Toasted Pumpkin Seeds and the Nembutsu

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K. Ken Fujimoto

An interesting point came to me while reading a novel for pleasure.  One scene depicted the main character, a female chef in Tokugawa Japan, toasting some pumpkin seeds for a snack for a neighborhood boy.  She peeled and gave him one and he seemed to enjoy it immensely.  His mother took one seed and commented how much better it was then when she toasted the seeds.  There were other neighborhood women around and they all commented that they ...

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Step by Step

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K. Ken Fujimoto

At a given point in time, something may seem very important.  At a later point, that same thing may not seem nearly as important, even trivial.  Later still, one comes to see that it was important in context.

We have all had such experiences.  Some of what seemed so important at the time may even have become totally forgotten.

One such example can be seen in how we react to starting school.  A young child going to ...

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Avoid all evil

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G Sakamoto

The Dhammapada is a collection of verses that most likely originated with the Buddha. The collection is made up of 423 verses in 26 books. There are several of these verses in our Dharma School service book. There are many translations of the Dhammapada both in print and online. In the Fourteenth Book, the fifth verse reads: “To avoid all evil, to cultivate good,
and to cleanse one’s mind —
this is the teaching of the Buddhas.” When Bai Juyi (772 ...

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To Learn and Share

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G Sakamoto

Everyone of us has something to share. Something weÕve learned and spent some time thinking about and working with. Something we hold important and of value. Sometimes we donÕt recognize what we might have to share but others may see it. Sometimes we think its something and it turns out to be something unexpected. Often the unexpected reveals something of ourselves that we may have overlooked and not appreciated. In the past few months there have been two projects ...

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Gratitude to Termites?

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Gratitude to Termites?
K. Ken Fujimoto

The other day at our Spring Ohigan service, Rev. Shibata referred to the Four Gratitudes, gratitude to parents, gratitude to the ruler of the nation, gratitude to sentient beings and gratitude to the Three Treasures, Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. The one that caught my attention the most was the gratitude we should feel towards sentient beings.

Buddhism often refers to all life and not just humans by talking about sentient beings. Most people will understand this ...

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No Make Hard

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No make hard
G Sakamoto

I have thought of the Three Poisons of hatred, greed and ignorance as drivers that push us along through the six realms of existence, through samsara, through the rounds of birth-and-death. The samsara mandala depicts this as a wheel with six spokes. The spokes separate the realms of hells, hungry ghosts, fighting spirits, heavenly beings, humans and animals. On the outer rim of the mandala is the twelve chain of causation. At the hub, around which ...

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Housekeeping 2012

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By K. Ken Fujimoto
From the June 2012 edition of The Dharma

As I have mentioned before, there are times that we need to do housekeeping chores to inform people of upcoming events.  This tends to happen just before the summer vacation/Obon season and this year seems to be no different.

Item #1 – Some of you may have heard that there is a Hongwanji Temple in Katmandu, Nepal.  The temple was founded in 2006, and has its roots in a group ...

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BAFTT Day

Posted by:

G Sakamoto
From the June 2012 edition of The Dharma

When was the last time you invited a friend to a Sunday morning service at the temple? Have you ever invited a friend? Most likely the last time was when you were in grade school. Ever wonder why that is.

We should feel comfortable with our religious life. Things have changed over the years. Although some may still see Buddhism as an exotic Oriental tradition, many people, and probably your friends are ...

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Adventures in eBooks and POD

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G Sakamoto

Last October, at a delegates meeting of the Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations, I challenged the participants in a workshop to rethink how we produce materials and share the Buddhadharma.

We no longer need to be tied to the model of printing materials that we’ve followed in the past. That model required a specific number of books to be ordered and printed by a publisher. The cost of each book often is related to the number of copies to be ...

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