Thursday, January 17, 2019

Don't bring worldly activities into the temple


inside the Hondo (Dharma Hall)
of Amidaji temple

Question: What do you think about the idea of having a bar in the temple – I heard some Japanese priests are doing it to attract people. Other temples organize parties or cultural events for the same reason.

Answer: I saw a lot of people praising that bullshit with Japanese Buddhist priests transforming temples into bars or having a bar on the temple grounds to attract people. Also, other Jodo Shinshu temples around the world organize bazaars, and even parties with alcohol for members and visitors. I find this to be disgusting. Such things will never happen at Amidaji. The temple should be a gate to the Pure Land, a place for listening deeply to Amida Dharma, and NOT for promoting our blind passions and worldly amusements.

Are you aware of the greatest matter of the afterlife? Are you sure that you will be born in the Pure Land when you die? Do you really entrust yourself to AmidaBuddha? Answering these questions is the true reason for your coming to the temple. And the temple should be organized around answering these questions. Listening to Amida Dharma with a bottle in your mouth and an intoxicated mind will not help you understand it. The fact that we are saved as we are by Amida Buddha does not mean we should use the temples to get drunk.

Anything which is not strictly related with listening to Amida Dharma and receive faith has no place at Amidaji temple. Here there are no cultural activities, no ikebana, no tea ceremonies, no bazaars, no items from the political & social agenda of various groups, no nothing, but the Dharma. It is religion pure and simple. Worshiping, listening, hearing, receiving faith, solving the greatest matter of the afterlife, securing birth in the Pure Land. These are the goals and means of Amidaji. Anyone, no matter who they are in their private life, are welcomed if their reason for coming is to listen the Amida Dharma and be born in the Pure Land. Those who have other reasons or goals should simply stay home.
Namo Amida Bu

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