Remembering Ryoanji Temple

Hello readers, this post is another in a mini series of posts I am making about past Buddhist temple visits I made in Japan. During my first visit to Japan in January 2005, where I saw Kiyomizu-dera Temple, my wife, in-laws and I also visited another famous temple named Ryoanji (official homepage) a famous templeContinue reading “Remembering Ryoanji Temple”

A Look Back at Kiyomizudera Temple

Lately, I’ve been reminiscing on old visits I made to Japan, since I haven’t been there in about two years (and with vaccination rollout being slow, I probably won’t visit this year either). It started when I showed the kids some old photos, and that’s when I decided it would be fun to share withContinue reading “A Look Back at Kiyomizudera Temple”

Happy Belated New Year!

Hello Readers! Although the first couple weeks of 2021 have been kind of lousy for us all, I wanted to take a moment to say “happy new year!” to you all. In Japanese, people greet one another the first time they meet after the new year with a special greeting. First, people say to oneContinue reading “Happy Belated New Year!”

That Which Arises…

From the first sermon of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni, in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (SN 56.11) : That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus of the group of five were glad, and they approved his words. Now during this utterance, there arose in the venerable Kondañña the spotless, immaculate vision of the True Idea:Continue reading “That Which Arises…”

Bōnenkai: Forgetting the Old Year

As my last post for 2020, I wanted to share a small feature of Japanese culture called the bōnenkai (忘年会) which are parties meant to say goodbye (lit. “to forget”) to the old year. The last week or two may be filled with bōnenkai: work parties, parties with circles of friends, associates, etc. Such partiesContinue reading “Bōnenkai: Forgetting the Old Year”

Ablution in Japanese religion

I follow a certain Japanese taxi company (MK Taxi) based in Kyoto, Japan on Twitter, and they recently posted these photos of rubber ducks swimming in a pool of water. But this is no ordinary pond or pool, this as an ablution pool at Awata Shrine, a small Shinto shrine in Kyoto, Japan. Almost everyContinue reading “Ablution in Japanese religion”

Chilling With Mr Spock

Hello Readers, Recently, as a belated birthday gift, I got the following book, Mr Spock’s Little Book of Mindfulness: How to Survive in an Illogical World (sponsored link) a fun, lighthearted book that explores Vulcan philosophy and Star Trek lore. In reality, the book draws upon a lot of spiritual guidance from more contemporary sourcesContinue reading “Chilling With Mr Spock”

Happy Bodhi Day!

December 8th in the Japanese Buddhist tradition commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, attained Enlightenment, thus completing the Buddhist path. Bodhi Day is celebrated mostly in China (成道日 chéng dào rì), overseas Chinese communities in Malaysia/Indonesia (as Hari Bodhi) , South Korea (성도재일 seongdo chae-il) and Japan (成道会 jōdō-e). In other BuddhistContinue reading “Happy Bodhi Day!”

The Beauty of Impermanence

This tweet, posted by the Yasaka Taxi Company in Kyoto, Japan was taken at a Shinto shrine named Tatsumi Shrine. The picture shows a Japanese cherry tree (sakura 桜) with fall leaves. For some reason this really struck me because when people usually think of Japanese cherry trees, they think of cherry blossoms blowing awayContinue reading “The Beauty of Impermanence”