Pandemic Reveals Our Loneliness

By Rev. Noriaki Fujimori

Feeling lonely? I think the emergence of COVID-19 cut off our gatherings and made our loneliness more apparent. I too became aware of my loneliness and its restrictions. For many elderly, their sense of loneliness was magnified when no one could visit them.

Now that pandemic restrictions have eased, people gather more freely just like before. However, I’m concerned that feelings of loneliness will re-emerge even as we return to normal. Continue reading “Pandemic Reveals Our Loneliness”

Where exactly is the Pure Land?

By Rev. Ken Yamada

When temple visitors ask, “Where’s the Pure Land,” I usually say, it’s in “a state of mind.” Is that correct? Many people thought differently, and some were persecuted for their views.

Even today, some Jodo Shinshu followers think when they die, they’ll go to the Pure Land, comforted by the thought of reuniting with deceased loved ones. For hundreds of years in Japan, such beliefs were common.

Nowadays it’s absurd to think the Pure Land exists as a real place. There’s no proof and it’s never been scientifically verified. But just 150 years ago, a debate erupted over the Pure Land’s actual existence. Continue reading “Where exactly is the Pure Land?”