Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Outline of the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (Larger Sutra)

The sutra starts with the place where it was delivered by Shakyamuni Buddha (Vulture Peak in Rajagrha) and a description of the audience ( section 1) with special emphasis on the qualities of the Enlightened Bodhisattvas who were present there like Maitreya, Manjushri, Samantabhadra, etc (section 2).


Before starting to teach this sutra Shakyamuni manifested a supreme appearance. When asked by Ananda about the reason for those wonderful manifestations, He explained that He was about to deliver the most important teaching of His life, the true reason for His coming to this world (section 3).

Sunday, November 3, 2019

The metal frame for the walls and roof of Amidado (Amida Hall) of Amidaji temple

the metal frame of Amidado (finished)
I finished the metal frame for the walls and roof of Amidado (Amida Hall). The worker said that a metal frame, although very expansive, is better than a wooden frame, and I listened to his advice.

So, I spent around 1200 euros in total for these metal bars and the worker pay. In the photos, you can see the result.
The next steps are to build the roof and the walls. There will be double wooden walls filled with glass wool insulation and covered with another thermal insulation on the outside. I also need to add
the metal frame of Amidado (finished)
two windows and a big entrance door. Materials for the walls and worker pay are surely arround 1500 euros or more (sorry, last time I miscalculated again the costs for the walls). The materials and worker payment for the roof will be arround 750 euros. I will try to first build the roof and then the walls.

Please help if you can. Any little amount is useful and very much needed.

Click here if you wish to donate via PayPal

the metal frame of Amidado (finished)
the metal frame of Amidado (finished)
or on this link, if you wish to use other methods. The names of donors and/or the names of those in whose name the donation is made (no matter the amount) will be included in the dedication list of my new book.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

A question on spirits

"If I see or feel the presence of negative spirits arround me, how do I send them away? And what if they refuse to leave?"

My answer:
Why send them away? Just leave them alone. Let them stay and listen to your Nembutsu, let them hear your thoughts and words of faith. One day, they will become bored with a guy like you who minds his own business and constantly says Nembutsu, or even better, they might be influenced by your devotion and entrust to Amida themselves. In Jodo Shinshu we do not exorcize, nor fight with spirits, rather we convert them by our example. The urge of Shinran, "receive yourself faith and help others receive faith" applies to this, too.

It is good to be friendly towards the spirit world. Realize that spirits, ghosts and various types of nonhuman beings inhabit the same space with us. Your land is their land, too. Some are in the same place for hundreds or thousands of years, so they have the same right as you to be here. Who are you to tell them to go away? Let them be and focus on living a life of gratitude with as little damage as possible to other beings, and focus on Nembutsu.

All beings suffer, no matter they are humans or non-humans. Some spirits may like you, feel neutral towards you or may be inclined to hate you due to karma from the past. No problem! Let them hate you, while you just focus on Nembutsu. How much can somebody hate another person if that one does not respond to the hate and minds his own business!
Offer incense to Amida Buddha in the name of all beings, including the spirits of the place where you live, and make aspirations for them - "may they be healthy in body and mind, may they have all the necesities of life, may they create indestructible connections with Amida Buddha, entrust to Him, say His Name ( Namo Amida Bu) and wish to be born in His Pure Land". Also pray to Amida to help them, although He already tries His best to help. However, if you pray for them, they will feel your good intentions.

If you think this way, if you say Nembutsu and have devotion and faith, the invisible beings who happen to live there or just pass through, will know your thoughts and might be inspired to entrust to Amida and say Nembutsu themselves, and if not, they will finaly leave you alone as they see that you are no threat to them. In fact, they cannot harm you even if they try, because if you have faith (shinjin) you automatically benefit from the protection of Amida and all Buddhas.
So again, no matter what you see, hear, or feel arround you, just focus on Nembutsu and mind your own business.

Monday, October 14, 2019

The concrete platform of Amidado (Hall of Amida) of Amidaji temple

the concrete platform for the Amidado
(Hall of Amidado) 
Finally, I was able to start working at the new Hondo of Amidaji which will be called Amidado (Hall of Amida).

Due to my lack of building knowledge, I falsely assumed that 80% of Amidado will be around 1000 euro. However, I was terribly wrong as I already spent 821 Euros only for the concrete platform, plus other various small related expenses!

The construction materials (71 sacks of cement, 5 cars with gravel, construction mesh, etc) were  2500 Romanian lei and the paid worker 1400 Romanian lei. Total amount spent: 3900 Romanian lei which is equivalent to 821 Euros. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Sobre las "Cenizas Blancas"

Las "Cenizas Blancas" es una meditación sobre la impermanencia y la muerte y cuando la leo, la vinculo a las palabras finales de Shakyamuni antes entrar en el Parinirvana: "Todas las cosas son transitorias,  conscientemente esfuércense".
En esta carta todo se reduce a la conciencia: ser o no ser consciente de tu propia muerte, de tu propia impermanencia.

Creo que las personas generalmente no son conscientes del hecho de que su vida está siempre yendo a la inevitabilidad de la muerte. Cuando una persona no toma conciencia desde lo profundo de su corazón de la impermanencia de la vida y la naturaleza cambiante de todo lo que lo rodea, esta persona no es  aún capaz de hacer uso de la religión para encontrar un verdadero significado en su vida. Le prestará toda su atención al mundo exterior y buscará su satisfacción allí.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The qualities of Bodhisattvas in the audience – commentary on section 2 of the Larger Sutra

Buddha Maitreya
last revised October 7, 2019

Many members of our school do not fully understand the term Bodhisattva in Mahayana. Also, when we read the 22nd Vow of Amida presented in section7 of this sutra, and which is generally accepted to mean that we return to this world as fully Enlightened Persons or Buddhas to save all beings, some of us are puzzled that in the respective vow there is no mentioning of the word "Buddha", but only "Bodhisattva". However, there is no contradiction between the two. The reason is that, in Mahayana, the term “Bodhisattva” does not only refer to a highly evolved person who is extremely close to Enlightenment (on one of the ten bodhisattva stages/bhumis[1]), but also to a Buddha who manifests as Bodhisattva or Bodhisattvas who already attained Enlightenment. There is clear evidence for this in many Mahayana sutras, esoteric tantras and also in the writings of various Buddhist masters[2]. So, according to Mahayana Buddhism, there are two types of bodhisattvas:

Friday, October 4, 2019

The 48 vows of Amida Buddha – commentary on section 7 of the Larger Sutra

the cover of the first edition of
 my book on the 48 Vows

At the moment Dharmakara became Amida Buddha, His 48 vows and His Pure Land became real and effective methods for the salvation of sentient beings. For a better understanding, I arranged them in four categories. The highlighted numbers represent a vow that has been revised. Click on it to read the revised explanations. 

1. Vows about Amida Buddha and His Pure Land
(vows 12, 13, 31, 32)

2. Vows related to the salvation of all sentient beings
     (vows 11, 17, 18,  19, 20, 22, 33, 35)

 3.   Vows explaining the characteristics, the capacities and activities of beings who attained Enlightenment in the Pure Land after being born there. These beings are sometimes called humans and devas in my land, shravakas in my land or bodhisattvas in my land.

  1. Vows related to bodhisattvas in other lands (not yet born in the Pure Land                          (vows 34, 36, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48)

When explaining these vows I will sometime mention the passages in the sutra that, according to Shinran, prove they were brought to fulfillment after Dharmakara attained Buddhahood and became Amida Buddha.

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch