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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
Understanding Buddhism
煩悩
Bonno
Blind Passion

The primary cause of our suffering, Shakyamuni Buddha taught, is our bonno base passions or worldly desires. Bonno is often referred to as “blind passions.” They are called “blind” because although we may often see these passions in others and think that we understand them, we often fail to see them in ourselves. Our bonno are countless, but those that cause us the most problems are greed, anger, and unawareness.
Arizona Buddhist Temple
Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
Even though you might be knowledgeable about bonno, it is still one of the essential teachings in Shin Buddhism.
Awakening and Liberation are Two Sides
of the Same Coin

 
There is a simple side to our bonno.  Once I noticed the words, “Awaken to your foolish self…” posted on the bulletin board of the Zojoji temple in Tokyo.  It was in the opening line of the Jodoshu Declaration for the Twenty-first Century.  I also saw the exact words posted at the Jodoshu’s Chion-in headquarters in Kyoto.  This sentiment, “to awaken to our foolish self,” is found not only in the writings of Honen Shonin, the founder of Jodoshu but is also part of the legacy inherited by his disciple Shinran Shonin.
 
In a letter, Shinran Shonin wrote, “Persons of the Pure Land tradition attain birth in the Pure Land by becoming their foolish selves” (Lamp for the Latter Ages, CWS, I, p.531).  This refers to a form of awakening arrived at through recognizing our foolish self.
 
The more we are awakened to our natural state, the more we must confess our foolish selves.  Our liberation takes place when we are drawn to this insight. We profoundly awaken to the fact that we have been supported by Buddha’s Sincerity (True and Real) all along.
 
Moreover, our liberation has come about by the very fact that we cling to our bonno.
 
There are two aspects to this event: the element of our critical awakening to the fact that we cling to our bonno and the presence of our bonno determining our mode of liberation.  Thus, awakening and liberation go hand in hand.
 
In concrete terms, at what point do we take notice of our “foolish self, full of blind passions,” you ask.  What must we do to open that pathway?
 
As a guide to opening up this side of us, I have coined the phrase, “living in the teeth of life,” literally, “living in earnest.”  A person who seeks to live in the teeth of life sees life not as someone else’s business but as a challenge that one must earnestly accept as one’s own.
The Buddha’s Call to Awaken, Zenmonsama Koshin Ohtani
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
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. 

Registration starts next week
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. 
 
Registration starts next week
Arigato (Thank You)
The Kyoto Women’s University Chorus performs Arigato. Lyrics by Toshiko Takada and music composition by Yoshinao Nakata. 
Panko
We all love our crispy tempura and other goodies. Here is a video on the life of a panko factory owner.
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

Buddha-dharma is the teaching of non-ego.
Rennyo Shonin
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
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ABSC Podcast
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.  To get started, click here.
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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