Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu, Session 01

In this first session in the Shōshinge Study Class Series, we explore the meaning of the Shōshinge and how it applies to our daily lives, beginning with the opening verse: I take refuge in the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life!
I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!

PowerPoint Slides

Dharma Talk Audio

Prajñā: The Wisdom of Acceptance

At a time when many of us are dealing with anxiety, frustration and impatience as we feel the effects of climate change in our lives while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to restrict our daily activities, we look to the wisdom of the Issei and Nisei Dharma pioneers, and consider meaning of Japanese expression “Shikata ga nai” (It can’t be helped).

This Dharma talk is Part Six in a six-part series delivered via Zoom Meeting exploring the core Mahayana Buddhist teaching of the Six Paramitas: giving, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.  The Six Paramitas describe the characteristics of a well-lived Buddhist life, and endeavoring to practice them in everyday situations is a lifelong journey.

To join us for online Dharma Services, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Dharma Discussion: Wisdom/Prajñā (August 23, 2020)

Click here to read about the Buddhist Virtue of Wisdom

Discussion Questions

  1. What is a difficult situation that Buddhist wisdom has enabled you to accept with peace of mind?
  2. What is a difficult situation that Buddhist wisdom has given you to courage to work to change?
Continue reading “Dharma Discussion: Wisdom/Prajñā (August 23, 2020)”

Dhyāna: When the Bridge of Concentration is Washed Away

Rev. Adams reflects upon the challenges of maintaining concentration during the Covid-19 pandemic, how we can find inspiration in the life of Osono of Mikawa who struggled with mental concentration herself, and the teachings that Shinran received from Hōnen on maintaining concentration in the most crucial moment of life.

This Dharma talk is Part Five in a six-part series delivered via Zoom Meeting exploring the core Mahayana Buddhist teaching of the Six Paramitas: giving, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.  The Six Paramitas describe the characteristics of a well-lived Buddhist life, and endeavoring to practice them in everyday situations is a lifelong journey.

Slides for explanation of the Chinese Character for “time”

To join us for online Dharma Services, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Dharma Discussion: Concentration/Dhyāna (August 16, 2020)

Click here to read about the Buddhist Virtue of Concentration

Discussion Questions

  1. Have you ever experience a state of deep concentration that enabled to you do an activity skillfully and without distraction, sometimes described as a “flow state” or being “in the zone”? What gave rise to that state of mind? Were you able to replicate it on more than one occasion?
  2. Has Buddhist practice in general, and the Nembutsu specifically, helped you to cultivate a concentrated mind at times?
  3. What the greatest obstacles you face in maintain mental concentration?
Continue reading “Dharma Discussion: Concentration/Dhyāna (August 16, 2020)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

We welcome you to join us via Zoom Meeting from the comfort and safety of your own home on Wednesday, September 9 for this free Dharma Study Class.

6:00 p.m. Shōshinge Sōfu Chanting

The chanting of Shōshinge embodies the heart of daily Nembutsu practice in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.  Join us to experience the settling of the mind through focused breathing and meditative listening.

7:00 p.m. Reading and Discussion

We will be explore the meaning of the Shōshinge and how it applies to our daily lives, beginning with the opening verse: I take refuge in the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life!
I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!

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

Vīrya: Striving Toward a Worthy Goal

As we reflect upon the goals to which we aspire in this precious human life, we consider the Buddha’s teachings on diligence, the virtue of making effort for the benefit of others without laziness or negligence.

This Dharma talk is Part Four in a six-part series delivered via Zoom Meeting exploring the core Mahayana Buddhist teaching of the Six Paramitas: giving, discipline, patience, diligence, concentration, and wisdom.  The Six Paramitas describe the characteristics of a well-lived Buddhist life, and endeavoring to practice them in everyday situations is a lifelong journey.

The Six Superhuman Powers

Six kinds of superhuman ability attained by a Buddha or enlightened disciple of the Buddha as a result of their spiritual practice.

1. Divine Feet

2. Divine Eyes

  • Also called “Knowledge of Death and Rebirth” or “Knowledge of Samsara”
  • The unimpeded ability to see into every place and to know the future rebirths of all beings.
  • See the 6th Vow of Bodhisattva Dharmakara

3. Divine Ears

4. The Wisdom to See into the Minds of Others

5. Knowledge of Past Lives

6. Complete Extinction of Afflictions

  • The ability to know that one has completely extinguish one’s blind passions (greed, anger, and ignorance), such that they will never arise again.
  • See the 39th Vow of Bodhisattva Dharmakara

48 Vows of Bodhisattva Dharmakara (Amida Buddha)

From the Three Pure Land Sutras, Volume II: The Larger Sutra, pg. 20-29

1

“‘If, when I attain Buddhahood, there should be hell, the realm of hungry spirits, or the realm of animals in my land, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

2

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land, should, after their death, return once more to the three evil realms, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

3

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not all be the color of genuine gold, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

4

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not all be of the same appearance and should be either beautiful or ugly, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

5

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not remember all their former lives,[1] and thus be unable to know at least the events of the previous hundred thousand kotis of *nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

6

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine eyes,[2] and thus be unable to see at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

7

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine ears,[3] and thus be unable to hear the teachings being expounded by at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddhas or remember them all, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

8

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess the wisdom to see into the minds of others,[4] and thus be unable to know the thoughts of the sentient beings of at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

9

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not possess divine feet, and thus be unable to go beyond at least a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands in a thought‐moment, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

10

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should give rise to any thought of attachment to their body, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

11

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not dwell in the *stage of the truly settled and necessarily attain nirvana, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

12

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be finite, not illuminating even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

13

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life should be finite, limited even to a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

14

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the number of sravakas in my land could be counted and known, even if all the sravakas and pratyekabuddhas in the *triple‐thousand great thousand worlds should spend at least a hundred thousand kalpas counting them, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

15

When I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land will not have a limited life span, except when they wish to shorten it freely according to their original vows. Should this not be so, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

16

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should even hear that there are names of evil acts, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

17

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the countless Buddhas throughout the worlds in the ten quarters should not all glorify and praise my name, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.[5]

18

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters who, with sincere and *entrusting heart, aspire to be born in my land and say my name even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment. Excluded are those who commit the *five grave offenses and *those who slander the right Dharma.[6]

Continue reading “48 Vows of Bodhisattva Dharmakara (Amida Buddha)”