Discourteous driver

Posted by:

G Sakamoto
When people first begin to hear the Buddha’s Vow, they wonder, having become thoroughly aware of the karmic evil in their hearts and minds, how they will ever attain birth as they are. To such people we teach that since we are possessed of blind passions, the Buddha receives us without judging whether our hearts are good or bad.
When, upon hearing this, a person’s trust in the Buddha has grown deep, he or she comes to abhor such a ...
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Learning from Students

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

We have been fortunate here in San Jose and the Coast District to have the four International Ministers Orientation Program (IMOP) students visiting and participating in events and programs here. These students are young ministers who are going to be overseas ministers in Hawaii, Canada or our BCA or are strongly considering the possibility. They come to the Jodo Shinshu Center and the BCA ...

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Thank you pants

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

 

Seat a little worn

Perhaps another season

Folded one last time

 

Pants don’t care if we thank them or not. Pants are indifferent to words, thoughts and actions. We wear them. Wash them. Throw them in the recycling when we’re done with them. Maybe we pass them down or on to someone else. Who might wear them, wash them, throw them in the recycling. Recently, I’ve noticed myself folding and thanking clothes going into the recycling pile. I should not say this ...

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Another Irony of Shinran

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

In working on some translations for the Ministers Affairs Committee, I have come to see that the ideal for a Jodo Shinshu minister is based heavily on the image of Shinran Shonin. This may seem natural at first, but I find it ironic since Shinran never intended to start a sect and cultivate a following. Even the Continue Reading →

Guitars in the Hondo

Posted by:

G Sakamoto

My first assignment as a minister was to the Honolulu Betsuin. I was a part of the English Department where one of my responsibilities was helping with the layout of the monthly newsletter, The Goji. The department office was downstairs and away from the main office. Although I was usually upstairs occasionally I would spend time downstairs looking through old files and newsletters discovering things about our history. One of the things that really struck me was the concern ...

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Collecting Complaints

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

Reading an article recently in the Hongwanji Shinpo, the Hongwanji newspaper that comes out three times each month, I found out about an interesting project started by some graduate students at Ryukoku University assisted by other Hongwanji affiliated schools.  What they are doing is that a group of them position themselves outside the main Kyoto train station and offer to listen to peoples’ complaints.  They call it a complaint collection project and they ...

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Unexpected

Posted by:

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”
Shoshinge, Collected Works of Shinran, page 72

My unenlightenment shapes my experience of nirvana. Nirvana is the world of birth-and-death because of my unenlightenment. As an unenlightened person I cause and experience difficulties. The resolution of these difficulties is the purpose of the Buddhadharma.

Difficulties are the result ...

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A Bittersweet Obon

Posted by:

K. Ken Fujimoto

With the help of many volunteers, this past Obon bazaar was a successful one, but it was also a sad one with the passing of Mum Arii, who had been an integral part of the Obon, especially the odori, the street dancing portion, for so many years. Many people wondered why I did not say anything at the closing on Sunday. I thought about it for quite a while, but decided not to do so because ...

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Lemon Tree

Posted by:

G. Sakamoto

We have an old lemon tree in our backyard. ThereÕs a lot of history to that tree; how it got there, the lemons it produces, the uses the lemons have been put to. The fruit are large and delicious. Now the tree is dying and weÕre trying to save it.

This past winter we noticed that large sections of the foliage was turning brown, something that had not happened before. We thought maybe the trees behind it were beginning to ...

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