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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
Understanding Buddhism
念仏
Nembutsu
I meditate on Buddha

The Nembutsu is the heart of the Buddhist religious experience.  The recitation of the Nembutsu (Namo Amida Butsu), a meditation, enlightens us to our humanity and leads us to the full realization of the ultimate power of Wisdom and Compassion, which we Buddhists call Buddhahood.

The Hear of the Buddha-Dharma by Kenryu T. Tsuji
Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
Agongyo
Part 2 of 3

Every man and woman has four wives or husbands. What does this signify?
 
THE FIRST WIFE
The first “wife” is our body.  We love our body day and night. In the morning, we wash our face, put on clothing and shoes. We give food to our body. We take care of our body like the first wife in this story. But unfortunately, at the end of our life, the body – the first “wife” – cannot follow us to the next world.
 
As it is stated in the Gobunsho, “When the last breath leaves our body, the healthy color of the face is transformed, and we lose the appearance of radiant life. Our loved ones may gather around and lament but to no avail. When such an event occurs, the body is sent into an open field and cremated, leaving only the white ashes.”  
 
THE SECOND WIFE
The second “wife” stands for our fortune, material things, money, property, fame, position, and job that we worked hard to attain. We are attached to these material possessions. We are afraid to lose these material things and wish to possess more. There is no limit.  At the end of our life, these things cannot follow us to death.  Whatever fortune we have piled up. We must leave it. We came into this world with bare hands. During our life in this world, we have the illusion that we obtained a fortune. At death, our hands are empty. We can’t hold our wealth after our death, just as the second wife told her husband: “You hold me with your ego-centered selfishness. Now it is time to say goodbye.”
 
THE THIRD WIFE
Everyone has a third “wife.” This is the relationship of our parents, sister and brother, all relatives, friends, and society. They will go as far as the graveyard, with tears in their eyes. They are sympathetic and saddened by death: We cannot depend on our physical body, fortune, and society. We are born alone, and we die alone. No one will accompany us after our death.
 
THE FOURTH WIFE
Gautama Buddha mentioned the fourth wife, who would accompany her husband after his death. What does that mean?
 
The fourth “wife” is our mind. When we deeply observe and recognize that our minds are filled with anger, greed, and dissatisfaction, we have a good look at our lives. Anger, greed, and discontent are karma, the law of causation. We cannot be separated from our karma. As the fourth wife told her dying husband, “I will follow you wherever you go.” We will naturally understand that our mind is destined to stray into hell after our death, the darkness that is the result of karma. It is like being sunk to the bottom of the ocean.
 
The ultimate purpose of the Buddha’s teaching is to reach Nirvana, enlightenment, the perfect freedom. All sentient beings should be awakened and saved. Otherwise, the Buddha-mind will not be accomplished.

The Great Natural Way, Rev. Hozen Seki, Part 3 next week
Rev. Dr. Mark Unno talk now on Youtube


The Future Past

The Unfurling of Great Compassion Beyond Time

In July of 2020, Rev. Mark Unno gave a virtual talk about compassion, Amida Buddha, Namu Amida Butsu, and recollections of his father, Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno.

Click here to view 
ABSC Art Gallery and Trailblazer
The ABSC Art Gallery 

We are featuring Ken Horii’s Illuminating Reflections series of sculptures and small and large works on paper.  These fine art pieces were part of our end-of-the-year art auction fundraiser.   

In the coming weeks and months, Ken will add to his collection, and we will add other artists to the gallery.  

We are now assembling a series of photographs by Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Fukushima, which will be shown in the art gallery.  Here is one of his photos.




Click here for the Art Gallery
A portion of all purchases will be tax-deductible as ABSC is a 501(c)3 corporation.
Trailblazer Rose Ochi

We are honoring a new Japanese American Trailblazer.  Her name is Rose Ochi, who broke the glass ceiling as the first Asian American woman assistant to the U.S. attorney general.

Click here to read her whole story
Coming Events in March

March 5, from 7 pm EST


150th Anniversary Symposium: 
“Rutgers Meets Japan: Foreign Teachers, Missionaries, and Overseas Students in the Early Meiji Era”
Open to Public/Registration Required
Register here
Seiza Meditation, Saturday, March 20, 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.

This is a free Zoom event join us on March 20, at 11 am EST

Zoom link
Buddhism, Saturday, March 20, from 1 to 2 pm EST
Buddhist Nations and their Practices,
an Informal Overview
 

Buddhism started in India and moved out to encompass most of Asia. Now Buddhists of many kinds are thriving in the West.  Three major Buddhist traditions survive today: Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana.  Within each there are various subgroups and denominations.  Join this session for an informal impression of how Buddhism looks and feels within these three traditions. See how they are both similar to and different from the Jodo Shinshu (Mahayana) tradition we know and love.  Minister's Assistant Rev. Gary Shobo Jaskula of the New York Buddhist Church and Albany Buddhist Sangha will lead our armchair voyage.   
 
This is a free Zoom event join us on March 20, at 1 pm EST

Zoom link
Japanese Seaweed
Here you will learn the different types of seaweed and how they are uses. 
Your Support Matters
Please give a donation so we can continue to bring you these emails along with many programs we are planning in 2021. Any donation is humbly appreciated. 
Click here to Donate
My Favorite Buddhist Quote

Like rivers entering the vast ocean,
The foolish minds of good and evil
Return to Amida’s Vow of wisdom,
as they become one with the heart of Great Compassion.


Shozomatsu-wasan
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
Calendar of Events
Saturday, Mar 20, from 11am to 12 noon EST
Saturday, Mar 20,  from 1 pm to 2pm EST
The Art of Sitting Perfectly Still Meditation Sessions led by Rev. Miki Nakura, a Shin Buddhist Minister
Buddhist Nations and their Practices, an Informal Overview
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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