Greetings Friend
Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
Understanding Buddhism

The three times of karma (maturing and bringing about its effect).

The three different periods are distinguished as when good or bad karma done in the present life matures.  They are 1. Reward or retribution of karma in the present life. 2. Reward or retribution of karma in the next life; and 3. Reward or retribution of karma in life after the next.

Wisdom: a Dharma Message

This week’s Dharma Message is Taitetsu Unno’s Epilogue, from his book
River of Fire River of Water.

Today, as I continue to walk on the white path through the river of fire and the river of water, the three questions that prompted my journey remain the basic framework of my life and worldview.  In recent years that path has been greatly broadened and expanded, for the Primal Vow itself is the great white path.  And the Primal Vow as the working of great compassion provides ample room for the bandits of sundry teachings and the beasts of blind passions to co-exist with me on the path.  Unlike the parable in which the traveler alone walks the path, leaving behind the bandits and beasts on the eastern shore, they all walk beside me, reminding me of my reality as a limited karmic being subject to all kinds of temptations.  But all together, we shall attain complete liberation and freedom that is the Pure Land on the farther shore.

Just as the bandits and beasts will always be with me as long as I remain a karma-bound being, so too the river of fire and the river of water will remain inseparable from the white path.  Although the rivers have subsided and appeared calm, I know that they can turn into searing flames and lashing waves instantly.

That is, my greed, symbolized by water, is insatiable because I want to live forever and negotiate life according to my self-centered calculations. And my anger, symbolized by fire, remains under control, but the moment things do not turn out according to my wish, it may explode.  Even though others cannot see the greed and the anger hidden within me, they are as real as the river of fire and the river of water that make up the parable.

Since my karmic life is unthinkable without the bandits and beasts, the fire and water, I cannot but follow the injunction of Sakyamuni Buddha and hear the call of Amida Buddha.  Even when my focus gets blurred and my interest wanes, the saying of nembutsu brings me back to the reality of the white path.

As a closure, I return to the three questions with which my journey began in the order of their significance.  First, who am I?  Whence do I come? Wither do I go?  The answer is simple.  I am a limited karmic being, full of ignorance and forever wandering, who has been endowed with a gift, the single thread of nembutsu.  Guided by the single thread of nembutsu, I emerge from the darkness of countless past lives and see the light of day that enables me to become truly and really myself.  I have arrived, I have come home.  The agitations and chaos in me are part of my reality, knowing full well that my ultimate destiny is the Pure Land of Immeasurable Light and Live.

Second, what is the one word of compassion? I realize now that it’s not so much the word but the source that is crucial.  No matter how articulate a person may be, if the word comes from a limited intellect and calculating mind, it will be mere wordplay, covering up one’s ignorance and never reaching the depth of human feeling.  But this awareness enables me to give up discursive strategies as an answer and to entrust myself to the reality of great compassion.  Then, from its depth emerges the genuine word (desana) that uplifts all of life as is.  It may appear as a single word, or an eloquent silence, or Namu-Amida-Butsu itself.

Finally, is my friend who took his own life happy now? Who is to say?  As far as I am concerned, I have no choice but to work ceaselessly until all beings, even a single blade of grass, are liberated into the universe of boundless light.  I need no convincing that my friend now lives in the heart of great compassion, beyond any measure of happiness or unhappiness.  He joins the chorus of countless enlightened beings in the universe, all praising the Name of Amida. Whenever I hear Namu-Amida-Butsu being intoned, I hear his reassuring voice that all is well.

The eye that sees what cannot be seen,
The ear that hears what cannot be heard.
The body that knows what is not known. 

Kanjiro Kawai

ABSC Upcoming Programs in November

Saturday, November 20, from 1 to 2 pm EST 
Introduction to Buddhism, Part 6
Buddhism in Japan 

Professor Aaron Proffitt will talk about the different Buddhist practices in Japan.  He will cover their history, traditions, and how they each played a significant role in the Japanese culture.
Click here to register

Saturday, November 20, from 7 – 8 pm EST 
Book discussion 
The Path to the Pure Land 

Please join us for a special book discussion with Dr. Toshikazu Arai, the translator/author of “The Path to the Pure Land.”  Shinran wrote this book at a ripe age of 85 about the teachings of his mentor Hōnen. Followers of Jōdo-Shinshū and Jōdo-shū will gain new insights into the teachings of Hōnen and Shinran through this book.

“The Path to the Pure Land, A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō” is now available as an eBook on Amazon.

If you like to purchase the softcover book, click here.

Click here to register

Events Going on Around the United States
Scottsdale, Arizona
Phoenix-based Ken Koshio, an influential taiko artist in the U.S., invites the public to TAIKO EXTRAVAGANZA 2021
December 17 at 7:30 pm

To learn more about this Taiko event with Ken Koshio, click here
New: Introduction to Buddhism Part 4 - Part 1 Pure Land Buddhism
Shinran (1173-1263) is regarded as the founder of Jodo Shinshu, the largest school of Buddhism in Japan. Professor Aaron Proffitt introduces some of the basic teachings found in the works of Shinran and explores key philosophical and psychological dimensions of his teachings. Here is Part 1. We are still working on Part 2. 
Arigato Gatha
Popular Jodo Shinshu Gatha, Arigato. Performed by the Kyoto Women’s University Chorus.
5 Must-Try Japanese Food Experiences in Tokyo
In this video, Gareth Leonard takes you on an eating journey in Tokyo.
My Favorite Buddhist Quote

This day,
Endowed with true and real life,
Will never be repeated in eternity.
How precious this single day!

Mrs. Takeuchil

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at
ABSC Fundraiser

Get ready for the holidays with this beautiful 2022 desktop calendar with a different image of the Buddha each month and the ABSC gold embroidered baseball cap. 

We ordered a limited supply for our end-of-year fundraiser.  So order yours today! 

 The 2022 Buddhist Desktop Calendar is $17 each plus $4 for handling and shipping. Total $21.  

The ABSC Baseball Cap is on $15 plus $4 for handling and shipping. Total $19.

Note: You can pick each up at the Study Center for $17 and $15.
Buy Now
Special 70th Anniversary Membership Offer

The American Buddhist Study Center (ABSC) was founded in 1951 by Reverend Hozen Seki, a Jodo Shinshu minister.  His vision was to create a learning center to teach Buddhist values and Japanese culture to America.  Following in his footsteps, we are carrying on his mission.
Our theme for our 70th Anniversary is Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture to America.  By supporting the ABSC, you are helping sustain one of the oldest Buddhist Libraries in America.  Your support allows us to continue to offer free programing so everyone can learn Buddhism and the beautiful crafts of Japan. Your support helps us continue to publish meaningful Buddhist and cultural publications.
Now is the best time to join, during our 70th Anniversary.  Here are two exciting membership offers: 
Limited ABSC Lifetime Membership in celebration of our 70th Anniversary*

For the first time in our 70 year history, we are offerring lifetime memberships that include all the following benefits.
Your name will be engraved on a beautiful cherrywood plaque prominently displayed at the Study Center.
You will receive a lifetime certificate.
You will receive a surprise gift basket of goodies.
Your lifetime membership is transferrable to anyone you designate. It will never expire.
Your lifetime membership is 100% tax-deductible.
So please consider becoming a lifetime member today, for $1,000.
*Limited membership offer expires 12/31/2021
Please click here
Annual membership
Become a member during our 70th Anniversary, and we will send you the ABSC baseball cap as our gift—this great-looking cap with the ABSC gold logo is smartly embroidered on this 100% cotton cap.
Annual membership is $100.
Please click here
ABSC Podcast
This week Rev. Shobo Gary Jaskula continues his reading with Episode 30 with Kōsō Wasan by Shinran Shonin. 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. 

Click here to listen to the podcasts 
Dharma on the Go!
SMS text messages. Sign up to receive each week a Buddhist-inspired text message. Click here to register

Dial 607-350-ABSC (2272) listen to the history of the ABSC and an inspiring Buddhist message. 

To listen to our past recordings from Lady Kujo and other various books, please click here.
Calendar of Events

Saturday, Nov. 20, from 1 to 2pm EST
Saturday, Nov. 20, from 7 to 8pm EST
Introduction to Buddhism Part 6
Buddhism In Japan
Led by Aaron Proffitt
The Path to the Pure Land Book Discussion
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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