By Joey Deschenes
Part of me wanted to stay away to protest what I heard in the news about atrocities committed by Buddhists against a Muslim minority group. But my longing for adventure and the opportunity to see a place filled with Buddhist art and culture proved too strong, spurring me to travel to Myanmar.
Continue reading “Dirty Hands in Myanmar”
By Phillip Underwood
This is the story of how I ended up a member of the West Covina Buddhist Temple. It starts with the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
I was a captain for the Los Angeles Fire Department when I was called to respond to the New York City attack. I did not go as part of the Urban Search and Rescue Team. Instead I was committed to helping the rescuers themselves, or as we called it, “helping the helpers.”
Continue reading “Helping the Helpers”
By Masayuki Saito
First his grandmother died, and then his uncle died, just a year after the end of World War II. That’s when Masayuki Saito began thinking more deeply about life. In 1958, Masayuki moved to Brazil, leaving behind a Japan battered by post-war recession.
In Brazil, he met Setsuko, whom he married. They began regularly attending services at Higashi Honganji Betsuin temple in Sao Paolo and learning about Jodo Shinshu.
Continue reading “Shin Family Ties”
“Eitaikyo” is a tradition that started in Japan’s Edo Period, hundreds of years ago. Literally it means “perpetually chanting Buddhist sutras” and it has become an annual service at our temples.
Our lives are created by many causes and conditions, such as our environment, education, nature and society. Probably the most meaningful connection we have is to our family and friends, especially those people who have lived before us, such as our parents, grandparents and others. Without them, we would not exist.
Continue reading “Meaning of Eitaikyo”
By Rev. Ken Yamada
When a person dies, many people don’t know what to do, having before never thought about it. In this regard, I’d like to clarify our Jodo Shinshu Buddhist traditions, death rituals, funerals and memorial services.
Continue reading “Meaning of Funerals and Memorials”
By Rev. Ryoko Osa
The teenage years are an especially bright time. At that time I had lots of imagination, passion, energy, strength, beauty. Unfortunately, I have lost most of those things now. But all of you have all of them now.
On the other hand, the way the world is today, I think you might also be experiencing some stress, some anxiety. You are finding out the world is not perfect. And so as you start out in life I want to give you these three words of advice. First: Don’t compare. Second: Don’t rush. Third: Don’t give up. Got it? Never compare, never rush, never give in. In Japanese 比べず、焦らず、あきらめず. So what do I mean by this.
Continue reading “Advice to Teenagers”