Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge #9-2, Carrying Her

[ Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge ]

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Email: info@honolulumyohoji.org

Guided by the hope of St. Nichiren, we continue to work towards a peaceful society.  Honolulu Myohoji Mission collaborates with Psychologist Dr. Yukari Kunisue, a trained and experienced therapeutic life coach, to offer a safe online space: Dr. Yukari’s Listening Lounge



Ekidoo, the monk who stood by while the other helped carry a young woman debated what is right and what is wrong. I visualized him contemplating if he should reprimand Tanzen on recklessly violating their vow. After all, coming into physical contact with a woman is viewed as an insult to Buddhist beliefs.


While I read the story, I related to Ekidoo and his stance on the situation. I was unable to look past any wrong doings that were either unethical or socially unjust. I would often share the wrong doings of others with people who were willing to listen to my frustrations. Similar to Ekidoo, I self-righteously spoke against these injustices. It wasn’t until later that I realized that I was expending a lot of energy tormenting myself with my own self-righteousness. 


It was around this time that I read a book called From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Zalman Schacter-Shalomi. The author, a Jewish Rabbi spoke about a person similar to Ekidoo who was often burdened by his own self-righteousness and had a difficult time forgiving others. 


He used the following analogy of a person who places themselves in a cage, to describe people like Ekidoo and I. We are unable to let go and forgive others’ wrong-doings because we are convinced that we are right and they are wrong. Unfortunately, we end up putting ourselves in a cage. As a result, we not only put ourselves into this cage but we also lock the cage door and hold onto the key for dear life.


After all, the person who held the secret to freedom was not Tanzan, the monk who carried the woman, but Ekidoo himself who couldn’t forgive and move forward. While Tanzan may have broken the rule, he left the door open and moved forward. Ekidoo on the other hand, held onto the key and meddled on the wrong-doings for hours unable to forgive his fellow monk.


Years later, Tanzan became a renowned professor at the former Tokyo University teaching the study of Buddhism. He was also known as a well-liked and compassionate monk.