Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

One of the more fascinating, and deeper facets of Buddhism, particularly Mahayana Buddhism, is the notion of interdependency. Buddhism teaches that all things, both concrete and abstract, rise from (and are sustained by) external causes and conditions.  But it’s not a single transaction: they depend on those conditions for continued existence. For example, a treeContinue reading “Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations”

The Maha Santa Claus Sutra

Note: If Santa Claus was a Buddhist, this is what he might have looked like in a Buddhist text or “sutra”… 🙂 Thus have I heard. At one time the Buddha was staying in the Jeta Grove monastery of Anathapindaka’s Garden at Shravasti, together with a large assembly of twelve hundred and fifty monks, whoContinue reading “The Maha Santa Claus Sutra”

Buddhist Rosaries and Recitations: Pure Land Edition

Yo, this is a post I am reviving from an older blog, since it’s relevant now too. The Jodo Shu (Pure Land) sect of Japanese Buddhism has as its main practice the recitation of the Buddha’s name, also called nembutsu. The reasoning behind this practice vs. something more well-known like meditation is beyond the scopeContinue reading “Buddhist Rosaries and Recitations: Pure Land Edition”

The Cycle of (Un)Happiness

After a particularly stressful day at work, I caught myself “stress-eating” some leftover catering at the office, which got me thinking about the little self-destructive habits we all have.  Then I found this great video by 8-bit philosophy…   In Buddhism, this cycle of “aimless wandering” or Saṃsāra isn’t just limited to one life, butContinue reading “The Cycle of (Un)Happiness”

Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem

There’s a famous Japanese poem that you will often see in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist literature usually translated as “Just Right” or “Just As You Are” or “Sono-mana”. Rev. Taitetsu Unno, who passed away some years ago, translated the poem in one of his books, and it has been popular since among English-speaking Shin Buddhists. Recently,Continue reading “Just As You Are: A Japanese Poem”

Practicing Buddhism As You Are

If you’re new to Buddhism, or if like me, you’ve studied it for a long time, you may be inclined to compare yourself to other Buddhists, either living or dead. Buddhism is not a passive religion1. Buddhists don’t sit around hoping to be saved, they are encouraged to apply the Buddha’s teachings (i.e. “The Dharma”)Continue reading “Practicing Buddhism As You Are”

Buddhist Sophistry

  In the famous Chinese-Buddhist treatise, Mind Seal of the Buddhas (linked here and here), written in the 17th Century by Ou-I is the following quotation: The Pure Land [Buddhist] teaching is profound and wondrous. It destroys all sophistry and cuts off all delusive views….Those of worldly intelligence, the followers of Confucianism and the devoteesContinue reading “Buddhist Sophistry”

Pop Spirituality

There is a hilarious quote from Lego Movie 2: BALTHAZAR: Greetings, Bricksburgians. Welcome to the Palace of Infinite Reflection, a self-reeducation celebrity center. Namaste. UNIKITTY: Ooh! Sounds spiritual. BALTHAZAR: It is so spiritual. “Pop spirituality” is a term some people use to describe this kind of vapid spirituality that relies on things that seem toContinue reading “Pop Spirituality”

Even Cherry Blossoms Get Old

Recently, I found this post on Twitter: The sakura sure have lasted a long time this year😬🌸 there comes a timeeven in blossoming Kyoto…sick of it或時は花の都にも倦にけり Kobayashi Issa (小林 一茶), 1795.Translation by David G. Lanoue.#Kyoto #Sakura #Japan #Chionin #小林一茶 #cherryblossom #知恩院 — Adventures in Kyoto (@KyotoDailyPhoto) April 14, 2019 The haiku in question, writtenContinue reading “Even Cherry Blossoms Get Old”