Delusion of Name and Form

Wheel of Life

By Rev. Ken Yamada

In today’s social media world, image is everything. Becoming an influencer, garnering “likes” and followers, evoking vibes of  “Cool,” “Young,” “Rebel,” “Rich,” “Happy.”

Is it really? Or just illusion? What makes such images appealing to us?

The Buddha contemplated this phenomenon more than two millennium ago and called it,  “name and form” (Sanskrit: nāma-rūpa). In other words, our minds attach names to objects (and vice versa), giving what we see real existence. Consequently, desires arise, and along with them, passions. Continue reading “Delusion of Name and Form”

Seishinshugi: Shinshu’s Clash with the Modern World

Rev. Manshi Kiyozawa

By Rev. Ken Yamada

Today, government mandates clash with personal rights; an unprecedented rise in wealth clashes with unrelenting poverty; political upheaval, military expansionism, and redefined social mores and identity abound. In these changing times, we must ask, “Is Jodo Shinshu Buddhism relevant?”

These challenges confront us now, but they also confronted a small group of innovative Buddhist thinkers a century ago, spurring them to redefine, modernize and find meaning in Jodo Shinshu, which for the previous two centuries had stagnated and grown moribund. For their contributions, they were persecuted, some even excommunicated by their own denomination. Their writings continue to be studied, debated, and valued in understanding Shinshu today. Continue reading “Seishinshugi: Shinshu’s Clash with the Modern World”

Make Peace Great Again

Rev. Frederick Brenion

It was a war to end all wars. It did not. It would make the world safe for democracy. It failed. It was to end quickly. It lasted four horrific years with millions of casualties. It was a war which should not have happened. Yet it did. It changed the world forever. It solved nothing. It planted the seeds for war 21 years later and for the conflicts of today. It was called the Great War, the World War, World War I. It ended 100 years ago this month on November 11, 1918. It is a day known as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day. In the United States, we call it Veterans Day. Continue reading “Make Peace Great Again”