Dana for World Peace, Part 5

By Rinban Katsuya Kusunoki

In January, I had a chance to attend the White River Buddhist Temple’s Hoonko Service. I thought it was a rare and precious opportunity, so I joined their meditation service. After the meditation service, one lady asked me, “A Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhist) minister told me that you as a Jodo Shinshu follower should not do meditation because it is not the Jodo Shinshu practice. Is this right?” I sometimes hear this kind of question. Here is my reply. “It is true that Meditation is not the Jodo Shinshu practice. In Jodo Shinshu, listening to the Dharma is very important. But when our mind is busy, we cannot listen to anybody’s talk and guidance. We meditate to calm down our mind and prepare ourselves to listen to the Buddha Dharma. With this understanding, I think we can do meditation. We have to be careful of growing our vanity and arrogance through practicing meditation. If it is so, we should change the way of practice or stop doing it. If the meditation practice causes the three poisons (Greed, Anger, Stupidity), don’t do it. We should practice meditation focusing on Wisdom and Compassion.” I am still learning how I should understand practicing meditation. Each minister and teacher have different understandings. I would like to hear their thoughts. Continue reading “Dana for World Peace, Part 5”

Dana for World Peace, part 4

The BCA National Council Meeting and the NW Convention is coming around the corner. They will be held on Feb 21st – 23rd at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington. You can find the details on the Seattle Betsuin website. I hope many people come to the convention and enjoy the Dharma.

For this convention we would like to try a new approach. We will not print any sutra for the services in the program booklet. We will provide a limited number of service books for those who have not brought one. I would like to ask you to bring your own service book which includes “Juseige” and “Amida Sutra.” (Don’t forget to write your name on it.) Please use a small bag or Furoshiki to bring your service book. Continue reading “Dana for World Peace, part 4”

Dana for World Peace, Part 3

by Rimban Katsuya Kusunoki

Before Sakyamuni Buddha was enlightened, he had been reborn as different beings many times to fulfill the Buddhist Practice. The Jataka Tales tell the stories while Sakyamuni Buddha had reincarnated. I would like to introduce “The King Shibi and an Eagle” in the Jataka Tales and have you think about what Dana (Giving) is to you.

There was a King whose name was Shibi. One day a pigeon flew into his palace and said, “King Shibi, please save me from the Eagle. The Eagle trying to catch me.” Then, the eagle flew in to catch the pigeon.

“King Shibi, give me the pigeon. The pigeon is my game,” demanded Eagle.

Continue reading “Dana for World Peace, Part 3”