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”

The Four Bases of Community

While recently reading a certain Japanese-language introduction on the Soto school of Zen (the same book where I learned about the Shushōgi), I came across another teaching I wanted to share called the Four Bases of Community, also called the Four Grounds for Fellowship, and so on. This term is called shishōbō (四摂法) in JapaneseContinue reading “The Four Bases of Community”

The Shushōgi: the forgotten Zen text

Lately, I have been inspired to study certain aspects of the Soto school of Zen. In particular, I was reading in Japanese a nice explanation of the Shushōgi (修証義, “Meaning of Practice and Verification”), a primer to Zen written for lay followers in 1890 by one Ouchi Seiran as part of a committee to bringContinue reading “The Shushōgi: the forgotten Zen text”

A Criticism of Dharma Decline in Buddhism

In broad tradition of Mahayana Buddhism, there is a concept called “Dharma Decline”, or “The Age of Dharma Decline” or other such names. A few sutras in the Buddhist canon (out of literally hundreds) allude to this concept, but starting with the medieval period in Asia, it became a hugely influential idea that persists evenContinue reading “A Criticism of Dharma Decline in Buddhism”

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”