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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Random Thoughts

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto
#1 – Apparently, I hit the wrong key last month and ended up recycling a recent article. Sorry about the mistake, but my mind must have been in Canada with the BWA group attending the World Conference in Calgary. I hope I did not cause you too much confusion.
#2 – A minor awakening that I was able to realize during the Canada trip made me realize how minor things reveal the differences in countries ...

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Difficulties Resolved

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

The Buddhadharma addresses and resolves the difficulties that we cause and experience. Difficulties that result from the value we place on how we see and engage the world. The practices of the Buddhadharma cultivate the mind that sees things as they are, correcting the mind that places value on prejudices with which I engage the world. This is core of the Buddhadharma. These are the Four Noble Truths. There are many ways to address the difficulties we experience. If ...

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Things We Can All Learn

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

There are times when people have suggestions for new programs or improvements for ongoing programs that show they have little, if any, idea of what is actually happening here. At best, it seems like they are making suggestions for what they think is happening. This shows that there is much to be learned by all of us on many different levels.
The first thing that we need to learn from this is that we need to ...

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Mindfulness

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

There is a burn mark on the onaijin carpet. Its about three inches long and an eighth of an inch wide. I have seen this mark in the onaijin of other temples. Sometimes the mark is on carpet. Sometimes the mark is on wooden floors. For some ministers this may be a familiar mark.

Sunday mornings can sometimes be hectic. There are parents and students arriving for the Sangha and Padma class I teach that is supposed to start at ...

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