Dharma Discussion: Diligence/Vīrya (August 2, 2020)

Click here to read about the Buddhist Virtue of Diligence

Discussion Questions

  1. What motivates you to study the Buddha’s teachings?
  2. How have the goals that you are working to achieve in your life shifted as a result of hearing the Dharma and the Nembutsu?
  3. How has your way of working changed as a result of your encounter with the Nembutsu?
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Dharma Discussion: Kṣānti (July 26, 2020)

Click here to read about the Buddhist Virtue of Patience

How is patience defined in Mahayana Buddhism?

Three aspects[i]

(1) not giving rise to anger or annoyance—not getting angry in the first place

(2) not clinging to hatred and grudges—if you get angry, not holding onto it

(3) not harboring ill will

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Dharma Discussion: Śīla (July 19, 2020)

Please review the Bodhisattva Precepts

Discussion Questions

  1.  How do you practice these precepts in your daily life?
  2. Is there meaning in doing one’s best, even though one is not able to practice these perfectly in daily life?
  3. Which of these do you think our world needs most at the present moment?

Honen’s Perspective on upholding precepts (from The Passages on the the Selection of the Nembutsu in the Original Vow)

If the original vow required us to make images of the Buddha and to build stupas, the poor and destitute would surely have no hope of birth, but the fact is that the rich and highborn are few, while the poor and lowborn are exceedingly many.  

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Bodhisattva Precepts

In Mahayana Buddhism, the following Bodhisattiva Precepts are commonly taken by both lay and monastic practicers to affirm their commitment to the ideals of Mahayana Buddhism:

The Three Treasures

  1. Taking refuge in the Buddha
  2. Taking refuge in the Dharma
  3. Taking refuge in the Sangha

The Three Pure Precepts

  1. Do not create Evil
  2. Practice Good
  3. Actualize Good For Others

Ten Grave Precepts

  1. not killing         
  2. not stealing 
  3. no debauchery 
  4. not lying 
  5. no trafficking in intoxicants
  6. not talking of the faults of other members of the sangha 
  7. not praising oneself and belittling others
  8. not bringing harm through stinginess 
  9. not letting one’s anger lead to resentment 
  10. not denigrating the Three Treasures 

Dharma Discussion: Dāna (July 12, 2020)

Reading and Discussion Questions

Passages referenced in the conversation

To realize shinjin oneself and to guide others to shinjin
Is among difficult things yet even more difficult.
To awaken beings everywhere to great compassion
Is truly to respond in gratitude to the Buddha’s benevolence.

Kyōgyōshinshō, Chapter on Shinjin, Section 94

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Ways of Practicing Dana

The three types of Dana:

1. The gift of material goods (財施 zai-se): To share of one’s wealth and property for the benefit of the community and those in need.

2. The gift of Dharma (法施 hō-se): To share one’s appreciation of the Buddha’s teachings.

3. The gift of freedom from fear (無畏施 mui-se): To share the courage of true wisdom, so that the difficulties of life can be met with a calm and peaceful heart.

Seven gifts that do not require any possessions and yet bring great results:

1. The gift of kind eyes (眼施 gen-se): To see goodness and beauty in all people and not look down on others.

2. The gift of peaceful and joyful facial expressions (和顏悦色施 wagen-etsujiki-se): To refrain from frowning and making angry faces even in times of difficulty.

3. The gift of kind words (言辭施 gonji-se): To speak gently to others, refraining from coarse and rude speech.

4. The gift of a helpful and respectful body (身施 shin-se): To reach out with a helping hand for those in need.  To show attentive and respectful body language to all people.

5. The gift of a generous heart (心施 shin-se): To joyfully give assistance to others without resenting any inconvenience it may cause for oneself.

6. The gift of a comfortable seat (床座施 shōza-se): To offer the most safe and comfortable seat to a guest, even it means giving up one’s own favored seat.

7. The gift of welcoming hospitality: 房舍施 (bōsha-se): To warmly welcome all guests, making them feel at home in one’s company.

Letter from Bishop Koyu Uchida to the House Committee on Immigration and Naturalization

Japanese Immigration: Hearings before the Committee on Immigration and Naturalization, House of Representatives, Sixty-Sixth Congress, Second Session, July 12, 13 and 14, 1920, Part 1, Hearings at San Francisco and Sacramento, California, page 576