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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
A Message from the President 
Thank you, everyone, for receiving our weekly email/newsletters. I am happy to announce our readership has more than doubled over these past months. We are now sending out over 710 emails a week to people around the world.
 
I am humble; we can share the Buddha Dharma and Japanese culture with you. In this age of so many uncertainties, difficulties, and sufferings, it is comforting to know how transient and precious our human life.
 
Besides the email/newsletters, we continue to work on several other projects that include updating the ABSC website, creating new YouTube videos, and adding new online courses.  
 
Later this year, we are planning on publishing a new book by D.T. Suzuki. 
 
We are also working on a unique documentary history of the Japanese Americans. The stories of the Japanese coming to America are filled with hardships that were unlike any other Asian Pacific Islander experience. Yet, here is a story of determination and grit against all racism.   
 
All our emails, programs, videos, and projects could not have been accomplished without the dedicated assistance from the ABSC Board of Directors and our excellent team of volunteers.  
Ph.D. Aaron Proffitt, Arlene Kato, Brian Funai, David Brady, Edythe Vassall, Rev. Gary Jaskula, Dr. Gordon Bermant, Karl Palma, Ken Horii, Josephine Seki, Mamiko Shimura, Mark Sullivan, Martin Hara, Mikuko Shimura, Nobuhiro Futaki, Pascale Patris, Paula Horii, Rajnesh Avtar, Yasuko Linares, Yuki Teramura, Yukiko Sato.
 
As most of you know, we are a small voice in the vast sea, trying hard to spread the Buddhist teachings and Japanese culture that enriched our lives. Each week we ask for your support to help us carry on. Unfortunately, we do not have deep-pocket donors, only our members and you. If you feel what we are doing is meaningful please consider joining and supporting the ABSC. Thank you.
 
Have a wondering June, a time for new beginnings.
 
Gassho,
Hoshina Seki
Understanding Buddhism
 門徒 and 門信徒 
Monto and Monshinto
Followers of the Dharma gate

These words, specifically Monto, are associated with Jodo Shinshu Buddhists.  This is because the Hongwanji organization is based on the idea that all followers are “fellow practitioners” who are of equal standing. Therefore, all share the same life, and all are enabled to live according to the same teachings.
Jodo Shinshu, A Guide
Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
This week will be a two-part series from “The Buddha’s Wish for the World.
by Zenmonsama Koshin Ohtani.  

 
On what should we base our actions for living?
                         
Shinran Shonin held Prince Shotoku (Shotoku Taishi 574-621) in high esteem that he praised him as the Shakyamuni of Japan.
 
When we speak of Prince Shotoku, his name is associated with that of his aunt, Empress Suiko Tenno, under whose reign capable men were sent out throughout the country and abroad to lay down the foundations for a new country.
 
The prince was only 49 years old when he died.  After he died, his wife Tachibana no Ohiratsume commissioned two embroidered scrolls that depicted the Buddha-land to which the prince had gone. These were called the Scrolls of the Land of Heavenly Life, one of which remains.
 
When Suiko Tenno saw them, Tachibana no Ohiratsume told her:
Our great Lord told us, this world is vain and false; only the Buddha alone is true.    
 
As the original Japanese is rather difficult to understand, elaboration is needed:
When our great Lord was alive, there was a saying of which he was most fond.  For man, there is nothing in this world that man has created that can be said to be ultimately real. The only exception is the Buddha.  The Buddha alone is ultimately real.
 
When Suiko Tenno heard this, she ordered several of her attendants to embroider copies of these two scrolls.
 
Here, the words “The world is vain and false” appear on those two scrolls. Likewise, we can find the same sentiment expressed in Article Ten of Prince Shotoku’s Seventeen Article Constitution.
 
Let the rage in your heart subside, put away your angry looks, do not grow indignant over your differences with others.  People all have hearts, and hearts are bound to have their preferences.  What they are inclined to like is the very thing we reject, and what we are tempted to appreciate is the same they reject. But, just as surely as we are not sages ourselves, we can be just as sure that they are not all fools, the both of us being merely ordinary mortals.
-Seventeen Article Constitution
 
Let your indignation subside; put your anger aside. It will not do to fume when others do not do what you say.  All people each have their own minds, and each mind is caught up in its own thoughts.  That person is not us any more than we are that person.  Just as we are not always wise, others are not always foolish.
 
We all have our own minds, and that mind has a self-centered way of seeing things and supports a self-centered way of thinking.  For that reason, a person always thinks in terms of what is or is not convenient to himself, what is of loss or gain to himself, and what is useful or useless to himself. Then, seeing others as friends or foes, he lets himself decide what is good or evil, right or wrong – this is man. Then, under a veneer of plausible explanation, he seeks to present himself as being in the right.

Click here to see a short video on Prince Shotoku.
 
Part 2 next week
Coming Events
Next Seiza Meditation, Saturday, June 19th, from 11 to 12 noon EST
The Art of Sitting Perfectly Still
Meditation Sessions

Led by Rev. Miki Nakura, a Shin Buddhist minister
 
Please join us and learn the fundamentals of Seiza (sitting-in-stillness) meditation, which Torajiro Okada established. You can sit on a chair or a cushion on the floor. Rev. Nakura will demonstrate how to make the correct posture, breathe, and put full power into the lower belly. Sensei will explain the history and why this is an excellent meditation to clear your mind from all the daily stress of life.
 Seiza medications is a free Zoom event. 

Click here to register
Buddhist course, Saturday, June 19th, from 1 to 2 pm EST
Introduction to Buddhism Part 2
Professor Aaron Proffitt

Around 2600 years ago, a seeker born near the border of India and Nepal, left home to find answers to fundamental questions. After some time studying yoga, meditation, and philosophy, this seeker realized the truth that all conditioned things are interconnected, subject to change, and arise dependent upon causes and conditions. Having awakened to the true nature of reality, this seeker came to be known as the Buddha, the Awakened One. The Buddha taught that all beings have the potential to wake up and experience Nirvana, perfect peace, the state beyond conditioned existence, beyond life and death, beyond stress and anxiety.  
 
What is Buddhism? Is it a religion or a philosophy? Who was the founder? What do Buddhists believe? What do Buddhists do? How does one become a Buddhist? How did Buddhism come to be practiced in North America? In this “Introducing the Study of Buddhism” lecture, we will lay a foundation for exploring Buddhist ideas and practices, as well as the diversity of the traditions now grouped together under the label Buddhism. 
 
Click here to register
Arigato Gatha
The Kyoto Women’s University Chorus performs Arigato. Lyrics by Toshiko Takada and music composition by Yoshinao Nakata. 
Buddhism in Japan
Here is a nice video on Buddhist practices in Japan.
New Publication
Be the first to own a copy of Toshikazu Arai’s The Path to the Pure Land.
The Path to the Pure Land: Shinran’s Accounts of the Words and Deeds of His Teacher Hōnen translated and annotated by Toshikazu Arai, Ph.D.
 
The Path to the Pure Land is an English translation of the Shin Buddhist classic, Saihō-Shinan-shō, authored by Shinran (1173-1263). It is a collection of the words and deeds of Shinran’s teacher Hōnen (1133-1212). The latter is regarded as the founder of Japanese Pure Land Buddhism, and Shinran his successor and founder of the most influential Pure Land school called Jōdo Shinshü, or Shin Buddhism in English. Shinran compiled this work to ensure that his teacher’s teaching should be passed down to posterity.

This work mostly consists of Hōnen’s sermons, doctrinal discussions, letters, clarifications of various terms, and dialogs with his disciples, as well as reports of dreams different individuals had before and after his death. It is hard to find Shinran’s own words in this work, but the overall impression is that he is expressing his thoughts through the words of Hōnen.  

Price $25 plus $5 for shipping and handling
(For international orders contact us for price) 
Click here to order.
My Favorite Buddhist Quote

Whether our lives are blessed or miserable, 
All of us receive the sunshine of this bright new day
That fills the heavens from end to end…

Lady Takeko Kujo
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
Your Support Matters
The Study Center is working hard to bring you these emails and free programs. However, we cannot do it without your support.  

Please help us keep Buddhism alive in our everyday life by practicing the first Paramita, Dana (selfless giving), and realizing that we are all interconnected with one another. So, no matter how little you can give, your offering helps us to carry on.
Thank you.
Click here to Donate
Dharma on the Go!
We are offering two new free ways to stay in touch with the Dharma. 

Dial 607-350-ABSC (2272) This week, listen to Gary's latest Wasan reading, History of the ABSC, and a Lady Kujo essay. 

SMS text messages. Sign up to receive each week a Buddhist-inspired text message.  

Click here to register your phone number
ABSC Podcast
If you missed any of the Wasan’s, you could hear them all on the ABSC Podcast. We also have interviews up as well.  So, select your favorite Podcast provider to be always up to date with the latest ABSC podcast programs.  To get started, click here.
Calendar of Events
Saturday, June 19th, from 11 to 12 noon EST
Saturday, June 19th, from 1 to 2 pm EST
The Art of Sitting Perfectly Still
Meditation Session

Led by Rev. Miki Nakura, a Shin Buddhist minister
 Introduction to Buddhism Part 2
Led by Professor Aaron Proffitt
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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