Thursday, April 27, 2017

Don't do many things, just focus on the recquirements of the Primal Vow


Recently, a reader wrote to me:

"We do many things at our temple, we meditate, do various practices, so we never become bored. Why don't you do the same to attract new members?"

In His Primal Vow Amida Buddha mentioned that we should do three things only and exclusively, "entrust yourself to me, say my Name, and wish to be born in my land". All these three are expressed in the Nembutsu of faith.

Its a pity you are bored with the Primal Vow, and that you and your temple sangha are not focused on what Amida asks you to do.  If in the Primal Vow meditation was mentioned, then I would teach and practice meditation. But as only faith, nembutsu and wish to be born in the Pure Land are to be found there, I obey and limit myself to them. Please do the same if you wish to be born in the true fulfilled land of the Pure Land[1]. Our school is the school of the Primal Vow, so if you consider yourself a member, then be a follower of the Primal Vow.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fund raising for strenghtening the library of Amidaji


the damage done to the library
by the storm, last year on November. It was repaired
in December
As I said recently in my plan for this year, one of the most important thing to do is to strenghten the walls of Amidaji library and add a good roof like the one on the Hondo (Dharma Hall). This is extremely important, especially since the library was affected by a powerful storm last year in November, which almost destroyed it. I succesfully did some repair to it, in December, but I must continue to strenghten the wooden walls and fix them more strongly on the cement platform.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sobre os fantasmas famélicos (seres famintos) que querem dominar os outros seres através da religião

traduzido do Inglês por Shaku Shinkai

- click here for the English version - 

“Aqueles que tomam refúgio com sinceridade e mente confiante, liberando a si mesmos de todos os apegos ilusórios e preocupações com o que é propício e impropício, nunca devem tomar refúgio nos espíritos ou nos ensinamentos não budistas.”[1]

Seres não iluminados são a causa kármica da existência dos reinos samsáricos não iluminados. Seus karmas individuais e coletivos manifestam estes reinos, mundos  e universos nos quais vivem. Ao contrário disso, seres Iluminados ou Budas, naturalmente e karmicamente manifestam Terras Puras ou reinos Iluminados. Se um assim chamado  “ser supremo” criou um mundo como o nosso, isto significa que ele não é iluminado, porque se o fosse, este mundo teria sido perfeito e habitado por seres perfeitamente iluminados. Buda Amida (e qualquer Buda!) não finge ser o criador deste mundo samsárico, apenas de sua Terra Pura Iluminada, para onde ele prometeu levar todos os seres samsáricos para a liberação final (Estado de Buda ou Nirvana).

Friday, March 17, 2017

New trees planted at Amidaji, construction plan for 2017 and a memorial for the donor of the temple's land

planting a sycamore tree and a
maples tree in front of the Hondo
(Dharma Hall)
These days I planted the following trees, fruits and flowers in Amidaji courtyard:

2 sour-cherry trees, 3 hazel trees, 1 almond tree, 1 peach tree, 2 birch trees, 1 maple tree, 1 ash tree, 1 sycamore tree, as well as five blackberries, five raspberries, three blackcurrant, three redcurrant, seeds of blue morning glory on the west side of the land in the hope that they will quickly cover that fence. I hope all of them will go well. The whole courtyard of the temple will look better when the trees will make leaves.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The meaning of Arya Sangha in Jodo Shinshu

Question:
When you say the Three Refuges and take refuge in the Sangha, do you take refuge in ordinary unenlightened people or in the Arya Sangha, like other Buddhist schools do?

Answer:
In Mahayana Buddhism, the term Arya[1] Sangha represents the sangha at the ideal level, that is, all of the Buddha’s followers, lay or ordained, who have at least attained the first level of the ten bodhisattva stages (ten bhumis)[2]. This is to separate it from the sangha in its conventional level which means all Buddhist monks and nuns.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The salvation offered by Amida Buddha is beyond conceptual understanding


"Tathagata's Primal Vow surpasses conceptual understanding; it is a design of the wisdom of Buddhas. It is not the design of foolish beings. No one can fathom the wisdom of Buddhas, which surpasses conceptual understanding."[1]

"Further, with regard to Other Power, since it is inconceivable Buddha-wisdom, the attainment of supreme Enlightenment by foolish beings possessed of blind passions comes about through the working shared only by Buddhas; it is not in any way the design of the practicer. Thus, no working is true working. 'Working' that is negated refers to the calculation of the person of self-power. Concerning Other Power, then, no working is true working."[2]

One who entrusts himself to Amida Buddha realizes that it is through Amida's Power that he is saved ("true working"), and not by his own designs and calculations or through the so called "merits" he thinks he has accumulated until now ("no working").

Saturday, February 11, 2017

On the powerful pretas (hungry spirits) who wish to dominate other beings through religion


“Those who take refuge truly and wholeheartedly, freeing themselves from all delusional attachments and all concern with the propitious or unpropitious, must never take refuge in spirits or non-Buddhist teachings.”[1]

Unenlightened beings are the karmic cause for the existence of unenlightened samsaric realms. Their individual and collective karma actually manifested the realms, worlds and universes in which they live. Contrary to this, Enlightened beings or Buddhas, naturaly and karmically manifest Pure Lands or Enlightened realms. If a so called "supreme being" created a world like ours that means he is not enlightened, because if he was enlightened this world would have been perfect and inhabitted by perfectly enlightened beings. Amida Buddha (and any Buddha!) does not pretend to be the creator of this samsaric world, but only of His enlightened Pure Land, where He vowed to bring all samsaric beings for their final liberation (attainment of Buddhahood/Nirvana).