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Greetings Friend
Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
The American Buddhist Study Center Celebrates its 70th Anniversary
Wednesday, December 15, at 7 p.m. EST, on Zoom
Free Event, Registration Required
The American Buddhist Study Center (ABSC) will host its 70th Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, December 15, at 7 p.m. EST, on Zoom and is open and free to the public.  We have a great program lined up for our memorable milestone, featuring highlight stories from the past, present, and future.

Oh, what a night it’s going to be! It will be a night to honor our founder, the late Reverend Hozen Seki, whose birthday is December 15!  It will be a night for the Buddha Dharma, a night for Japanese Culture, and a night to look beyond the Horizon. Rev. Gary Shobo Jaskula is hosting the event. Our presenters include Rev. Dr. Toshikazu Arai, Dr. James Dobbins, Auguste Elder, Martin Hara, Ken Horii, Rev. Brian Nagata, Nancy Okada, Prof. Aaron Proffitt, Hoshina Seki, with a special Dharma message from Rev. Dr. Mark Unno.

Reverend Hozen Seki had a dream of crossing bridges, moving mountains to bring people together in peace and harmony to share the teachings of the Buddha and the rich cultures of Japan. He was one of the 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans placed into internment camps during WWII. While being interned, he had a dream of spreading Buddhism in America. In 1951 his dream came true when the American Buddhist Academy was established, now the American Buddhist Study Center.

Today, the ABSC community is alive and vibrantly carrying on Rev. Seki’s mission.  Since the reorganization in 1999, the late Reverend Dr. Taitetsu Unno, ABSC Board Member and religious adviser, helped build a new organization ready to meet the challenges of today’s needs.  Building on the past, the ABSC is a community for people seeking inner peace and a path to happiness through the teachings of the Buddha and Japanese culture.

Since the reorganization, the ABSC has published 18 publications and is currently working on a new D.T. Suzuki book entitled Friday Night Talks with D.T. Suzuki.  Over the past decade, the Study Center has held book discussions, meditation classes, workshops, lectures, conferences, art exhibits, and field trips.  So much has happened since its founding that Rev. Seki and Mrs. Seki must be smiling down from the Pure Land seeing their dream grow to what it is today.

Our 70th Anniversary is setting a goal to raise $7,000. Please help us with a donation today to help reach our goal of spreading the Dharma and Japanese Culture.   Please click here to donate. Registration is required for this free December 15th celebratory event. Register here.
Understanding Buddhism

薬王
Yakuō
Medicine King

A bodhisattva who can cure various illnesses.

Buddha
Ushiku, Japan: The Great Buddha Ushiku Daibutsu statue is located in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan
Wisdom: a Dharma Message

This week is an abridged excerpt from Kenryo Nanamatsu’s Naturalness, published by the BCA in 1955.

Pure Feeling

The spirit of renunciation is the deepest reality of the human heart.  Our self can realize itself truly only by giving itself away.  Giving (dana) is our truest joy and liberation, for it is uniting ourselves to that extent with the Infinite.  We grow by losing ourselves, by uniting.  Gaining a thing is by its nature partial. It is limited only to a particular want, but giving is complete. It belongs to our wholeness. It springs not from necessity but our affinity with the Infinite, the principle of unity and perfection in our inmost heart.  Our abiding happiness is not in getting anything but in giving ourselves up to what is greater than ourselves, to the infinite ideal of perfection.

All our belongings assume a weight by the ceaseless gravitation of our selfish desires; we cannot easily cast them away from us.  They seem to belong to our very nature, to stick to us like a second skin, and we bleed as we detach them.  “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.”  He who is bent upon accumulating riches is unable, with his ego continually bulging, to pass through the gate of the spiritual world, which is the world of perfect harmony with the all; he is shut up within the narrow walls of his limited acquisitions.  Therefore, if we want to gain freedom and happiness, we must embrace all by giving up the self.

However, when the self is given up, the giver is still there, for the act of giving is only possible when there is one who gives and the other who is given.  However further we may go, the giver always does the act of giving.  If there is an idea of giving somewhere in one’s consciousness, the giving agent will always be left as an insoluble residue, and no final, giving up the self will be possible.  If one wants to be an absolute giver, one must altogether transcend the dualism of one who gives and the other who is given.  When this is accomplished, the entire shifting of positions takes place, and one who gives is at once one who is given. The absolute transference from ME to the NOT ME is at once the transference from NOT ME to ME.  Here one has entered the spiritual world – the Kingdom of Faith.  The key to unlocking the mysteries of this Kingdom is love, for Faith is the highest culmination of love.

In love, all the contradictions of existence merge themselves and are lost.  In love are unity and duality not at variance.  Love is one and two at the same time.  In love, here I am, and I am not; I am in thee and thou in me.  In love, loss and gain are harmonized.  The lover constantly gives himself up to gain himself in love.  Indeed, love is what brings together and inseparably connects both the act of abandoning and that of receiving.  Therefore, when a man loves, giving becomes a matter of joy, and he transcends the dualistic notion of one who gives and the other is given.  He transcends even the idea of giving.  He gives, and yet he gives not.  For him, giving is at once being given.

Love is the perfection of consciousness. We do not love because we do not comprehend, or rather we do not comprehend because we do not love.  For love is the ultimate meaning of everything around us.  It is not a mere sentiment; it is truth; it is the joy that is at the root of all creation—the white light of Pure Feeling that emanates from Amida (Amitabha), the Infinite Light.  So, to be at home one with this All-feeling Being, who is in the external sky and in our inner heart, we must attain to that summit of consciousness, which is love.  Through the heightening of our consciousness into love and extending it all over the world, we can be transferred back into the Original Love, that we can attain communion with Amida, the Spirit of Joy (Sambhogakaya).

Nirvana (nehan), preached by Shakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, is nothing else than this highest culmination of love.  It is the absolute dying to the self, which is the complete rebirth of the self in the Universal Self.  It is the extinction of the lamp in the morning light.  This is the true awakening or enlightenment.  One has entered the spiritual world or the Kingdom of Faith.  But he who has entered the Kingdom of Faith never sits in idleness in that country, for Faith is motion and rest in one; bondage and liberation are not antagonistic in Faith.  He returns to this world and does not stop for a moment extending measureless love for all creatures. He extends his love above, below, and all around him without bounds and obstacles, free from all cruelty and antagonism.  While standing, sitting, walking, lying down, even in his dreams, he keeps his mind active in this exercise of universal goodwill.

ABSC’s 70th Anniversary Fine Art Auction
EXTENDED to 6 p.m. EST Friday, December 10
On popular demand, the ABSC 70th Anniversary Fine Art Auction has now been extended until 6 pm EST on Friday, December 10.  The artworks are available for viewing and bidding on the Center's website here.

Auguste Elder



Pascale Patris

Ken Horii


Edythe Vassall
ABSC Program


Saturday, December 18, 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. You can sit on a chair or a cushion on the floor. Rev. Nakura will demonstrate the correct posture and breathing from your lower belly. Sensei will explain the history and why this is an excellent meditation to clear your mind from life’s daily stress.
 Seiza medications is a free Zoom event.

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 Shinran Shonin
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.
Beautiful Japanese Pottery
Kutani-yaki Pottery is pottery with overglaze painting, mainly made in the southern cities of Nomi, Komatjusu, Kaga, and Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture.
My Favorite Buddhist Quote

Quiet listening and careful thinking about what one heard is the only thing that can make a person take a creative first step without any effort.

Shūichi Maida

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


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 Lifetime Membership in celebration of our 70th Anniversary*
For the first time in our 70 year history, we are offering 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 33 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
Wednesday, December 15th, 7pm
ABSC 70th Anniversary
 
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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