In these busy times when our attention is pulled in many directions at once, Rev. Adams will share a Dharma Talk about the peace of mind we receive from having a single clear direction for our lives, inspired by the following verse from the Sanbutsuge.
Those who come from the ten quarters Shall rejoice with pure hearts; Once they reach my land, They shall dwell in peace and happiness.
In this month’s session we will continue our study of the teachings of the Chinese Pure Land Master Tao-ch’o (Daochuo), whose teachings illuminate how our encounter with the Buddha’s compassionate vow brings about liberation for all of us who struggle to practice goodness in the world of conflict and delusion.
With kind concern he teaches the three characteristics of entrusting and non-entrusting, Compassionately guiding all identically, whether they live when the dharma survives as but form, when in its last stage, or when it has become extinct. Though a person has committed evil all his life, when he encounters the Primal Vow, He will reach the world of peace and realize the perfect fruit of enlightenment.
In this month’s session we will encounter the teachings of the Chinese Pure Land Master Tao-ch’o (Daochuo), whose teachings encourage us to pass through the Pure Land Gate and recite the Name of Amida Buddha (Namo Amida Butsu).
Tao-ch’o determined how difficult it is to fulfill the Path of Sages, And reveals that only passage through the Pure Land gate is possible for us. He criticizes self-power endeavor in the myriad good practices, And encourages us solely to say the fulfilled Name embodying true virtue.
In this month’s session we will continue our study of the Chinese Pure Land Master Tanluan, whose insight that birth-and-death is itself nirvana opens the gate to realizing peace of mind for oneself, so that one can help others on their path to liberation from suffering.
When a foolish being of delusion and defilement awakens shinjin, He realizes that birth-and-death is itself nirvana; Without fail he reaches the land of immeasurable light And universally guides sentient beings to enlightenment.
February is the month in which we observe our Nirvana Day Service at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple in commemoration of Sakyamuni Buddha’s realization of the great tranquility of parinirvana approximately 2,500 years ago at Kushinagar in northern India. Having attained the wisdom of enlightenment, when his time in this world drew to a close Sakyamuni Buddha met the end of his human life with a peaceful mind as he passed into the state of final Nirvana. When those who live in the nembutsu with deep entrusting in Amida Buddha reach the end of life in this world, they are immediately born in the Pure Land where they realize the same enlightenment that brought Sakyamuni Buddha enduring peace of mind. That said, we would expect there to be many people eagerly looking forward to birth in the Pure Land. Are you one of them?
In a recent conversation, a Sangha member raised an interesting question, “I understand that in the Jodo Shinshu teaching the goal is to be born in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha, but honestly speaking, I don’t have a feeling of wanting to be born in the Pure Land. Should I be concerned about that?”