Dear Friends I hope that you will take a few moments and watch the video to learn more about the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. If you are in the area please stop in.
When one is attempting to live the Dharma it is important to remember to live in the moment and be mindful. Most people, me included, find this difficult. My wife and I were discussing the below quote from Lao Tzu and she said that until now it she had never really felt it. I understand what she meant. It is easy to look at the words and have enough intelligence and education to intellectually comprehend what they mean. But, actually understanding the words and taking them to heart is another matter. I challenge you my dear reader to contemplate these words and to try and live them this weekend. I will be using them as my focus during meditation as well as trying to live by them. I look forward to hearing how you did and any thoughts you may have on this exercise.
If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present.
On April 22nd the children of the Dharma School ran the service at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago on 4/22/12. Below is a short video of them in action. My daughter does her short talk in the video @ 1:38
This is the talk I gave at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago on 4/15/12
This Sunday, April 15th 2012, I have been asked to give the message at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. I decided to discuss the “Four Dharma Seals.” In my research I came across many Buddhist Proverbs at http://japanlifeandreligion.com, the following ten are the my favorites. I am not going to add commentary at this time but I hope to do so in the future. Furthermore, If you live in Chicago please come on by as I would love to meet you.
I also suggest using these proverbs as an object for contemplation/meditation.
- 悪事身にとまる (akuji mi ni tomaru) – All evil done clings to the body.
- 頭そるより心をそれ (atama soru yori kokoro wo soré) – Better to shave the heart than to shave the head.
- 会うは別れのはじめ (au wa wakaré no hajimé) – Meeting is only the beginning of separation. (This one I am using!)
- 凡夫も悟れば仏なり (bonbu mo satoréba hotoké nari) – Even a common man by obtaining knowledge becomes a Buddha.
- 仏法とわら屋の雨、出てきけ (Buppō to waraya no amé, dété kiké) – One must go outside to hear Buddhist doctrine or the sound of rain on a straw roof.
- 仏になるも沙弥をへる (Hotoké ni naru mo shami wo heru) – Even to become a Buddha one must first become a novice.
- 地獄極楽は心にあり (Jigoku Gokuraku wa kokoro ni ari) – Hell and Heaven are in the hearts of men.
- 露の命 (Tsuyu no inochi) – Human life is like the dew of morning.
- 陰の形にしたがうごとし (kagé no katachi ni shitagau gotoshi) – Even as the shadow follows the shape.
- この世は仮の宿 (Kono yo wa kari no yado) – This world is only a resting-place.
You can also check out the below sources for many others.
birds sing and
the clouds cry in joy
a Buddha is born
Today’s senryu is in honor of Buddha’s birthday.
Today was a special day at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago. Today we celebrated the birth of the Buddha. Most Buddhist congregations celebrate the Buddha’s birthday sometime in April or May. The happy occasion is called Wesak, in the Japanese tradition it is called “Hanamatsuri” which translates to “The Flower Festival”.
The name Hanamatsuri derives from the story of Buddha’s birth. The story says that when the Buddha was born, the Earth was so glad that flowers sprang forth in full bloom. This show of joy of Earth manifested itself because there had not been a real Buddha on Earth for centuries. The deities, too, were also so happy that they sent a shower of green tea accompanied by music. It is all very festive. (The Deities come from Japanese Mythology and are part of the Japanese culture not Buddhist)
This festive event, actually a birthday party, is for, Gotama Siddhartha Shakyamuni, a real human being who was like us was not always a Buddha. He, just like us, shared in Samsara (the cycle of all life, that is birth, growth, illness and challenges, aging, death and rebirth). Humans share this cycle with all forms of life, and non-living things like mountains and stones—and the waters of the earth. In fact our whole planet and Universe goes through the same cycle of impermanence.
In the teachings of Shinran, by living our lives in the spirit of a Bodhisattva we help recycle (teach) the truth of Amida’s Bodhisattva Vow. By living such a life we bring the Dhamma (Dharma) back into the world of suffering humanity. This program can start at any point on the cycle of, in fact it embraces the whole process as it is.
So when you sing “Happy Birthday to the Buddha” in your Hanamatsuri service, sing your heart out and enjoy the day, it could be the starting point of something very important.
Happy Birthday Buddha.
The images below are of the Dharma School children performing Kambutsu. This represents the washing of the newborn baby Buddha.