Memory and Amida’s Vow

By Rev. Ryoko Osa

We all know death is a fact of life, but how about our “second death”?

Imagine 100 years after your death, probably no one alive will have known you or met you directly. Like in the movie “Coco,” human beings experience two deaths. The “first death” is physical—the death of the body. The “second death” is the moment no one remembers you. It’s an idea that seems to say memory is what life is really about. Continue reading “Memory and Amida’s Vow”

Pain is My Teacher

In growing older, a woman once told me her knee became sore and weak. She began to use a cane, moving slowly and more cautiously than before.

While taking walks outside, she began to notice other people with difficulty walking. Her eyes couldn’t help but see people who used canes, crutches and walkers, who walked slowly or with limps. Suddenly the world seemed full of people like herself, whose steps were unsteady. She saw them struggle and felt their pain. She worried for their safety and prayed in her heart they would be all right. These thoughts spontaneously arose from within her. Continue reading “Pain is My Teacher”

In Brazil: A Buddhist Life

In Brazil, Rev. Marcos Sawada grew up in a temple and hated the life that came with it. It always seemed busy and there was no privacy. He thought his father, a minister, was selfish and egotistical. The last thing he wanted was to follow in his father’s footsteps. His father and mother, also a minister, wanted at least one of their children to enter the priesthood. “Every time I refused because I really had an aversion to even thinking of becoming a minister.”

Continue reading “In Brazil: A Buddhist Life”

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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Akegarasu: Buddhist poet

His life could come from today’s headlines—controversial, charismatic and polarizing, with a life filled with tabloid worthy scandals. Rev. Haya Akegarasu (1877-1954) became a renowned Buddhist whose teachings were strongly influenced by Manshi Kiyozawa, whose own experiential approach modernized Jodo Shinshu. Akegarasu eventually held the top administrative post in the Higashi Honganji denomination. Continue reading “Akegarasu: Buddhist poet”