Saturday, November 24, 2018

Simple instructions for beings in the intermediate state (bardo) to be born in the Pure Land


(last update October 26th 2018 - scroll down to read)

Question:
Can a person who did not entrust to Amida Buddha during his life, change his mind and entrust while in the intermediate state between death and the next rebirth (bardo)?

Answer:
I do not recall any passage from Shinran, Rennyo, Honen or other Patriarch of our lineage in which liberation through faith while in bardo was specifically mentioned, but I personally think it is possible. In fact, Shinran too, said a few times in his writings that beings who are born in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha „are not solely from this world”[1], so I don’t see why a bardo being cannot go there  if he comes in accord with Amida’s Primal Vow, that is, if he entrusts to Him, says His Name and wishes to go His Pure Land.  The Primal Vow itself is all inclusive as Amida does not say there that only human beings can go to His Pure Land (- see my explanations of The meaning of "sentient beings of the ten quarters" from the Primal Vow).

Friday, November 23, 2018

My Path to True Shin Buddhism by Gansen John Welch

Gansen John Welch is a member of Amidaji temple and a close Dharma friend. He is also the narrator of my books. He already finished recording the audio version of The Four Profound Thoughts Which Turn the Mind Towards Amida Dharma (click here to listen) and The True Teaching on Amida Buddha and His Pure Land (click here to listen)
He is now working on the audio version of my newest book, The Meaning of Faith and Nembutsu in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism - click here to see the playlist. 
His poems can be listened in audio format here.



My Path to True Shin Buddhism
By Gansen John Welch

I am writing this in the hope that others may be encouraged, inspired and motivated to listen to and read Amida Dharma, find a good teacher of True Shin Buddhism and “entrust your karmic destiny entirely, utterly and completely to Amida Buddha.” This too was my motivation for narrating Josho’s excellent books and writing verses inspired by Amida Dharma. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

A bathroom for the cold season is now available at Amidaji temple

this is how the bathroom
looks now
this is how the bathroom looks now
For many people to have a bathroom is no big deal, but here at Amidaji was something very much needed, especially for the cold season. Until now visitors who stayed in retreat for a few days in spring and summer could use the solar shower, but there was no facility for the cold season and winter. Now I finally could be able to build a small bathroom from the donations I gathered from my readers. The materials and workers I had to hire costed me around 707 euro. However, I still need to add a wooden door, a small window to this bathroom, and a radiator which will probably be done at the end of this week or the next.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Simple Nembutsu service from Amidaji temple


There are various types of recitations and services in Jodo Shinshu temples but most of them are difficult to learn in short time, so I decided to arrange a simple Nembutsu service which anybody can learn easily and engage in when visiting the temple for the first time. I hope you will find it useful.



Click here to download the pdf with the words, instructions and explanations.

●●
 BU JO MI DA NYO RAI NIU DO JO
We respectfully call upon Amida Buddha to enter this place of practice
SAN GE RAKU
as we joyfully scatter flowers of welcome

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Shakyamuni Buddha’s supreme appearance when teaching the Larger Sutra and the reason for His coming to this world


Shakyamuni Buddha with
Amida Buddha
on His head 
fragment from my commentary on the Larger Sutra 
                      - this is a work in progress and under constant revision - 
                              
Something very important happens with Shakyamuni Buddha just before starting to teach this sutra, and we must understand its significance:

“At that time all the senses of the World-honored One radiated joy, His entire body appeared serene and glorious, and His august countenance looked most majestic.”[1]

Ananda noticed this and realized that there is a reason, a holy intention of Shakyamuni for manifesting such a wonderful appearance like never before:

Friday, November 2, 2018

"Thus have I heard" - the time and place of the deliverance of the Larger Sutra and the qualities of the audience



Shakyamuni Buddha teaching
the Larger Sutra

“Thus have I heard” is the starting formula of any genuine teaching (sutra) of Shakyamuni Buddha. It represents the testimony of Ananda and other direct disciples of the Enlightened One, as well as their successors, that what they transmitted to us, the future generations, is the authentic teaching of Shakyamuni himself, and not something they invented. These words are always followed by the historical place where the sutra was delivered – in our case, the Vulture Peak in Rajagṛha, and the audience gathered there to listen to it:

“Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying on Vulture Peak in Rājagṛha with a large company of twelve thousand monks. They were all great sages who had already attained supernatural powers. Their names included the following: Venerable Ājnāta kauṇḍinya, Venerable Aśvajit, Venerable Vāṣpa, Venerable Mahānāma, Venerable Bhadrajit, Ven erable Vimala, Venerable Yaśodeva, Venerable Subāhu, Venerable Pūrṇaka, Venerable Gavāṃpati, Venerable Uruvilvākāśyapa, Venerable Gayākāśyapa, Venerable Nadīkāśyapa, Venerable Mahākāśyapa, Venerable Śāriputra, Venerable Mahāmaudgalyāyana, Venerable Kapphiṇa, Venerable Mahākauṣṭhila, Venerable Mahākātyāyana, Venerable Mahācunda, Venerable Pūrṇa maitrāyaṇīputra, Venerable Aniruddha, Venerable Revata, Venerable Kimpila, Venerable Amogharāja, Venerable Pārāyaṇika, Venerable Vakkula, Venerable Nanda, Venerable Svāgata, Venerable Rāhula, and Venerable Ānanda. All of these were elders.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

A Buddhist idea for Halloween - the Demon chanting Nembutsu


Oni no Nembutsu - the demon
 chanting Nembutsu
If you celebrate Halloween and you are a Nembutsu follower you can make yourself and wear this image of Oni no Nembutsu or demon converted to Nembutsu teaching.
This Oni no Nembutsu is wearing the robes of a wandering priest, representing the idea that although blind passions might temporarily be overcame, their source remains in the heart of humans. However, we are saved by Amida Buddha exactly as we are, so the demon is actually assured of birth in the Pure Land.if he entrusts to Him.
The hammer that the demon holds in his hand and the tray hanged on his neck were used by some wandering priests to hold the rhythm during Nembutsu recitation.
Wearing this during Halloween (you can even beat the tray and recite Nembutsu) and explaining to people what it actually represents, you can help others make a connection with Amida Buddha.  Even Halloween can be an occasion of spreading Amida Dharma, if you chose to celebrate it. 
Have fun! 😃
Namo Amida Bu