Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Working on the kitchen of Amidaji and new plans for this year (2019)

Amidaji kitchen now
below you will see
photos with all
the repairs

Last winter I started to repair and arrange a kitchen for Amidaji temple. First, I repaired the walls and roof, and this year I continued with the floor. A few weeks ago I bought a brand new stove on gas which was put into use when the first guests arrived in May. 
The repair of the walls, roof, and floor were very expansive (more than 500 euros) and I needed to pay two workers and two carpenters. Also, the stove on gas was 200 euro.

The next things related to the kitchen that I must do this year are the following:
         - to add a cooker hood to the stove on gas
       -  to buy a heater for the winter bathroom which I built last year
    -  due to the fact that the village where Amidaji is located is not connected to a gas network, I must use gas cylinders for the stove. This creates a problem (about which I did not know when I bought it) that only the stove eyes or burners can be used, and not the inside oven which works only for stoves connected to the gas network. This is why I now need to buy a separate electrical oven for meals that need to be cooked inside the oven.
       -  to buy and install a hydrophore to pump water from the well (a cemented hole must be built near the well to place the hydrophore)  and bring it to the kitchen and bathroom (water pipes are also needed) 
Amidaji kitchen now. Bellow, you can
see photos with all the repairs
        -  to buy and install an electric water boiler with which to warm the water for the kitchen and the bathroom 

The expenses related to the above will surely be more than 1000 euros as I would also need to pay specialized workers to do them.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Virtues and activities of the Enlightened Bodhisattvas of the Pure Land – commentary of the sections 28 and 30 of the Larger Sutra

Amida Buddha and His two attendand Bodhisattvas,
Avalokitesvara and Mahasthamaprapta

“The Buddha said to Ananda, ‘All the Bodhisattvas in the land of Amitayus will ultimately attain the stage of becoming a Buddha after one more life. Excepted are those who have made original vows for the sake of sentient beings, resolving to cultivate the merit of realizing their great vows to save all sentient beings.’”[1]

This fragment is clearly related with the 22nd Vow which I already explained in the chapter dedicated to the 48th Vows. Basically, it means, as I explained there, and at chapter 1 of this book (click here to read), that once we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land, we act as Buddhas who manifest as Bodhisattvas.  The “stage of becoming a Buddha after one more life”, represents the capacity of those who attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land to endlessly manifest themselves in various places in the universe and become active Buddhas there for the sake of sentient beings. When we are born in the Pure Land we automatically gain the capacity to always playing the role of becoming Buddhas and teaching the Dharma like Shakyamuni himself. Shinran Shonin explained this in his Hymns of the Pure Land:

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Again on the idea that faith in Amida comes from Amida - very simple explanations

There are many who get stuck at the idea of shinjin (faith) coming from Amida, or being Amida's gift. However, this is a very simple thing, and you should understand it in a simple way, so that it may not become an obstacle.

First of all, shinjin or simple faith in Amida is like when you do not know how to fix your car and you trust John who is a mechanic to fix it for you. In our case, you cannot attain Buddhahood by yourself and you trust Amida Buddha to help you attain it by taking you to  His Pure Land.Your trust in John arises because you heard he is a very skilled mechanic and you saw him doing other repairs. So, in truth, John is the one who makes you trust him.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Visit of two friends from Brasil at Amidaji temple

Fernando Campos, Josho and Thais Campos

These days at Amidaji I received the visit of Thais Campos and Fernando Campos (81 years old) from Brasil. We had a meaningful retreat filled with Nembutsu services and Dharma talks. As you know, Amidaji temple is always happy to receive visitors who are in a learning mood for hearing the Amida Dharma. Conditions for visitation are explained here (click here).

Friday, May 17, 2019


Portada de la versión inglesa

Los Cuatro Pensamientos Profundos son enseñanzas básicas, algo como una etapa preliminar a cualquier camino o práctica budista. Tienen el efecto de orientar la mente hacia el Dharma del Buda y deben ser un compañero constante no importa si uno es un principiante o un seguidor veterano. A veces se  denominan como las Cuatro contemplaciones, los cuatro Entendimientos o los cuatro Recordatorios. Dado que en este libro los explico en el contexto de la Puerta del Dharma de la Tierra Pura de la escuela Jodo Shinshu (El Dharma de Amida), decidí llamarlos los Cuatro Pensamientos profundos que orientan la mente hacia el Dharma de Amida. Estos pensamientos profundos son:

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

No alcohol and no worldly amusements in the temple

As you may probably know, in many Buddhist temples around the world, Jodo Shinshu or not, members organize parties with music, alcohol, and dancing. Some say it relaxes people and brings them together. I say it is a smart trick of internal maras (one's own blind passions and ignorance) and/or external maras to make people forget the Dharma in the exact place where they have the chance to deepen its meaning, a subtle way of distracting them from Dharma and keeping them focused on their worldly passions and preoccupations.

Don't get me wrong, I do not forbid members to go to parties, drink, socialize or dance. They have all the time for entertainment, but the temple is not a social club, not a bar, and not a disco. It is also not karate, yoga, taichi or ikebana club, not a bazaar and not a platform for various worldly ideologies, as some use it from time to time. The temple is and must remain a place for Dharma. Here we come for a different purpose - to listen to the Amida Dharma, become aware of the delusional nature of samsara, of death and impermanence, and of the need to aspire for the liberation in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha. 

Friday, May 10, 2019

The miracle of Jodo Shinshu

There is a famous dialogue between Rennyo Shonin and one of his disciples:

“Hokyo-bo said to Rennyo Shonin, ‘The Myogo (six character NA MO A MI DA BUTSU) you have painted has been destroyed by fire but it has become six Buddhas. How extraordinary!’
The Shonin remarked, ‘It is nothing extraordinary. Since the Buddha (that the Name represents) has become a Buddha, it is nothing extraordinary. What is extraordinary is that an evil bombu (ignorant being filled with blind passions) becomes a Buddha through a single thought of entrusting to Amida"

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch