inescapable future. However, our dark mind is ignorant of the world that awaits us after death. Therefore, the direction and the purpose of life are ignored, and cloaked in darkness.

Because we are constantly moving into a dark future we are always uneasy, and unable to have peace of mind. Our minds become dark. Sakyamuni Buddha taught that this dark mind is the root cause of all suffering.

Amida Buddha's Hongan is a promise to save all people in an ichinen, or in an instant.

The path to this instant or, ichinen, is a journey that our minds must embark upon. Our minds constantly change and move forward until the point when Amida Buddha saves us.

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