Editor’s Note: The following letter was originally posted as a comment on nichibei.org in response to the article entitled “Prosecutors say ‘Shrimp Boy’ verdict is fair,” which was published in the Jan. 21, 2016 issue of the Nichi Bei Weekly.
Shrimp Boy’s claim that he renounced crime after 3 days of meditation at Ocean Beach in San Francisco is suspect. Anyone who is familiar with Buddhist teachings can tell you that meditating for a few days to reach some kind of enlightenment is not possible, and that even if you renounce doing bad deeds in the present and future, the karma of past deeds is not erased. Each moment of insight, mindfulness and being aware is fresh and new. One cannot cling to a belief and think that it will always be the truth.
If Shrimp Boy genuinely was on the bodhisattva path, he would know about the fourth of the Four Noble Truths (the Noble Eightfold Path), which includes among other practices, Right Speech, Right Action, and Right Livelihood.