Showing posts with label AMIDA-JI TEMPLE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label AMIDA-JI TEMPLE. Show all posts

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. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Invitation to become a patron (constant supporter) of Amidaji by little monthly donations


Dear friends in the Dharma,

As you well know, all my Dharma activities, my books, and articles are available for FREE to all who wish to learn about the orthodox Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teaching. Also, at Amidaji temple there are NO taxes or fees for accommodation, religious services or teaching activities. 
Yes, I do have the printed editions of my books on sale on Amidaji website, but I also provide, (according to my religious vow), free online editions for those who can't afford or simply don't want to buy.  Also, printed editions are sometimes given as gifts at various occasions and to people who cannot read online or in pdf, and also cannot afford to buy. 
I am glad to say that, for example, at every two printed copies sold per month, I have at least 50 copies downloaded for free. This is good news and a sign that what I teach and write is useful to many.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Conditions to be accepted as a student at Amidaji temple

Rev Josho Adrian Cirlea, resident priest
of Amidaji temple
the following also applies to people who ask occasional teachings from me, or visit Amidaji, without engaging in a long teacher-student relationship

I already explained this many times, but I think is better to state it again in more detail, so that people who wish to receive guidance from me know what should expect. So, first, read this, then decide if you wish to continue or not.

I believe in discipline when it comes to teaching and listening to Amida Dharma.
The main problem of international Jodo Shinshu sangha is doctrinal chaos and the fact that everybody can say and teach whatever one wants, and then every opinion no matter how false is accepted under the stupid idea of political correctness. This is wrongly understood freedom, or freedom without responsibility which leads to the proliferation of so many wrong views. However, this is NOT the way of Amidaji, and NOT my teaching style.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ceremonies for joining the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist school

  
Question: What kind of lay ceremonies are offered for those who wish to enter Jodo Shinshu?

Answer: The following is only a short answer without entering into details.
In Jodo Shinshu lay people can receive: 1) confirmation ceremony – kikyoshiki or 2) refuge ceremony - kieshiki.

1)      Kikyoshiki (confirmation ceremony) can be given only by the Monshu-sama (Head Priest) of Nishi Hongwanji main temple in Japan, by the retired Monshu (Zenmon-sama), or by somebody appointed by them

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.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

New guest room at Amidaji


the myogo on the altar was donated
by Cheusa Wend from USA. She also
donated the myogo from the library
After my father (who donated the land for the temple) died, my mother agreed that I can use for Amidaji half of the house where she and father lived  (almost 50 meters from the Hondo  and library), with a separate entrance, so I started to arrange a new space for guests and a guest room there.

this hallway is also used for
guests during retreats
This new guest room can be used especially if the library is already occupied. Here there is a small altar with a myogo. All guest rooms I build or arrange for guests will have a small altar with a myogo (six character Name - Namo Amida Butsu) and/or statue of Amida. 

A new electrical system is also installed in the new place for guests. One of our members Catalin Suru is working on it. Above you can see the photo with the finished work (a few weeks ago) and bellow you can see photos from since the work started, a few months ago.

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

Beautiful religious gifts from Izumiya Company (Japan) for Amidaji temple


Various religious items were sent to Amidaji temple by Izumiya Company (Japan) through Rev Oku Kyokai of Zuikoji temple (Osaka): two candle holders (rosokutate), two flower vase (kebyo), one metal incense burner (kanagoro), golden fabric to put on the altar table, and other beautiful things that are too many to mention. In these photos you see how I upgraded the altar of Amidaji with the new items.
I am very grateful for this unexpected presents and sponsorship.
Thank you, Izumiya Company and Rev Oku Kyokai.
Namo Amida Bu 
Thank you! Namo Amida Bu 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Some ideas about the temple altar - how is done in Japan and other places and how we'll do it at Amidaji

last update June 23rd - please scoll down in the article and read! 

As some may already know, the naijin (inner area) is the altar area of a Jodo Shinshu temple in Japan where usually only priests are allowed to enter. This situation is copied by many Shinshu temples outside Japan, too. There, in the naijin, the Buddha statue, whose face is sometimes partially covered by a kind of rich material, is enshrined in a big decorated box. Also there are some minor altars of Shinran, Rennyo, the seven Patriarchs and Shotoku Taishi. Another important element is that the naijin is placed on a little raised platform, which means that priests actually stay higher than lay people. Because of all these, and also because the altars are in the back of the naijin, lay people who attend the service and Dharma talks from the gejin (outer area/sitting area) can hardly see the statue and the images on the minor altars.

However, at Amidaji temple we’ll never follow these Japanese customs. Now the Hondo (main hall/Dharma Hall) is small, but even when it will be bigger, there will be no naijin or special area for priests.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Three Refuges in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism

revised and updated on May 8th 2018
download in pdf from 1) my google drive, 2) my page on Academia.edu



The Three Refuges[1] are:

I TAKE REFUGE IN THE BUDDHA
Buddham saranam gacchami[2] (Namo kye Bu[3])
I TAKE REFUGE IN THE DHARMA
Dhammam saranam gacchami (Namo kye Ho)
I TAKE REFUGE IN THE SANGHA
Sangham saranam gacchami (Namo kye So)

     1) The meaning of taking refuge in the Buddha 
       This means to take refuge in Amida Buddha who is the central Buddha in Jodo Shinshu. Only through Him can we attain Buddhahood in the Pure Land as He is the only Buddha among all Buddhas who made the Vow of saving everybody, no matter their spiritual capacities.  

By taking refuge in Amida, we automatically honor and take refuge in Shakyamuni Buddha as the Teacher who showed us the path of Amida Dharma (His main reason for coming into this world) and in all Buddhas in the ten directions, as all encourage us, teach us and guide us to entrust to Amida Buddha.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Spring work at Amidaji and the plan for this year (2018)

planting tibetan goji on the eastern fence

As usually in spring, I started the work at Amidaji temple with planting activity. Thus, from the few donations received from readers and Dharma friends I planted 20 tibetan goji on the eastern fence of the temple land, and 26 sea berry on the Western fence.
I also added three Paulownia Tomentosa (Empress Tree/Kiri Tree). The Paulownia Tomentosa are fast growing trees which are also present in China and Japan. The total amount spent was around 150 euro (700 lei).

Monday, September 25, 2017

Simple Nembutsu service at Amidaji temple



                                                     (please click on the highlighted words in the text 
                                                                       as they lead you to very important teachings!) 

(update: scroll down to the last video to see Nembutsu service with drum!)
This is a simple religious service based entirely on Nembutsu recitation. The rhytm of recitation is held by hitting a wooden mokugyo in a normal or faster speed. This service is useful to anybody, especially to newcomers who don't know to recite the various hymns included in other services. Thus, they can join immediately in the temple chanting without any difficult introductions. As you see in the video, the recitation can sometimes be accompanied by bowing three times. The priest bows three times from standing, while the rest of the sangha from sitting. Also, when the priest enters the Hondo (Dharma Hall) and approaches the altar he bows three times from standing while saying Nembutsu. The sangha also accompanies him from sitting. Here Nembutsu is recited as:
NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU, NA MO A MI DA BU.....

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Second visit of Shaku Shinkai from Brasil at Amidaji temple


Josho and Shinkai in the Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji
Shaku Shinkai (Thais Campos) from Brasil visited Amidaji for the second time and stayed for a three days retreat.

First time she came in August 2016. Since then she works at the translation of my books and articles into Portughese. The Portughese section of this website is maintained through her dedicated work.

As you already know, visitors are welcomed at Amidaji if they do not mind the simple conditions and sincerely wish to learn the orthodox Jodo Shinshu teaching promoted at our temple.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Works for strenghtening the Hondo (Dharma Hall) and library of Amidaji (part II the Library)


Added some wooden pillars to the walls to strenghten them. 
Then the pillars were fixed with strong nails on the concrete platform.
This is good news! Everything I did for improving and strenghtening the Hondo (Dharma Hall) I have just done for the library of Amidaji:

- added some wood pillars to the walls to strenghten them. Then the pillars were fixed with strong nails on the concrete platform.
- added a layer of polystyrene (10 cm thick) on the walls
- added a layer of polystyrene (3cm) under the roof
- added a strong construction net and a mixture over the polystyrene to better fix it on the walls
- added a good painting over everything at the end of the work  
- added some rain draining system

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Works for strenghtening the Hondo (Dharma Hall) and library of Amidaji (part I the Hondo)

carrying wooden pillars for the Hondo 
I changed the plans as I presented them in April, and started the summer works by first strenghtening and improving the Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji. So, the same things that I wanted to do for the library, I have done for the Hondo first. This is because there were some problems at the Hondo which needed my urgent attention, and generaly speaking, both buildings had the same difficulties. Thus, the funds raised for the library, plus some extra funds from other sources were used on the Hondo instead.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The right attitude of mind when working for Amidaji

            
Working to strenghten the walls and roof of  the  
Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji. 
You can see me in the right corner of the photo.
Once, when I was doing my daily work for Amidaji,  in the unbearable heat, I suddenly remembered a passage from Thus I Have Heard from Rennyo Shonin, in which there is a recorded saying of Zenshu, a close disciple of Rennyo Shonin:

"Zenshū said, 'When I make offerings to the Shōnin, I do this as if they were my own. How shameful!' When asked why, he said, 'They are the things given by the Buddha, but I offer them to the Shōnin as if they were my own gift. My role is only to pass the Buddha's gift over to the Shōnin. How shameful I am to make these offerings as if they were my own.'"

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A visitor from Northern Ireland to Amidaji


Today, Mr Iain Lee from Northern Ireland visited Amidaji temple. We made a service (Nembutsu with Amidakyo), and discussed the essentials of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teaching. We'll keep in touch and see each other soon.

As I clearly stated many times, Amidaji is an international temple, opened to anybody who wishes to learn the authentic (orthodox) Jodo Shinshu Dharma and receive shinjin  – simple faith in Amida Buddha. 

Last year we received visitors from Brasil and Japan. This year more people announced their visit. Amidaji is glad to receive anybody who comes with a sincere intention to listen to the Dharma.

Namo Amida Butsu

Friday, April 21, 2017

Fund raising for strenghtening the library of Amidaji


the damage done to the library
by the storm, last year on November. It was repaired
in December
As I said recently in my plan for this year, one of the most important thing to do is to strenghten the walls of Amidaji library and add a good roof like the one on the Hondo (Dharma Hall). This is extremely important, especially since the library was affected by a powerful storm last year in November, which almost destroyed it. I succesfully did some repair to it, in December, but I must continue to strenghten the wooden walls and fix them more strongly on the cement platform.

Friday, March 17, 2017

New trees planted at Amidaji, construction plan for 2017 and a memorial for the donor of the temple's land

planting a sycamore tree and a
maples tree in front of the Hondo
(Dharma Hall)
These days I planted the following trees, fruits and flowers in Amidaji courtyard:

2 sour-cherry trees, 3 hazel trees, 1 almond tree, 1 peach tree, 2 birch trees, 1 maple tree, 1 ash tree, 1 sycamore tree, as well as five blackberries, five raspberries, three blackcurrant, three redcurrant, seeds of blue morning glory on the west side of the land in the hope that they will quickly cover that fence. I hope all of them will go well. The whole courtyard of the temple will look better when the trees will make leaves.

NEW poems by Gansen John Welch