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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
Understanding Buddhism
不ニの法門
Funi-no-homon
The Teaching (Dharma gate) of Non-Duality

When Shakyamuni Buddha became enlightened, he became aware of the Oneness of life, “non-duality”. The Buddha understood that all phenomena, existence, is karma. That life in the physical and mental spheres consists of innumerable interconnections of causes, conditions and effects. Everything in life is due to accumulated causes, conditions and effects from beginningless time.

Rev. Miki Nakura article in the Higashi Honganji US, Epidemics and Karma, March 25, 2020
 

Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
Amida’s Meaning and Significance
 
The opening of Shoshinge expresses Shinran’s devotion to Amida as the Buddha of Infinite Life and Inconceivable Light, that is, as the symbol of absolute Compassion and Wisdom. These values have been central in Buddhism generally, but particularly in Mahayana Buddhism.  The meaning and significance of Amida Buddha is the essence of Shinran’s “Hymn of True Faith.”
 
The foundation of Shinran’s teaching is the story related in the Larger Pure Land Sutra, one of the three texts that make up the source of Shin Buddhist tradition.  In Shoshinge, Shinran summarizes the kerel of a story which provides the scriptural and spiritual mandate for his interpretation of Buddhism.  This story, according to the sutra, was reputedly related by Sakyamuni Buddha.  In ancient India, in the timeless past, there was king who became converted to Buddhism under an ancient Buddha, Lokeshvararaja (Sejizaio).  Because of his pursuit of truth, Dharmakara, as this Buddhist king became known, devoted himself to trying to abolish all evils and sorrows from the world.  In order to achieve his goal, he made 48 vows.  According to these, he would create through sincere moral and spiritual efforts an ideal world where all would live in harmony and spiritual fulfillment.  The text relates that Dharmakara meditated on all this for five kalpas – an infinitely long time.  Finally, he fulfilled his aspirations and became Amida Buddha, taking up his residence in the Western Pure Land. It is now ten eons since he completed his Vows.
 
Shinran recounters the story of this salvation process in several succinct lines that highlights central features.  He notes the work of Dharmakara, the nature of Amida Buddha, the importance of the Vows relating to the Name and faith, the meaning of Sakyamuni as the link with the historical process, and finally the experience of faith.  In essence Shinran presents in a very compact form the main outline of his teaching in which the aspiration of Dharmakara attains its final realization in the experience of faith within a person.
 
Shoshinge, the heart of Shin Buddhism, text by Dr. Alfred Bloom, page 9
ABSC Art Gallery and Trailblazer
The ABSC Art Gallery and store is now open. 
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. 

 A portion of all purchases will be tax-deductible as ABSC is a 501(c)3 corporation.


Click here to view 
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 ABSC Events in February
 Seiza Meditation, Saturday, February 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 will be Free live virtual event.  

Here's the Zoom link. Please enter on Feb. 20, at 11am EST

 Meeting ID: 921 2630 1233

Passcode: ABSC

   
 
Book Discussion, Saturday, Feb. 20, from 1 to 2 pm EST
Truth In The Rivers
By Bruce Hopkins and watercolors by Howard N. Horii
 
Please join us as Ken and Paula Horii cohost this book discussion about Howard Horii, one of the many Japanese Americans uprooted and placed in an American Internment Camp during WWII.  
2021 marks the 79th anniversary of one of the darkest days in American history. The Executive Order 9066, taking away all rights and privileges of being an American citizen from the Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and the Hawaiian Islands.
 
This will be Free live virtual event.

Here's the Zoom link. Please Enter on Feb. 20th at 1pm EST. 

 Meeting ID: 935 7339 5800

Passcode: ABSC

Click here to buy Truth in the Rivers special book discussion price: $20, including shipping and handling fees.
Miyajima, Japan
A video of the temples of Miyajima
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

One day you will breath out
and not breathe in. 

Buddha Dharma Kyokai Canada
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
Calendar of Events
Saturday, Feb. 20, from 11am to 12 noon EST

Saturday, Feb. 20, from 1 to 2pm EST

Saturday, Mar 20,  from 1 pm to 2pm EST
Please join us for a virtual Seiza, quite sitting, Meditation with Rev. Miki Nakura

Book Discussion Truth In The Rivers



Book Discussion TBA
 
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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