The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts

Recently, I made a lengthy rant on Twitter about my frustrations with learning Sanskrit in order to read Buddhist texts. The issue is a surprisingly complicated one, and something I wanted to explore here a bit more. When you look at religions of the world, Buddhism is somewhat unusual in that it isn’t rooted inContinue reading “The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts”

Buddhism In A Nutshell

I am being a bit facetious here, but I know from personal experience in my early years that Buddhism is frequently portrayed as a negative religion, a religion where “all is suffering”. This is based on poor-quality, early translations of the First Noble Truth. However, the Buddha did acknowledge that existence is dukkha: a wordContinue reading “Buddhism In A Nutshell”

The Return of Heian Amakiiro

A while back, I posted about an elf-samurai character concept I created for Dungeons and Dragons, and from this character concept I created a character for Adventurer’s League named Heian Amakiiro (character sheet here). His backstory was based on my own Hamato Island series of adventures. After playing several adventures in Adventurer’s League, I wantedContinue reading “The Return of Heian Amakiiro”

Adventurers League: Starting Over

Recently, the admins of Adventurers League made a major rules announcement: You can also read here for a detailed explanation as to why. This a pretty exciting change after Season 10 introduced some pretty controversial changes (which have effectively been reversed) in 2020, which led to a lot of grumbling among D&D players on Discord.Continue reading “Adventurers League: Starting Over”

Happy Moon Festival 2021!

The Moon Festival (中秋節), celebrated across east Asia starts tonight depending on your time zone. I got to celebrate on Animal Crossing: New Horizons by decorating my “home” with regional treats: moon cakes from China at front, colorful song-pyon from Korea on the back-right and white dango from Japan on the left. In Japan, theContinue reading “Happy Moon Festival 2021!”

Understanding Chinese Pure land Buddhism

I have been continuing my read of the new book Chinese Pure Land Buddhism (first mentioned here), and enjoying it thoroughly. This is the first helpful Buddhist book that I have read in a long time. In today’s post, I wanted to highlight an excellent passage in the first chapter on how the Pure LandContinue reading “Understanding Chinese Pure land Buddhism”

Kandahar and the Greco-Buddhists

Long long ago, before Afghanistan was a battleground for Soviet and then American forces, the famed Buddhist Emperor, Ashoka, instituted a series of pious inscriptions across his vast empire. One of these inscriptions exists in the city of Kandahar, the same city known these days as the birthplace of the Taliban. Afghanistan has been aContinue reading “Kandahar and the Greco-Buddhists”

Buddhism: Gates, not Sects

Recently, I stumbled upon a particularly fascinating book on the oft-neglected subject of Chinese Pure Land Buddhism titled Chinese Pure Land Buddhism: Understanding a Tradition of Practice. This book was published in 2020, so it’s quite recent. The book seeks to clarify what defines the Chinese “Pure Land Buddhist tradition” by relying on more nativeContinue reading “Buddhism: Gates, not Sects”