Friday, January 17, 2020

Every 17th of each month - The Day of All Buddhas' Witness

I bow my head at the feet of all Buddhas in the ten directions
May I never forget their compassionate guidance.
After being born in Sukhavati I will visit their Pure Lands
to bring offerings to them and worship them.
This Amida has promised in His 23rd and 24th Vow

On every 17 of each month we celebrate at Amidaji (click here for our Dharma calendarThe Day of all Buddhas' Witness.

On this day we are grateful to all Buddhas for guiding us to Amida. Also, we remember that all Buddhas praise Amida Buddha’s Name and encourage us to entrust to Him, say His Name and wish to go to His Pure Land. 

First we hear about this from Amida Buddha himself in his 17th Vow, in which He promised:

“If, when I attain Buddhahood, innumerable Buddhas in the lands of the ten directions should not all praise and glorify my Name, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.” 

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Commentary on the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (Larger Sutra) - free online edition

temporary cover until I find a professional
to make me a better one
last revised version uploaded on January 9, 2020 

First of all, it must be clearly understood that this is not an academic, secular or historical study, but a religious commentary. Its goal is to explain in easy to understand terms the deep meaning of the Larger Sutra[1] so that people can receive faith in Amida Buddha and be born in His Pure Land after death. I, the author of this commentary, accept in faith the contents of the sutra and consider that it describes real events, a real, existing Buddha called Amida[2] and a real Enlightened place called the Pure Land. My heart’s desire is that readers will come to share the same view so that true faith and aspiration arise in them.
There are many ways to read the Larger Sutra and various layers of interpretation, which is why different types of practitioners benefit from it - those who choose to focus on Amida Buddha but still cling to their self-power like followers of the 19th and 20th Vows, as well as followers of the Primal Vow (18th) who rely exclusively on Amida’s power.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Where is Amida Buddha? (very short answer)

Where is Amida Buddha?

My answer:
Amida Buddha is in three places at the same time:

1) in ultimate Dharmakaya beyond form,
2) in Sambhogakaya form in the Pure Land, and
3) in various, unlimited manifestations or Nirmanakayas which are spread everywhere in the ten directions.

Amida’s Dharmakaya has no beginning and no end, because it is uncreated, and always existing. This is the Buddha-nature which does not depend on causes and conditions. Amida’s Sambhogakaya or transcendental (recompensed) body which He has manifested in the Pure Land has a beginning, when Bodhisattva Dharmakaraattained Enlightenment and became Amida Buddha, and will have no end, as He promised in His 13th Vow.
The various Nirmanakayas (accommodated/transformed) bodies have a beginning when Amida in Sambhogakaya form decides to emanate them and an end if He decides to terminate them.

When we ourselves will attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land, we’ll have access to the ultimate reality beyond forms (Dharmakaya), we’ll dwell forever in transcendent form (Sambhogakaya) in Amida’s Pure Land, and in the same time, we’ll go in all the places of the universe in various bodies of accommodation or transformation (Nirmanakayas) to save all beings.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Audio version of my Commentary on the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life

The audio version of this book is a work in progress by my Dharma friend Gansen John Welch.
A new chapter is added to the playlist as soon as it is narrated. Please share it especially with those who have difficulty in reading.

You can download the whole book in pdf form here (click here).

Some statements on family, couples and women

I state the following so that people in my Facebook list or readers of my website and books should know who I am as I have never been evasive in matters related to my convictions. If you find these convictions unbearable, you can delete me now from your contact list without any comment, as I do not want to hear any complaints later. There are many modern and progressive teachers out there in the Buddhist world where you can choose from.

When people ask me about family, couples or women related issues, they find that:

Thursday, December 19, 2019

New Amidaji holiday - Winter Ohigan (December 20 - 26)

Usually there are two Ohigan festivals ( literally meaning "to reach the other shore),  on spring and autumn ecquinox, but I decided to add another two for followers of Amidaji, in winter and summer solstice, so that people have more  opportunities for reflections and celebration.

This time of year is too much filled with worldly matters and celebrations dedicated to Christmas, so Nembutsu followers will benefit from having a Buddhist holiday of their own and give a Buddhist air to these days.

Winter Ohigan will last seven days, just like the other three, between December 20 to December 26. In this week you will have plenty of time to attend temple services and celebrate at home. During these days reflect on the changing nature of samsaric existence and wish even more to be born in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. Decorate your house with images of the Pure Land, of Amida welcoming devotees, bring offerings of cakes, fruits and nonalchoholic drinks in the name of your family and your ancestors, encouraging them to entrust to Amida. Also be happy that because you have faith in Amida you will be able to guide them to faith even better once you reach the Pure Land yourself. Sooner or later, because one or two family members have faith, all one's friends and relatives (dead or alive) will reach the Pure Land and celebrate Ohigan together. The Ohigan in this world is just a shadow of the Ohigan that will follow in the Pure Land. This is why I establish "TOGETHER IN THE PURE LAND" as the slogan for all the four Ohigans celebrated by Amidaji friends and followers.

What if my friends or relatives invite me for Christmas party which falls during one of the days of Winter Ohigan?

My answer: If you have friends or relatives who celebrate Christmas and you wish to join them at meals do this with the thought that you are celebrating Winter Ohigan and be happy that one day, maybe  in this life or another life, due to yours and Amida guidance they too will embrace the same faith and will be born in the same Pure Land. 

Ohigan is also a period of joy which comes from the trust that Amida Buddha will never stop until He will bring all beings to His Pure Land. How extraordinary this is!

Question: Can I use a pine tree or branches of pine trees and other various winter specific decorations of this period?
My answer: If you use a pine tree decorate it with  images of Amida Buddha, of Shinran, Honen, the Pure Land, Avalokitesvara, Mahasthamaprapta, etc. Use any decoration you want but add Pure Land related images on it.

May you all have a Happy and Meaningful Winter Ohigan!
Together in the Pure Land!
Namo Amida Bu

Thursday, December 5, 2019

An example of the false teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh

This is a striking example of false teaching and false teacher. No matter how popular he is among many ignorants, I say this again - this is false teaching and he is a false teacher!

You cannot be a Christian and a Buddhist in the same time for the simple reason that Christianity (and any monotheistic religion) promotes faith in a creator and supreme god. This idea of a creator and supreme god is denied by Shakyamuni Buddha. Please read this article filled with quotes from the Baka Brahma sutra (and the articles reccomended at the end of it), There is no supreme creator god in the Buddha Dharma.

Somebody who accepts the idea of a supreme creator god who is also judge of the world, as Christians do (their god is both creator and judge), does not understand the law of karma. The idea of somebody who created  and rules everything is contrary to the Buddhist teachings on being, karma and rebirth. You cannot just practice Buddhism while folowing wrong views because if you do that you put yourself outside of Buddhist practice. Right views must always accompany right practice!

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch