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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
Understanding Buddhism
無為
Mui
Eternal, unchanging, and pure
In the Shin teaching, mu i relates to recognizing that our thinking has no value.  When we cast it away, there comes the peace of mu i.
Rev. Hozen Seki

 
Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
Here is a Dharma message from “The Path to the Pure Land, A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō,” Translated and Annotated by Rev. Dr. Toshikazu Arai
 
Honen’s Dharma Lecture – on the Virtues of the Name
                         
It would be impossible to describe all the virtues of the Buddha, even if we were to devote ourselves to enumerating them day and night uninterruptedly for a thousand million kalpas.That is why when our founding teacher Śākyamuni Buddha expounded the wondrous Three Pure Land Sutras, praising Amida Buddha’s virtues, he selected the most essential virtues from among them. Even Śākyamuni Buddha’s discourse is an abridged presentation of Amida’s virtues. How can I, a foolish monk, possibly provide a full account of them? Only to cultivate roots of good, I will attempt to praise them.
 
It is true that Amida’s inner enlightenment and exterior working are beyond measure, but nothing surpasses the virtues of the Name. That is why Amida Buddha saves sentient beings with his Name, and the great teacher Śākyamuni Buddha praised Amida’s Name, ensuring the Name to be passed down to future generations.
 
Therefore, I shall also praise the Name. The word “Amida” is a Sanskrit word.  It is translated as “The Buddha of Immeasurable Life” and “The Buddha of Immeasurable Light.” The Buddha is also called the Buddha of Boundless Light, Buddha of Unhindered Light, Buddha of Unequal Light, Buddha of the Lord of All Brilliance, Buddha of Pure Light, Buddha of Joyful Light, Buddha of the Light of Wisdom, Buddha of Uninterrupted Light, Buddha of Inconceivable Light, Buddha beyond Description, and the Buddha with Light Surpassing the Sun and Moon.  Thus, we know that the name Amida contains two elements: light and life. Life is the foundation of all his virtues, and Light is the source of all his wondrous workings. I shall now extol those virtues.
Memorial Weekend and Remembrance
This weekend we are commemorating Memorial Day.  A day of honoring and remembering the men and women who died servicing in the US armed forces. Let us not forget all the brave Japanese Americans who died during World War II—serving in the famous 442nd Regimental Combat Team.  
Monday, May 31, is also a day when many of us will go to the cemetery to pay our remembrance and gratitude to loved ones. 

Factoid: Memorial Day and the Red Poppy Flower
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day officially became a federal holiday in 1971. It always falls on the last Monday in May.
Professor and poet Moina Michael in 1918, inspired by John McCrae’s poem of 1915 of the Flanders field (a battlefield in Belgium) where red poppies grew, wrote: “We Shall Keep the Faith.”
 
Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw.
And hold high, we keep the Faith.
With All who died.
To cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a luster to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead.
In Flanders Fields.  

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. 
Japanese Culture
Here are various Japanese dance ensembles performing. In Japan, we see these performances during festival time. Warning if you have bad knees, please do not try these dance moves.
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

Amida’s mind is my true mind, for Amida and I cannot separate.
Rev. Hozen Seki
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
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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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