Saturday, August 23, 2008

Attending the 15th European Jodo Shinshu Conference

I am now ready for the very important trip to the 15th European Jodo Shinshu Conference in Bad Reichenhall, Germany. I will be back home at the beginning of September, so until then, I might not be able to write something here.

I packed my things and the books I always carry with me, among them, “The Collected Works of Shinran”,”The Three Pure Land Sutras” translated by Inagaki Sensei, Zuiken’s Shinshu Dharmapada, Eiken Kobai Sensei’s books, my audio recordings after some traditional texts, etc. I never go anywhere without some Dharma books and a note book to write my impressions.

The Romanian delegation to this Conference is composed of 4 people: me and three other members of Tariki Dojo Craiova, who will receive kikyoshiki on the occasion of this Conference.
They are the second wave of Romanian Jodo Shinshu Buddhists who receive this rite and Buddhist names from Go-Monshu-sama Koshin Ohtani, the Patriarch of our tradition, since I founded Tariki Dojo, in 2004.
There are still some other members here in Romania who might receive it at the next Conference. But for the moment I decided to wait and see how they will continue in their Dharma study and practice.

I am just waiting to meet some old nembutsu friends and others I have never met face to face but inspired me through correspondence, like Jason from Norway and the very important, Eiken Kobai Sensei.
I deeply regret that Paul Roberts can’t attend this Conference, but I hope that he will become an every time presence at future Conferences.

I hope these kind of Conferences become more and more places of hearing the true Dharma and receiving shinjin, and less a gathering of sophisticated scholars who talk only for themselves while the beginners are sleeping and snoring :))
Sometimes it is indeed funny to find myself sleeping, but other times I feel great pain and thoughts of retreating in the mountains or closing myself in my dojo, without talking with anybody, often come to my mind when I hear some well spread wrong understandings that I can’t imagine it exists in people’s minds.
I go to this Conference with a dual mind, so to speak: joyful to meet my true nembutsu friends and teachers and fearful of what I and new comers might hear there. While I myself know that I am truly settled in shinjin, I am especially worried about the new comers. Lets hope the papers and presentations, as well as the discussions, will be faithful to Shinran Shonin’s teaching.

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