Interview: Rev. Jerry Hirano

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism faces big challenges in this country in its propagation and acceptance. We recently asked Rev. Jerry Hirano, director of the Buddhist Churches of America’s Center for Buddhist Education, how to meet these challenges. Rev. Hirano also is minister of the Salt Lake Buddhist temple and oversees Utah temples Ogden and Honeyville, as well as the Idaho Oregon temple. Below are excerpts from our conversation.
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The Art of Listening

By Rev. Marcos Sawada

A confession: I’m more a speaker than a listener. Are you a good listener? Many people are not.

Generally, I think people like to talk more than listen. That’s strange, given we have two ears but only one mouth. Mouths have two functions which keep them busy—speaking and eating. The job of ears is merely to hear. So why is listening so difficult? Continue reading “The Art of Listening”

Don’t Discard that Home Altar!


By Rev. Ken Yamada

People sometimes receive a valuable inheritance from their Buddhist parents or grandparents, but don’t realize its value. So they donate it to the temple.

Buddhist home altars, commonly called “butsudan” in Japanese (or the preferred term “onaibutsu”), if purchased new today in Japan cost hundreds, and sometimes, thousands of dollars. But their real value is spiritual. Continue reading “Don’t Discard that Home Altar!”