Simple or True?

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

 

Recently, I attended a special lecture at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. The lecture was good, but it was presented in Japanese with an English translation. The translation was also good, but I came to see that there are things that cannot be translated. Concepts need to be explained and a literal translation is often insufficient in communicating the essence of a concept to a different ...

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Parkland

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

The deaths by gun violence of seventeen people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has once again brought outrage and grief at the senseless loss of life. I hope this time we will be able to change the way we understand gun violence in America. We have been here before. Each time we have demanded that something be done. The anger over the Parkland killings has brought thousands into the streets. They raise their voices so change will ...

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Antinomianism

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

In Letter 20 of the Lamp for the Latter Ages (Mattosho) Shinran writes:

“It has not been uncommon for people like yourselves, who do not read or know the scriptures, to distort the teaching, having heard that no evil interferes with the attainment of birth. It seems that this is still the case. To hear that you are all falling deeper and deeper into error, following the words of Shinken-bo and others who know nothing of the Pure Land teaching, ...

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Practice Kindness

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

There is a continuing discussion regarding bringing food to people living on our streets and in parks. The concern is if we provide food and accommodations then they will be less inclined to find permanent solutions. There is also the concern of sanitation and disruptive behavior associated with where they gather. Providing food and accommodations encourages people to remain where they are.

When we think of the homeless this is the usual image we have; dirty gatherings where thrash and ...

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One Community

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

I was asked to speak in support of the Santa Clara County Supervisor’s resolution condemning President Trump’s Executive Order entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorists Entry into the United States”. On February 7, I read a portion of the statement below before the Board of Supervisors.

It was an interesting day. I understood that the resolution would be presented at around 10:00 so I planned to arrived at the county building by 9:30. Anyone can speak before the board ...

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Smiling or Snarling?

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

Due to the BCA National Council Meeting being held here in the beginning of March, this article may not seem timely, but I do need to get an early start.  I have noticed that when I need to get an early start, I usually write about things that I knew or talked about in the past that I have come to see as having deeper or more meaning than I had originally thought.

Along those lines, I was thinking ...

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The Roar of the Passive Voice

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

 

One of the things for which Jodo Shinshu ministers are often criticized is the use of the passive voice. This may seem to have merit, especially in this day and age where people want to take a more proactive stance on everything that they do, but there is much that can be gained from the viewpoint that the passive voice can give us.

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Buddha’s Intent

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

“It is impossible for us, who are possessed of blind passions, to free ourselves from birth-and-death through any practice whatever. Sorrowing at this, Amida made the Vow, the essential intent of which is the evil person’s attainment of Buddhahood. Hence, evil persons who entrust themselves to Other Power are precisely the ones who possess the true cause of birth.

“Accordingly he said, ‘Even the good person is born in the Pure Land, so without question is the person who is ...

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