My New Buddhism Book!

I did it, I finally finished it. For years I wanted to write a book about Buddhism, especially Mahayana Buddhism, and each time I struggled to get past a certain point and keep point. Recently while cleaning out some files on the computer, I discovered that in early 2020, during the first months of theContinue reading “My New Buddhism Book!”

Asakusa Temple Over The Years

There’s a good chance that if you ever visited Tokyo, you’ve been to this place: This place is Asakusa Temple, or in Japanese Asakusa-dera, though more formally known as Sensōji. The Chinese characters 浅草寺 can be read either way. This is a temple formerly of the Tendai sect that has been a part of TokyoContinue reading “Asakusa Temple Over The Years”

Of Burning Houses and Rain

Here is another wonderful poem (previous posts here and here) by the 11th century Japanese poetess, Lady Izumi (izumi shikibu 和泉式部 in Japanese), that I found in The Ink Dark Moon by Jane Hirshfield and Mariko Aratani: Original Japanese Romanization Translation ものをのみ Mono o nomi Should I leave this burning house 思ひの家を Omoi no ieContinue reading “Of Burning Houses and Rain”

The Amitabha Root Dharani

The Amida Nyorai Konpon Dharani (阿弥陀如来根本陀羅尼) or “Amitabha Root Dharani” is a dharani used in some Japanese Buddhist sects, typically only on the Segaki ritual used to feed the hungry ghosts in Buddhism, or possibly funerals and other similar services. It is typically only found in esoteric rituals in Shingon and Tendai Buddhism, but canContinue reading “The Amitabha Root Dharani”

Samadhi, Schamadhi

My family knows I love to eat rice and natto, or fermented soy beans, in the morning. Often with Korean kimchi. It’s a breakfast habit I started about 10-15 years ago, and never looked back. Thanks to the crunch of the pandemic, and inflation, shipments from Japan have become a trickle, and so our localContinue reading “Samadhi, Schamadhi”

The Real Treasure Was Inside Us All Along

Recently, I have been reading up on the Obaku sect (Ōbaku-shū, 黄檗宗) of Japanese Zen Buddhism: the same sect that Tetsugen was a disciple of. Obaku Zen is the third and last Zen sect to come to Japan to China, centuries after Rinzai and Soto were imported. Rinzai and Soto were both imported from ChinaContinue reading “The Real Treasure Was Inside Us All Along”

The Four Bodhisattva Vows

Recently, I posted an example of Buddhist liturgy as found in the Japanese Tendai tradition, but I wanted to call out one aspect of that liturgy called the Four Bodhisattva Vows or shiguseigan (四弘誓願) among other names. As this article shows, the Four Bodhisattva Vows probably originated China, based on an earlier gatha verse, andContinue reading “The Four Bodhisattva Vows”

Buddhist Hymn: Dedication of Merit

The dedication of merit at the end of a Buddhist service (at the temple, or home services) is a time-honored tradition, and you’ll see it in almost every Buddhist community in one form or another. In Japanese Buddhism, this dedicated of merit called ekō (回向) and you’ll often see it recited in more or lessContinue reading “Buddhist Hymn: Dedication of Merit”

Tendai Buddhist Home Litrugy Example

Greetings readers! I have had a bit of extra time this week due to much-needed time off from work, and have been going through old projects, half-finished blog posts and such. One project I found today, which I decided to finish, was post a romaji-version of the Tendai Buddhist home liturgy for anyone who needsContinue reading “Tendai Buddhist Home Litrugy Example”

What To Do With Your Twilight Years

Lately, after reading an article about the infamous Villages retirement community in Florida, I’ve been pondering this ancient Greek epitaph: “Drink. Play. Your life is mortal and time on earth is but short. Death itself is everlasting once a man has died.” πῖνε, παῖζε· θνητὸς ὁ βίος, ὀλίγος οὑπὶ γῇ χρόνος· ὁ θάνατος δ’ ἀθάνατόςContinue reading “What To Do With Your Twilight Years”