By Rev. Ken Yamada
When temple visitors ask, “Where’s the Pure Land,” I usually say, it’s in “a state of mind.” Is that correct? Many people thought differently, and some were persecuted for their views.
Even today, some Jodo Shinshu followers think when they die, they’ll go to the Pure Land, comforted by the thought of reuniting with deceased loved ones. For hundreds of years in Japan, such beliefs were common.
Nowadays it’s absurd to think the Pure Land exists as a real place. There’s no proof and it’s never been scientifically verified. But just 150 years ago, a debate erupted over the Pure Land’s actual existence. Continue reading “Where exactly is the Pure Land?”
Rev. Steven Toyoshima
Recently, many of our cities were on fire, sparked by anger and despair from racism, discrimination, and systemic violence. Adding to the discontent were concerns about healthcare, civil rights and frustration with those in power. Armored police marched through the streets like maurading armies. Continue reading “Today’s Protest: Turning Rubble into Gold”
by Rev. Wayne S. Yokoyama
An Imaginary Storyline
In this pandemic, you know following a stay-at-home order is tough. Now imagine Shinran Shōnin voluntarily secluding himself for 100 days. Continue reading “Shinran’s Shelter-in-Place”
By Rev. Marcos Sawada
As a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist minister, would people criticize me if I practiced meditation? Even within our Higashi Honganji denomination, I think most teachers and followers may feel meditation is a “self-power” approach to enlightenment and therefore destined to fail. Continue reading “Appreciating Meditation”
The hot topic was meditation and Pure Land Buddhism, rarely discussed in Jodo Shinshu circles. But that was the theme of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies 19th Biennial Meeting in Taiwan last month. Continue reading “Scholars Debate Meditation and Pure Land”
By Dr. Yasushi Kigoshi
The greatest earthquake on record struck a peaceful town in Eastern Japan. The disaster, known as the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake, changed the residents’ lives forever. About 800 people in the town lost their lives or were missing due to the tsunami that followed the quake on March 11, 2011. Continue reading “A Great Earthquake and 14 Students”