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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
Understanding Buddhism
極楽
Gokuraku
Land of Bliss

Buddhaland a spiritual realm manifesting the Buddha’s enlightenment.  “Land filled with happiness.”  In the Larger Sutra and Amida Sutra, the Land of Bliss is depicted as a place made of gold, silver, and precious stones, where exquisite smells and beautiful music fill the air.

Hōnen and Shinran explain that such picturesque descriptions of the Pure Land are meant to attract people to the Pure Land teaching and not be taken to depict a physically existing world.

The Path to the Pure Land, Toshikazu Arai
Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
A Life Without Resentment

This dharma message was written to the Japanese, and Japanese Americans interned during WWII.  I felt with all that is going on today; it could have been written yesterday. Here is part 2. 
 
But the prince was still young, and as expected, he used all his energies to try and recapture his father’s kingdom. He found employment in the castle of his father’s killer and was gradually able to gain the trust of those around Hondatsu, the evil king until he finally had direct access to the king.

One day Hondatsu went hunting. The young prince decided this was the chance he was waiting for.  The prince maneuvered Hondatsu deep into the mountain, away from all Hondatsu’s followers.  Hondatsu was tired from the hunt and lay down to rest, using the lap of the young prince as his pillow.

“Now is my chance!” the prince rejoiced. He drew his sword and placed the tip to Hondatsu’s throat.  Just as he was about to plunge the blade into the evil king, the prince remembered his father’s last words and could not move his arm. As the prince wavered in indecision, Hondatsu’s body became drenched in a cold sweat, and Hondatsu woke with a start.

“What a frightening dream I had!”  Hondatsu said with a start.  “I dreamed that the son of Chowasai, whom I ordered executed, was about to cut my head!”

When the prince heard this, he said, “Oh, hated Hondatsu, prepare yourself.  I am the son of Chowasai, whom you executed so mercilessly.  I am finally about to take revenge that I have harbored for so long!”

The prince took up his sword again. As soon as he raised his sword, however, the prince threw it down. He knelt in front of Hondatsu.

Hondatsu stood in surprise. He asked about Chowasai’s last moments and was incredibly moved by what he heard. Hondatsu realized how wrong he was to have invaded Chowasai’s kingdom and ordered his death.

The prince was also moved by Hondatsu’s repentance. He begged forgiveness for even thinking of taking revenge. Both forgave the other. Hondatsu returned Chowasai’s land to the prince, and peace reigned between the two countries from then on.

I believe the way for us Buddhists to treat others is clearly revealed in this story. Do you agree?

Ichinyo, Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai
Art Gallery Photographs by Nobuyoshi Fukushima
Along with Ken Horii, we are now showing photography by Nobuyoshi Fukushima.

Mr. Fukushima is a professional photographer in Tokyo. He takes beautiful landscape pictures the traditional way, box film camera with unique lens.

Please click here to view.
Coming Events
Tuesday, May 4th, 2021
Please ioin ABSC in supporting
MAY WE GATHER

A National Buddhist Memorial Ceremony for Asian American Ancestors,
 a national event that brings together Asian American Buddhists and their allies in healing and solidarity. This free online event will be live-streamed on Tuesday, May 4th, 2021, at 4 pm PT (7 pm ET).
You will find instructions about how to watch the live-stream and how to spread the word at:
 www.maywegather.org
 
Seiza Meditation, Saturday, May 15th, 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. 

Registration starts next week.
Buddhist course, Saturday, May 15th, from 1 to 2 pm EST
Introduction to Buddhism
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. 
 
Registration starts next week.
Seiya (Peaceful Nights)
The Kyoto Women’s University Chorus performs one of the most famous Jodo Shinshu Gāthās Seiya.  A poem by Lady Takeko Kujo.  
Black Ants and Buddhas
Rev. Taitetsu Unno, Historic Dharma Talk Series: Black Ants and Buddhists

On Sunday, May 7, 2006, ABSC recorded Rev. Unno’s Dharma talk Black Ants and Buddhas at the New York Buddhist Church. The original recording was a cassette tape transferred to digit and then made into this YouTube video.
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

O mist of spring, thou hint all things beautiful and bright,
As if there did not shine the true, imperishable light!

Honen
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
Your Support Matters
Now more than ever, people are struggling with so many stressful issues in life. By providing a window into the wisdom and compassion of Amida Buddha, we hope it will ease your load of everyday life. 

The Study Center is working hard to bring you these emails and free programs. However, we cannot do it without your support. So, no matter how little you can give, every little bit helps us to carry on.
Please give a donation 


Thank you.
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Dharma on the Go!
Here are two ways to stay in touch with Dharma. 

Once a week, text messages (SMS) All who sign up will receive a Buddhist-inspired text message. Just provide us with your cell number, and each week you will receive a new Buddhist text message. If this interests you, please respond to this secure link to give us your phone number.  No name or personal information will be asked of you, just your number.  Of course, you can opt-out at any time.

Click here to register your phone number
 
Dial-In to hear the Dharma dial in to listen to a Shinran Shonin, Wasan, as well as other Buddhist inspiring teachings. Each week will be a different message.The free phone service number is 607-350-ABSC (2272). You can also hear the Wasan on the ABSC podcast.

Click here to listen
Calendar of Events
Saturday, May 15th, from 11 to 12 noon EST
Saturday, May 15th, 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
Led by Professor Aaron Proffitt
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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