Mutterings of an Old Man

Rennyo Shōnin (1415-1499)

By Bishop Kenjun Kawawata

These days, my body has become “koki koki” (stiff and jittery), especially this year at 70 years old, called “koki” (古希) in Japan. Long ago, this age was considered “old” and “rare.” Yet in my head, I’m not an “old man.” I wonder, does long-life mean happiness? Continue reading “Mutterings of an Old Man”

A Real Superman

By Rev. Ken Yamada

I’d like to tell you the story of a real-life superman. This superman did not work as a newspaper reporter for the Daily Planet, he did not live in a big city called Metropolis. He did not have a girlfriend named Lois Lane. This superman worked as a librarian, he lived in a town called San Luis Obispo in California and he had a wife named Fumiko. This superman’s name was Jack Noboru Kanbara, my father-in-law. Small in height, light in weight, mild in manner, sweet as apple pie, you couldn’t find a kinder, gentler man. Who would’ve thunk? Continue reading “A Real Superman”

Thich Nhat Hanh’s Koan

(credit: plumvillage.org)

By Rev. Miki Nakura

(Renowned Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh passed away this month in Vietnam at age 95.)

I once visited Thich Nhat Hanh’s Blue Cliff Monastery in upstate New York. When I was about to leave, a friend gave me a calligraphy written by the famous teacher that said, “The Pure Land is here and now.”

I immediately thought, “Oh, this is a koan (Zen riddle) that Thich Nhat Hanh is giving me.” The koan asked, “Miki, what does Pure Land mean to you? Continue reading “Thich Nhat Hanh’s Koan”