Falling

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

Most of us have fallen. We may have slipped and fallen or lost our balance and fallen. Sometimes we fall on purpose like off a diving board or onto a comfy bed. Usually we fall alone, sometimes we fall with friends as we might when we ride a roller coaster or skydive together. I don’t skydive. I don’t roller coaster anymore. It has been suggested that not getting on a roller coaster may have more to do with control ...

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Homyo

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

Through this Affirmation Ceremony, I shall endeavor to live a life guided by the Nembutsu teaching from this day forward.

The statement above is the affirmation by the recipients of their homyo at the recent ceremony performed by Bishop Umezu. This affirmation reflects the true intent of the tradition of receiving a homyo. It is vow and commitment to live as a Buddhist in our Nembutsu tradition.
Our recent homyo or Buddhist (more correctly, Dharma) name classes and ...

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Practicing Kindness

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

I left the check out line I was in and got into a line that I thought was moving faster. I watched the line I was in to see if I had made a good decision. The person who was just in front of me was still waiting in the same place. I had moved up by one person. Good choice. The man at the cashier in our line had just completed his payment and now trying pay with ...

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Housekeeping

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto
This world is one of constant change. We point to this reality frequently in our services. The main concern is in the changes of the human condition, but changes are everywhere, including our temple. Every so often there is a need to explain and discuss some changes that will occur in our services. This will especially become important with the construction beginning and the adjustments that will be required because of this.
Housekeeping ...

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Essential for Temple

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

The Tannisho is a manuscript attributed to Yuien-bo who is thought to have been a student of Shinran. After Shinran’s death misunderstandings began to arise. Students could no longer ask Shinran for clarification. The Tannisho was compiled by Yuien, many years after Shinran’s death, in an attempt to address some of these misunderstandings. The title, Tannisho, has been translated as: “A Record in Lament of Divergences”.

In the first ten chapters, Yuien, recalls the words of Shinran. Probably collected from ...

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Dare to Grow

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

Sometimes people talk to me and I have no idea what they are talking about. The best example of this is when some of the Lotus students are talking to me. Most of the time it is because I am not used to how they speak so I need one of the teachers or one of the assistants to translate what they are saying so I can respond. Other times they are talking about things ...

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Hair on fire

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

“Even if one strives to the utmost with body and mind through the twelve periods of the day and night, and however importunate(troublesomely urgent) one’s action and practice may be as though swiping fire away from one’s head, it must all be called poisoned good acts, or empty, transitory, and false practices. It cannot be called true, real, and sincere action. Though one may direct the merits of such poisoned good toward birth in the Pure Land, it ...

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Foolishness as the Crux

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto
Recently, the Coast District Ministers Association hosted the annual BCA Ministers Association Seminar and Summer Meeting here in San Jose. As our main speaker, we were fortunate to have Rev. Haruaki Shirakawa, head of the Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, the main institution for the training and education of ministers for the Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan. Part of his lecture to us covered a critical point for the understanding of our teaching. This is something many ...

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A Shallow Stream

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

There is a story of a priest and disciple who traveled on a pilgrimage together. It was a time when people still walked. A time when going somewhere meant being outside. Sometimes having to contend with bad weather. But often just enjoying a walk, on the way to somewhere, alone or with family or friends. One day the priest and his student met such a traveler, a young woman who stood anxiously on the bank of a shallow stream.

As ...

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Fukashigi, Fukasetsu, Fukasho

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto
Shinran Shonin often uses the terms fukashigi (不可思議), fukasetsu (不可説), fukasho (不可称) to describe the wondrous workings of Amida’s compassion. The literal meanings are, in order, things are impossible to imagine, impossible to explain and impossible to express, yet they happen in our lives on a regular basis. How else can things that occur in our lives be described as being anything but wondrous?
When we talk about things being wondrous or miraculous, many people ...

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