Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Visit of IABC delegation from Japan to Amidaji temple


Visitors and members in the Hondo (Dharma Hall) of Amidaji
On August 28th a delegation of IABC from Japan visited Amidaji temple.
We had a wonderful time together. We recited Amidakyo (Smaller Amida Sutra) and Nembutsu, we had Dharma discussions and we enjoyed a delicious vegetarian food.
I also explained the orthodox attitude of Amidaji in all matters related with Dharma activities and I presented the plan for the next phase in the development of the temple.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Short Dharma meeting in Vienna and Notes on the 18th European Shin Buddhist Conference in Antwerp


 Dharma meetings before the Conference:

August 19th
I met with my Dharma friend Frank Kusmierz. I offered some books in the memory of late Myoshin Friedrich Fenzl, and we had a wonderful evening with discussions and cofee.

August 20
Frank and me
I met with my good friend from Holland, Frits Bot, who donated many good books for the library of Amidaji temple. These include, Rennyo-sama, His Life Through Pictorial Illustrations, Life of Eshinni by Yoshiko Ohtani, two books by Eiken Kobai Sensei, some biographies of Shinran and Honen, and a few good studies on the history of Jodo Shinshu.

18th European Shin Buddhist Conference in Antwerp
The following is not a detailed and objective report of the 18th European Shin Buddhist Conference, but only some significant events for myself and my mission.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Announcement - Amidaji temple is opened for visitors!


Inside the library of Amidaji. Here you can study and sleep
or you can bring your own tent and place it in the courtyard
Amidaji temple is opened to visitors if they do not mind the simple conditions. One can sleep in the library (or bring one's own tent), and attend services and Dharma talks in the Hondo (Dharma Hall). A shower and toilet are provided, too. We can also arrange meals together! In time, I will be able to offer better conditions and more accomodation facilities, but if people are determined to listen the Dharma and there is the posibility for them to travel, why not pay a visit to me now? We can spend some meaningful time together, discuss any doubt or misunderstanding you might have, say Nembutsu, learn the simple Amidaji liturgy, and even help me with some physical work in the courtyard.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Amidaji construction news 2016 (part III)

- last update August 8th - 
 Dear Dharma friends,

Here it is a short summary of what I did this summer, and what I plan to do in the next months at Amidaji temple. For more detailed information (including the funds I spent from your donations) and photos you can click on the links provided in the text:

1) What I did until now
the renovated Hondo (Dharma Hall)
(a)
- I renovated, arranged and did some repair on the inside of the Hondo (Dharma Hall). I also added some liquid thermal insulation and painted the walls.
- I paid half of the taxes that must be paid for this year and which are related with the land of Amidaji and the two wooden houses (Hondo and Library)
- I added a new altar with a new beautiful Amida scroll (a gift of Zuikoji temple Osaka)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Emotional instability does not mean absence of faith


My mind can never be at peace.
Since the Buddha and me both know this simple truth,
Namo Amida Butsu comes naturally on my lips.
There are people who confuse emotional instability with the absence of faith (shinjin), and so they hope that faith will give them some kind of constant emotional stability. However, it is normal for unenlightened beings (and people of faith remain unenlightened until death and birth in the Pure Land!) to experience various degrees of emotional instability. It is exactly why Amida urges us to entrust to Him, and not on our own so called, ”personal power” and "personal achievements or merits". Trully, nothing stable can be achieved by an unenlightened mind, especially not Nirvana or birth in the Pure Land.

We must bear in mind that faith will not give us absence of desires while we are still here in our samsaric bodies. Faith will only make us enter the stage of non-retrogression, which means that no matter how many desires we have or how low we are on the scale of spiritual evolution, we will surely reach the Pure Land in the moment of death.

Thus, an unenlightened person who entrusts to Amida continues to suffer while still in his/her samsaric body. For a non-Buddha mind clinging is always present, and so,  there will always be suffering, insatisfaction, and some kind of emotional instability. I often say this to my Dharma friends - shinjin (faith) is not satori (Enlightenment)! Not even a little satori, so much more a greater satori which leads to absence of desires and constant emotional stability!