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Church was boring. We sang corny Christian-sounding hymns and read boring sutras out loud. To while away the time, I bit my nails and played with my ojuzu (prayer beads). If I crossed my eyes just right, I could make the minister disappear.

It's not that I didn't believe in the Buddha. Every time we recited the Golden Chain, the words etched themselves onto my heart and weighted my brain.

...I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts, to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds,knowing that on what I do now depends not only my happiness and unhappiness, but also that of others.

The Floating World, oil, 36 x 44
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