Embraced and Not Forsaken

I am such that I do not know right and wrong and cannot distinguish false and true; I lack even small love and small compassion, and yet, for fame and profit, enjoy teaching others. (CWS, p. 429) The above passage is a poem that was written by Shinran Shonin at the age of 88. It …read more

Growing Up and Not Old

Recently I had the privilege of attending both Cub Pack 79’s “Graduation Ceremony” and Girl Scout Troop 5325’s “Court of Awards.” Both units are sponsored by the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Both units are a source of pride for the temple in general, but having attended both events again this year, I was struck at …read more

To Have Faith

自信教人信・難中転更難・大悲伝普化・真成報仏恩 To have faith and to teach a person to have faith Is within difficulties, again difficult Transmitting Great compassion, transforming All Is truly to repay the indebtedness owed the Buddha These words are taken from Zendo Daishi’s Ojoraisan-ge or Verses in Praise and Homage of Going to be Born. It is a work where …read more

In Support of Sharing and Kindness: Temple Membership

Although temple membership can be applied for any time during the year, the temple is slowing its membership push with the end of the 1st quarter of the new year. During this time, the running joke that you tend to hear relative to temple membership is: “What do you get with temple membership?” The answer …read more


Deep mind is the deeply entrusting mind. There are two aspects. One is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation. The second is …read more

Sometimes, The Easiest Things To Say Are Also The Most Difficult

I would like to begin by first saying “Thank You” to everyone who has taken the time to comment on our temple’s bulletin board. It is nice to know that people do take the time to read what has been written. Putting out a bulletin board message is not necessarily an easy thing to do. …read more

In Our Lives We Experience Many Things

In our lives we experience many things. The things we experience we tend to label as pleasant, unpleasant, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant. We regard these experiences as being positive, negative or neutral. As human beings, however, we also look at our experiences and sometimes go beyond the simple label of positive, negative or neutral. …read more

May There Be Peace in the World, and May the Buddha’s Teaching Spread!

In a letter that Shinran Shonin wrote he states: Those who feel uncertain of birth should say the nembutsu aspiring first for their own birth. Those who feel that their own birth is completely settled should, mindful of the Buddha’s benevolence, hold the nembutsu in their heart and say it to respond in gratitude to …read more


Every year in the month of November, the Venice Hongwanji holds its annual Eitaikyo service. This service is also often called the Muen Hoyo (無縁法要). Although the first phrase “Muen” can be translated to mean “without condition” or “without connection,” it is used to refer to those people who no longer have living relatives. The …read more

Spirituality vs. Religiosity

Recently there has been a growing discussion and increased distinction between spirituality and religiosity. The distinction is being made because more and more people it seems have a growing mistrust or apprehension towards the organization that flies under the banner of religion. Although I am obviously biased on this issue because I am a member …read more