Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Buddhism gives full responsibility and dignity to man. It makes man his own master. According to Buddhism, no higher being sits in judgement over his affairs and destiny. That is to say, our life, our society, our world, is what you and I want to make out of it, and not what some other unknown being wants it to be.

---What the Buddha Believes, K. Sri Dhammananda---


In the Moment

Understanding Equality

George Clooney has said he will never deny rumors that he is gay because it would be ‘unfair and unkind’ to the gay community to give someone the opportunity to make it ‘seem like being gay is a bad thing’.

Blind Faith

To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spiritual or intellectual.

---What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---


In fact there is no 'sin' in Buddhism, as sin is understood in some religions. The root of all evil is ignorance (avijja) and false views (miccha ditthi).

---What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---

Freedom of Thought

The freedom of thought allowed by the Buddha is unheard of elsewhere in the history of religions. This freedom is necessary because, according to the Buddha, man's emancipation depends on his own realization of Truth, and not on the benevolent grace of a god or any external power as a reward for his obedient good behaviour.

---What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---



Sokukoji Buddhist Temple Monastery, Battle Creek, Michigan

From left to right; Shen Su, Ryuka, and Chiezan.

Feline Masters

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Growing Up



Starving-Student Tortilla Roll-Ups

8 ounces of cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon of taco seasoning
1/3 cup of picante sauce
12 flour tortillas

Stir the cream cheese until it is smooth. Add the taco seasoning and the picante sauce and blend well.

Spread some of the mixture on each tortilla.

Roll the tortilla tightly.

Place the tortillas, seam side down, in a airtight container. Chill the covered tortillas at least 2 hours.

Slice each tortilla into 1-inch slices, forming a pinwheel.

Arrange the pinwheels on a platter and serve.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Young Man in the Surf




Pure gold is procured by melting ore and removing all impure substances. If people would melt the ore of their minds and remove all the impurities of worldly passion and egoism, they would all recover the same pure Buddha-nature.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)

My Country, My Brethren, My Religion


There Is No Discrimination With Regard to Buddha-Nature

Buddha-nature is, indeed, the most excellent characteristic of human nature. Buddha teaches that, although in human nature there may be endless varieties such as men and women, there is no discrimination with Regard to Buddha-nature.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)


Buddha is one who has attained Buddhahood and people are those who are capable of attaining Buddhahood; that is all the difference that lies between them.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

My Friend, Alisha

Hiding the True MInd

It is just as foolish and unnecessary for a person to go on suffering because he does not attain Enlightenment where he expects to find it. There is no failure in Enlightenment; the failure lies in those people who, for a long time, have sought Enlightenment in their discriminating minds, not realizing that theirs are not true minds but are imaginary minds that have been caused by the accumulation of greed and illusion covering and hiding their true mind.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---


If the accumulation of false beliefs is cleared away, Enlightenment will appear. But, strange enough, when people attain Enlightenment, they realize that without false beliefs there could be no Enlightenment.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Describing Man

A Christian Church Sues North Carolina For Violating Its Religious Liberty By Banning Marriage Equality

Saturday, April 26, 2014


Blind Faith

To force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spiritual or intellectual.

---What The Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---

The True Mind

The mind that is not disturbed by things as they occur, that remains pure and tranquil under all circumstances, is the true mind and should be the master.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Tofu Po' Boys

8 ounces of extra-firm tofu, carefully pressed to drain and cut into 1x3x1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Old Bay seasoning
Two 6-to 7-inch sub rolls
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
4 romaine lettuce leaves, finely shredded
1 large ripe tomato, thinly sliced
Tabasco sauce

Salt the tofu pieces, then dredge them in the bread crumbs; set them aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu pieces and brown on all sides. remove from the heat and sprinkle with Old Bay to taste.

Split the rolls lengthwise and spread both sides with the mayonnaise. Line the bottom half of each roll with the shredded lettuce and the tomato slices.

Top the tomato slices with the tofu and splash with the Tabasco.

Serve with Tabasco on the side.

A Poem by Ryokan

In town I finish begging for food.
Content, I carry the cloth bag,
wondering which place to call home.
Could that be my hut near the white cloud?

The Middle Way

The important thing in following the path to Enlightenment is to avoid being caught and entangled in any extreme, that is, always to follow the Middle Way.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Everything Is In Relation to Everything Else

...all things appear and disappear because of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Where Duality Merges Into Onesness

If people insist that all things are empty and transitory, it is just as great a mistake to insist that all things are real and do not change. If a person becomes attached to his ego-personality, it is a mistake because it cannot save him from dissatisfaction or suffering. If he believes there is no ego, it is also a mistake and it would be useless for him to practice the Way of Truth. If people assert that everything is suffering, it is also a mistake; if they assert that everything is happiness, that is a mistake, too. Buddha teaches the Middle Way transcending these prejudiced concepts, where duality merges into oneness.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Service to Others

It may be agreeable for certain people to live a retired life in a quiet place away from noise and disturbance. But it is certainly more praiseworthy and courageous to practice Buddhism living among your fellow beings, helping them and being of service to them. It may perhaps be useful in some cases for a man to live in retirement for a time in order to improve his mind and character, as preliminary moral, spiritual and intellectual training, to be strong enough to come out later and help others. But if a man lives all his life in solitude, thinking only of his own happiness and 'salvation', without caring for his fellows, this surely is not in keeping with the Buddha's teaching which is based on love, compassion, and service to others.

---What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---

Out of the Muck

Just as the pure and fragrant lotus flower grows out of the mud of a swamp rather than out of the clean loam of an upland field, so from the muck of worldly passions springs the pure Enlightenment of BUddhahood. Even the mistaken views of heretics and the delusions of worldly passions may be the seeds for Buddhahood.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

Racial Distinctions

The Buddha advised His followers not to bring forward any racial issue when they come to practice religion.

---What Buddhist Believe, by K. Sri Dhammananda---

The Middle Way

To those who choose the path that leads to Enlightenment, there are two extremes that should be avoided. First, there is the extreme of indulgence in the desires of the body. Second, there is the opposite extreme of ascetic discipline, torturing one's body and mind unreasonably.

The Noble Path, that transcends these two extremes and leads to Enlightenment and wisdom and peace of mind, may be called the Middle Way. What is the Middle Way? It consists of the Noble Eightfold Path: right view, right thought, right speech, right behavior, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

It Is A Practice - A Thing To Do

The common belief that to follow the Buddha's teaching one has to retire from life is a misconception. It is really an unconscious defense against practicing it.

---What the Buddha Taught, by Walpola Rahula---

Permanency and Non-Existence

To believe that things created by an incalculable series of causes can last forever is a serious mistake and is called the theory of permanency; but it is just as great a mistake to believe that things completely disappear; this is called the theory of non-existence.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

A Poem by Ryokan

Since I left the household,
throwing myself into the world as it is,
I have erased all dates.
Yesterday I lived on a green mountain;
today I play in town.
More than one hundred pieces patch my robe.
A single bowl knows no years.
Leaning on my walking stick, I sing into the clear night;
laying out a straw mat, I sleep under the moon.
Who says I don't count?
This body of mine is just this.

A Poem by Ryokan

See and realize
that this world
is not permanent.
Neither late or early flowers
will remain.

An Unnecessary Burden

People grasp at things for their own imagined convenience and comfort; they grasp at wealth and treasure and honors; they cling desperately to mortal life.

They make arbitrary distinctions between existence and non-existence, good and bad, right and wrong. For people, life is a succession of grasping and attachments, and then, because of this, they must assume the illusions of pain and suffering.

Once there was a man on a long journey who came to a river. He said to himself, "This side of the river is very difficult and dangerous to walk on, and the other side seems easier and safer, but how shall I get across?" So he built a raft out of branches and reeds and safely crossed the river. Then he thought to himself, "This raft has been very useful to me in crossing the river; I will not abandon it to rot on the bank, but will carry it along with me." And thus he voluntarily assumed an unnecessary burden. Can this man be called a wise man?

This parable teaches that even a good thing, when it becomes an unnecessary burden, should be thrown away; much more so if it is a bad thing. Buddha made it the rule of his life to avoid useless and unnecessary discussions.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---


Both delusion and Enlightenment originate within the mind...

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

The Mind

The human mind is an aggregate of causes and conditions. It is in constant change.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---

An Often Forgotten Truth

Friday, April 25, 2014

Worldly Passions and Enlightenment Become Identical as They Are

Enlightenment has no definite form or nature by which it can manifest itself; so in Enlightenment itself, there is nothing to be enlightened.

Enlightenment exists solely because of delusion and ignorance; if they disappear, so will Enlightenment. And the opposite is true also: there is no Enlightenment apart from delusion and ignorance; no delusion and ignorance apart from Enlightenment.

Therefore, be on guard against thinking Enlightenment as a "thing" to be grasped at, lest it, too, should become an obstruction. When the mind that was in darkness becomes enlightened, it passes away, and with its passing, the thing which we call Enlightenment passes also.

As long as people desire Enlightenment and grasp at it, it means that delusion is still with them; therefore, those who are following the way to Enlightenment must not grasp at it, and if they reach Enlightenment they must not linger in it.

When people attain Enlightenment in this sense, it means that everything is Enlightenment itself as it is; therefore, people should follow the path to Enlightenment until in their thoughts, worldly passions and Enlightenment become identical as they are.

---Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, Tokyo (Buddhist Promoting Foundation)---