Category Archives: Core Teaching of the Buddha

The Matrix of Practice

Dengyo Daishi once wrote, “A devout believer in the Buddha’s Law who is also a wise man is truly obliged to point out to his students any false doctrines, even though they are principles of his own sect. He must … Continue reading

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Faith In the Way

We are empirical and finite beings, we are confined to a bubble of sense perceptions and our existence is limited to time and space. Pursuit of truth starts with our encounter with a sense of the transcendent and the infinite, … Continue reading

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Avoiding Poison

The recent bombings and increased activities of religious extremists have provoked a myriad of responses, both rational and irrational. In the United States people of power tend to react instead of responding. The reaction is normally superficial and immature. They … Continue reading

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Poor Suffering Baby

We have a problem — you have and I have it. I may have worked on it a little longer on it than you have, but maybe not. Here is the problem: we have very little motivation to give up … Continue reading

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Clergy and Sensei Training Program — Updated

Hongaku Institute for Buddhist Studies Hongaku Jōdo Compassionate Lotus Tendai Lineage (HJCL) Clergy and Sensei Training Program Seminary Information: Basic Clergy and Sensei Training Program Shaku Mui Shin Shi Ajari and Staff Ordination and Sensei Training introduces basic concepts of Pure Land, … Continue reading

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Rational Amidism, Modes of Existence

In the past I was able to teach the Buddha’s Dharma throughout the day without ever mentioning him or using a Pali or Sanskrit word. I’ve given up on that. Once the Buddha is taken out of the equation people … Continue reading

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The Tip of a Needle

Life, personhood, pleasure and pain —    This is all that’s bound together In a single mental event —    A moment that quickly takes place. Even the spirits who endure For eighty-four thousand eons —    Even these do not live the … Continue reading

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The Distortion of Perception — the Vipallasas

The vipallasas are the distortion of views, perceptions and thoughts affected by either defilements or by the words of another. So my thoughts, perceptions and especially my views about what I am now writing is an example of how these … Continue reading

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The Road to Hell Is Paved: The Paradox of the Bodhisattva Vow

I received this question through an email. It seemed like a reasonable question and points that there are teachings in Buddhism that are not terribly Buddhist at all. These distortions of what the Buddha taught are so common that we … Continue reading

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The Need To Be Heard

We live in a society that demands we be fair, honest and sensitive to the “needs” of others. There is the claim that we want every voice to be heard. We sometimes, albeit rarely, make the distinction between “hearing” and … Continue reading

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