Unskillful Action: Cultivating Ignorance

The cause of all pain and suffering is ignorance. Gautama Buddha I have been thinking of this lately. About how many of us suffer but we do not know why we suffer, we are ignorant of the real causes and conditions of our suffering.  I have also been thinking of a different kind of ignorance….

Deep Listening as Buddhist Practice

A Dharma Glimpse   “Deep listening is more than hearing with our ears, but taking in what is revealed in any given moment with our body, our being, our heart.”  –  Susan McHenry I have been thinking a lot about listening lately.  Actually, I think about it a lot.  For many years I thought I…

Out of Work Bodhisattvas

Lately I have been thinking of all the out of work Bodhisattvas wandering around smiling with signs saying, “ Will Gladly Share Merit” as people shuffle by with their heads down, some saying, “No thanks, I don’t need any.”  Others just pointing at the goody two shoes, laughing at them, “them bleeding heart liberals” they…

Offerings to the Buddhas

In his commentary of the Tan Butsu Ge or the Song of the Buddha; a section from the Larger Sukhavativyuha Sutra, Gyomay Sensei writes, “ Ku Yo, of offering is a very important virtue in the Buddha’s Way…Ku Yo is done in relation to someone who is more worthy than oneself…to do Ku Yo is…

in the company of good people

I would like to start with this line from the Shorter Sukavati Sutra on why it is a good idea to cultivate a heartfelt desire to be born in Amitabha’s pure Buddha field.  This Buddha field is an auspicious place where humans and Bodhisattva intermingle. The Buddha says it is good to aspire to be…

Meaningless Meaning

“ A reporter from a local newspaper came to our house to interview my wife about the Japanese tea ceremony. This report continually asked, “What is the meaning? What for? Why do you do that? What is the purposes for that?” This kind of question was directed at everything in the making tea – at…

My Blind Self: a poem

vii.   My blind self pierced by Amida’s light illuminated and dissolved into the great ocean of compassion into the Oneness of life – Palms together, embraced just as I am. Each step with the Buddha, my truest self, my Amida self – the deep flow of the oneness of realty – all beings one…

Haiku as Awareness Practice.

  I would like to talk about Kobayashi Issa and Haiku, well technically senryu as practice.  Haiku’s focus us usually nature and senryu is like haiku but the focus is primarily on human nature and emotion. For today, when I say haiku I mean both haiku and senryu.  So who is this Issa fellow.  He…

The Bowing Bodhisattva

  One of my favorite parts of the Lotus Sutra is the story of Bodhisattva Never Disparaging.  This Bodhisattva was said to have lived in the mythic past and he did not devote his time to reading or reciting the scriptures, but simply went about bowing to people,  bowing in reverence to everyone he met…

Not knowing is the most intimate.

From a young age many of us are afraid to be someone who doesn’t know. Maybe we are afraid to be seen as dumb and therefore unacceptable, so we wing it and hope the other person doesn’t see that we actually don’t have a clue. This is not just anecdotal, studies have shown that when…