Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 14)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

This month’s session will explore the teachings of the Pure Land Master Nagarjuna whose writings on the Middle Way serve as the foundation for the Mahayana Buddhist path to awakening.

Sakyamuni Tathagata, on Mount Lanka,
Prophesied to the multitudes that in south India
The mahasattva Nagarjuna would appear in this world
To crush the views of being and non-being;

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Waking Up to the Dharma

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Rev. Yuki Sugahara

Oregon Buddhist Temple

When his temple closed for in-person services at the onset of the pandemic, Rev. Yuki Sugahara realized that he would need to try new ways to make the Dharma available to his Sangha members. Inspired by the dedication of the first responders and front-line workers who heroically stepped up to serve the community at the start of this extraordinary crisis, Sugahara Sensei asked himself, “What can I do as Buddhist minister to provide support for people experiencing so much stress and uncertainty?” He began to post short Buddhist services with chanting and a Dharma talk every morning on the Oregon Buddhist Temple YouTube Channel. This daily Dharma connection has sustained many through the challenging times of the past 19 months.

Sugahara Sensei kindly has agreed to join us on November 3 for a live Zoom session, which will be an opportunity to ask questions and share insights inspired by the wealth of Dharma wisdom he has made available through his talks on YouTube.

Prior to the session on November 3, we encourage you to check out Sugahara Sensei’s YouTube Channel and come ready with questions and thoughts related to the Dharma Talks he shares:

We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Wednesday, November 3 for this Dharma session.

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 13)

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

This month we enter into the section of Shoshinge that is based on the teachings of the Seven Masters who transmitted the Pure Land teaching westward across Asia over the course of two millennia.

The masters of India in the west, who explained the teaching in treatises,
And the eminent monks of China and Japan,
Clarified the Great Sage’s true intent in appearing in the world,
And revealed that Amida’s Primal Vow accords with the nature of beings.

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Why I Abandoned Sundry Practices

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

7:00 p.m.

Alexander O’Neill

Ph.D. Candidate, University of Toronto

Visiting Researcher, Taisho University, Tokyo

Alexander O’Neill is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on Mahāyāna Buddhism. He does research on Mahāyāna sūtra literature and the Newar Buddhism of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. His recent publications have focused on the worship of sūtras in manuscript form, both in India and in Nepal. He came to Japan to perform research on Sanskrit ritual manual manuscripts at Taisho University, under the supervision of Ryugen Tanemura, as part of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai Canada fellowship. Due to the pandemic he continues to collaborate with local scholars by Zoom, and currently lives in Kamakura.

We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Wednesday, September 1 for this Dharma session.

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 12)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The nembutsu is the easy path to awakening because its liberating power does not come from our own efforts.  In this month’s gathering we will explore the challenges of entrusting our lives to Amida Buddha’s compassionate Vow.

For evil sentient beings of wrong views and arrogance,
The nembutsu that embodies Amida’s Primal Vow
Is hard to accept in shinjin;
This most difficult of difficulties, nothing surpasses.

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 11)

In this session we reflect upon the Dharma truth expressed in the lotus, a symbol of pure awakening that blossoms, not in pristine clear water, but from the messy muck of everyday life.

All foolish beings, whether good or evil,
When they hear and entrust to Amida’s universal Vow,
Are praised by the Buddha as people of vast and excellent understanding;
Such a person is called a pure white lotus.

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 10)

This session will delve into the meaning expressed the following metaphor of the sun that shines through clouds and mists, and how the Buddha’s wisdom illuminates our lives even in times of difficulty and confusion.

The light of compassion that grasps us illumines and protects us always;
The darkness of our ignorance is already broken through;
Still the clouds and mists of greed and desire, anger and hatred,
Cover as always the sky of true and real shinjin.

But though light of the sun is veiled by clouds and mists,
Beneath the clouds and mists there is brightness, not dark.
When one realizes shinjin, seeing and revering and attaining great joy,
One immediately leaps crosswise, closing off the five evil courses.

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Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 9)

This month we consider the following verse which illuminates the the profound transformation that occurs with the arising of the one thought-moment of joy.

When the one thought-moment of joy arises,
Nirvana is attained without severing blind passions;
When ignorant and wise, even grave offenders and slanders of the dharma, all alike turn and enter shinjin,
They are like waters that, on entering the ocean, become one in taste with it.

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The Path to the Pure Land: A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

7:00 p.m. via Zoom Meeting

Rev. Dr. Toshikazu Arai

Professor Emeritus

Soai University, Osaka

We invite you join us to hear Rev. Dr. Arai share insights from his recently published translation of Shinran’s record of teachings by his master Honen.  This superb translation makes Saihō-Shinan-shō available to English language readers for the first time.

CLICK HERE to purchase The Path to the Pure Land: A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 8)

This month as we celebrate Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday, the following verse from the Shoshinge expresses our appreciation for the meaning of his appearance in this world:

Sakyamuni Tathagata appeared in this world
Solely to teach the ocean-like Primal Vow of Amida;
We, an ocean of beings in an evil age of five defilements,
Should entrust ourselves to the Tathagata’s words of truth.

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