Protests, Patriotism, and Jodo Shinshu

By Rev. Ken Yamada

What does Jodo Shinshu say about social and political activism? An important question amid today’s social unrest.

Buddhists sometimes are criticized for being passive and uninvolved, too focused on their own personal enlightenment. But according to Rev. Junshō Tamamitsu, a Higashi Honganji teacher focused on activism, Jodo Shinshu urges us to look outward and face society’s problems. Continue reading “Protests, Patriotism, and Jodo Shinshu”

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!”