In today’s social media world, image is everything. Becoming an influencer, garnering “likes” and followers, evoking vibes of “Cool,” “Young,” “Rebel,” “Rich,” “Happy.”
Is it really? Or just illusion? What makes such images appealing to us?
The Buddha contemplated this phenomenon more than two millennium ago and called it, “name and form” (Sanskrit: nāma-rūpa). In other words, our minds attach names to objects (and vice versa), giving what we see real existence. Consequently, desires arise, and along with them, passions. Continue reading “Delusion of Name and Form”
Under the Founder’s Hall Gate at Higashi Honganji’s mother temple in Kyoto sits a large wooden box. Such boxes, which seem to contain money, sit near the two main temples, at the foot of each hall’s front steps, and elsewhere on the temple grounds. They are “donation boxes.”
People who come to worship put donations in these boxes and gently place their hands together in gassho, a prayer like position. Giving “alms” is a common practice in Christianity and other religions, but what does it mean for Shin Buddhists? Continue reading “Donation Boxes at Temples”