Samsara is Nirvana

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G Sakamoto

“When foolish beings of delusion and defilement awaken shinjin,
They realize that birth-and-death is itself nirvana;
Without fail they reach the land of immeasurable light
And universally guide sentient beings to enlightenment.”
Shinran, Shoshinge, CWS p 72

When someone asks, “What is Buddhism?” we should confidently respond, “A way to resolve difficulties.” The next question can be scary since it may be about anything in the world of Buddhism. “How do you do that?”, “What is karma?”, “Do you transmigrate?”, ...

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Cultural Differences

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Cultural Differences
G Sakamoto

In the postscript of the Tannisho, Yuien recalls the words of Shinran,

“In truth, myself and others discuss only good and evil, leaving Amida’s benevolence out of consideration. Among Master Shinran’s words were:

‘I know nothing at all of good or evil. For if I could know thoroughly, as Amida Tathagata knows, that an act was good, then I would know good. If I could know thoroughly, as the Tathagata knows, that an act was evil, then I would ...

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Re-alignment

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G Sakamoto

Our regular services are starting up again. Dharma School students will return to new teachers and new experiences. Parents will gather in the hondo again with their family to hear the dharma. To share with one another the way of seeing and experiencing the world that comes from the original insight of Shakyamuni Buddha 2,500 years ago. At the core of the Buddhadharma is the observation that we see the world through our preferences and prejudices. Difficulties result from ...

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A Brief History – Lady Takeko Kujo

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K. Ken Fujimoto

Recently, it was brought to my attention that, arguably, the most important person in the history of the Buddhist Women’s Association (BWA) movement has been forgotten or totally ignored in this area. Much attention has been given, and deservedly so, to Eshinni, Shinran’s wife, Kakushinni Continue Reading →

Idle Distraction

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G Sakamoto

She stood quietly beside him now. He would go on this trip, this time alone. He held the furoshiki wrapped bundle in one hand. His mother had put together some things she thought heÕd enjoy on the trip. A tablet, his toy car, a musubi and snacks. He was excited thinking about traveling on his own. He look up at his mother who was gazing at him. She smiled.

The train pulled slowly up to the platform. It hummed ...

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Faith, Trust or Shinjin

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K. Ken Fujimoto
A number of recent incidents have made me rethink how we explain the term shinjin (信心)and other concepts in our tradition. One of those events was during the temple tours during our Obon festival. In explaining features in our naijin, I remembered how one elementary school student asked me many years ago, why the statue of Amida Buddha was standing on an artichoke. At first, this had me confused, but looking at the statue, ...

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Amida’s Assurance

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G Sakamoto

We know that the promise of Amida is the resolution of difficulties of all. As we are. Without conditions. There is nothing we need do.

In ShinranÕs time this offered hope to people who had no possibility of changing the conditions of their life. Conditions that were harsh and unforgiving. War that threw conscripts into battle. Famine, so intense, a war was halted. Those who were not a part of the aristocracy had little prospects other than to serve. The ...

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Thoughts for July

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K. Ken Fujimoto

Some Clarification Regarding the Generations Campaign

Along the lines of misspeak, misinformation and misperception that I have written about in the past few months, there is something that needs to be clarified regarding the Generations Capital Campaign. There seems to be much confusion and misunderstanding surrounding this issue.
The goal is to the raise $10 million in 5 years so that we can renovate and retrofit the annex and then build a new education building. We are ...

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Happy in Nembutsu

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G Sakamoto

There is much in our lives to be happy about. The experience may not be a giddy happy, but a feeling of well being and joy. A feeling of joy that acknowledges difficulties. We may not be able to recognize happiness at times, but happiness is always there. Even in the most difficult of times happiness is there. When we lose something important happiness is there. When someone we care for deeply dies happiness is there. In all our ...

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