Vesak Day – 2018 Dharma Talk

by Kakuyo Sensei, I would like to welcome everyone to our Hanamatsuri festival today, which is also called Vesak day – where Buddhist of many traditions celebrate the Buddhas appearance into the world – but not just his appearance – The Buddha was once asked: Are you a god?” “No,” he replied. “Are you a…

New Bright Dawn Blog

Hello everyone, Check out our the new Bright Dawn Lay Minister blog to get your weekly dose of dharma. Bright Dawn Blog

No matter how much I would like to, I will not punch a Nazi

Though the title is trite, what I want to say is not. Since what happened this weekend in Charlottesville Virginia, I have been thinking of the young woman who was murdered standing up against hatred. Personally I think there should be more coverage of her. Do you know her name? What do you know about…

The Three Hardest Words.

I don’t know. From a young age  many of us are afraid to be someone  who doesn’t know. Maybe we are afraid to be seen as dumb and therefore unacceptable,  so we wing it and hope the other person doesn’t see that we actually don’t have a clue. This is not just anecdotal, studies have shown that…

Spiritual Community and Spiritual Ego

As a fellowship we share and focus on similar values and ideals that we see and feel as important, worth while.  We also look for commonalities within and without the group. We find strength and refuge in our common values and ideas.   At the same time in expressing and practicing these commonalities we also identify…

Mind of Embracing All Things – Haya Alegarasu

At our last gathering we read a few pieces from a great Shin writer and priest, Haya Akesarasu.  Most of his writings are currently out of print or not translated but there are a few in existence.  This essay gives a feeling of his style of writing, He By Haya Akegarasu  Reading an early passage of…

Dharmakara Bodhisattva. Alfred Bloom

In the “Larger Pure Land Sutra,” the story of Dharmakara’s attainment of Buddhahood offers an eloquent testimony to the depth of compassion which Mahayana Buddhists perceived in the Buddha reality and which they felt impelled to express in the constant refrain of the Bodhisattva: unless and until all other beings can achieve the same goal,…

The Pure Land a Place or a Symbol or Both?

When I first came to Buddhism, I was fascinated about how doctrinaire it could be and it felt a lot like the judeo-christian world with all the arguments about purity of doctrine and who was right and wrong.  For those new to Buddhism, you will see that in the different schools.  thankfully there are the 84,000 Dharma-doors – there are…

On Right Livelihood a few Thoughts.

A few thoughts on Right Livelihood.  from Wikipedia Right livelihood (samyag-ājīva / sammā-ājīva). This means that practitioners ought not to engage in trades or occupations which, either directly or indirectly, result in harm for other living beings. And what is right livelihood? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones, having abandoned…

Amazed and Confused

For those who are first introduced to Shin Buddhism, there can be some initial confusion about our tradition. This confusion usually revolves about Amida Buddha and the Pure Land and how to these symbols can make the Shin tradition seem like some form of a theistic Buddhism, with Amida Buddha as a Savior/ God figure…