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.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Vows related with bodhisattvas in other lands (not yet born in the Pure Land)

The following vows refer mainly to highly advanced bodhisattvas in aspiration from various worlds who entrust to Amida Buddha and say His Name in faith, wishing to be born in His Land.  They are already on one of the ten bodhisattva stages (bhumis) and very close to Enlightenment, but still not enlightened. Because they entrust to Amida and are in accord with His Primal Vow - in their case, hearing the Name of Amida means to hear and entrust, to hear with faith and to say Amida’s Name in faith, they will too be born in His Pure Land by transformation (“true fulfilled land/”center” of the Pure Land) where they will attain perfect Enlightenment[1]. The difference between them and us is that they are already very advanced on the Buddhist path and very close to Enlightenment while we are the lowest of the low in terms of spiritual evolution and the similarity is that we both entrust to Amida and dwell in the stage of non-retrogression for entering the Pure Land and attainment of Enlightenment there. However, because their spiritual capacities are already extremely high in comparison with ours and their senses very much purified, when they entrust to Amida and say His Name in faith they automatically receive more benefits than us, ordinary people. These benefits are explained in this category of vows.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Vows explaining the characteristics, the capacities and activities of beings who attained Enlightenment in the Pure Land after being born there

 As I previously explained, beings born in the Pure Land are sometimes called “humans and devas (gods) in my land “, which doesn’t mean that in the Pure Land there are the six unenlightened realms of existence, namely the hells, hungry spirits, animals, humans, demigods (asuras) and gods. Shakyamuni himself explained in section 17 of this sutra that when the expression “humans and devas” in the Pure Land appears in this sacred discourse it is only in relation with the states of existence prior to their birth in the Pure Land:

Friday, September 27, 2019

Returning from the Pure Land - explanation of the 22nd Vow of Amida Buddha

Section from the Larger Amida Sutra Mandala. Samantabhadra is seen near
 the Shakyamuni Buddha on his white elephant.Maitreya and Manjushri are 
also depicted in the right and left of the Buddha.

“If, when I attain Buddhahood, bodhisattvas in the Buddha-lands of other directions who come and are born in  my land[1] should not ultimately and unfailingly reach the Stage of Becoming a Buddha after One More Life, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment. Excepted are those who wish to teach and guide sentient beings in accordance with their original vows. For they wear the armour of great vows, accumulate merits, deliver all beings from birth and death, visit Buddha-lands to perform the bodhisattva practices, make offerings to Buddha Tathagatas, throughout the ten directions, enlighten uncountable sentient beings as numerous as the sands of the River Ganges, and establish them in the highest, perfect Enlightenment. Such bodhisattvas transcend the course of practice of the ordinary bodhisattva stages and actually cultivate the virtues of Samantabhadra”.[2]
the 22nd Vow

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch