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Nursing through Buddhism
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Through my experiences of irrational suffering and the inconsistencies of human life, I was able to rediscover the importance of spirituality. And as I became aware of the confusion and contradictions in society leading to evil, cruelty, suicide, accidents, poverty, qualitative differences and so on, I began research to nurture life skills. Presently, in the course of seeking wisdom, I have also confronted the negative legacy created by scientism. I came to an understanding of the true nature of Buddhism, which affords the key to solutions, not through mere shells such as funeral Buddhism or tourist Buddhism, but through "teachings that enable living persons to attain happiness."
Nursing through Buddhism has been defined as "science that practices nursing through the application of Buddhist wisdom." As a religion, Buddhism as taught by Gautama Buddha seeks liberation of the "four sufferings" (birth, aging, sickness and death) through the pursuit of how to live one's life in the present. Buddhism is utilized not only after a person's life reaches its end, but can be utilized at any time, and the more one engages in practices while alive, the greater value is achieved. Rather than after one's death, the Buddha's preaching deals with how to live while alive.
According to Buddhism, one must first bring relief to those who suffer in order to free oneself from one's own earthly desires. Through application of family nursing, both the targeted families and nursing professional themselves obtain relief in the same manner, so it can be said that the true nature of Buddhist Nursing is built upon Family Care/Caring Theory (Hohashi 2015). Nursing through Buddhism in Family Nursing seeks to eliminate family signs/symptoms through treatment rooted in Buddhist concepts.
I am dedicated to strive for the development of Nursing through Buddhism and for the re-fusion of Buddhism with healthcare. Beginning with the Koyasan Shingon Sect, in which I am an ordained priest, I aim to bring about a blessed universe that transcends religion, uniting the forces of all branches of Shingon as well as the Buddhism sphere in its entirety.
Namu Daishi Henjo Kongo
Professor, Division of Family Health Care Nursing, Graduate School of Health Sciences, Kobe University, Japan
Priest, Koyasan Shingon Sect of Buddhism
Naohiro Hohashi (Buddhist appellation, Takuetsu)
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Updated July 1, 2021