Pure Land

  • Buddha Buzz: Buddhist News from Around the World, Week of November 5 Paid Member

    As we all know, President Barack Obama was re-elected for another four years on Tuesday. Our commander-in-chief may not have changed, but the Senate and the House of Representatives did get shuffled around, making way for a whole host of firsts:   The first openly gay senator, Tammy Baldwin, a democrat from Wisconsin.       The first Hindu congresswoman, Tulsi Gabbard, a democrat from Hawaii. (She'll be taking her oath over the Bhagavad Gita.)     More »
  • Himalayan Buddhist Art 101: Amitabha Buddha Paid Member

    Buddhist practice and Buddhist art have been inseparable in the Himalayas ever since Buddhism arrived to the region in the eighth century. But for the casual observer it can be difficult to make sense of the complex iconography. Not to worry—Himalayan art scholar Jeff Watt is here to help. In this "Himalayan Buddhist Art 101" series, Jeff is making sense of this rich artistic tradition by presenting weekly images from the Himalayan Art Resources archives and explaining their roles in the Buddhist tradition. This week Jeff explains the appearance and iconography of Amitabha Buddha in Himalayan Buddhist art. Himalayan Art 101: Amitabha Buddha More »
  • Q & A with Lt. Jeanette Shin, U.S. Military's First Buddhist Chaplain Paid Member

    Continuing Tricycle's Q&As with Buddhist bloggers series, today we have an interview with Lt. Jeanette Shin, the U.S. military's first Buddhist chaplain (there are more now, all of them except Lt. Shin serving in the Army). Commissioned by the Navy in 2004, Lt. Shin, an ordained priest in the Nishi Hongwanji branch of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, has been providing Buddhist services at the Marine Corps Base Camp in Pendleton, California as well as in Afghanistan. She also runs the blog Buddhist Military Sangha, a forum for Buddhists serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. Not sure what military chaplains do in the first place? Read on to find out and hear Lt. Shin's thoughts on being a female Buddhist in the armed forces. More »
  • Green Koans: One-Page Dharma Paid Member

    The Venerable Kyobutsu said: “Words of the Dharma for the person aspiring to the world beyond will not exceed a single page.” BACKGROUND: Kyobutsu—A 13th century Japanese hijiri (wanderer monk). In spite of the fact that he is the most well-represented figure in the Ichigon-hodan (“One-Word Talks Fragrant with the Dharma”), the most famous collection of Pure Land teachings from the Kamakura period, little is known of his life. Words of the Dharma—Written teachings, either the sutras themselves or the writings of later Buddhist masters. More »
  • The Obon Festival, honoring the dead, and the last of the Japantowns Paid Member

    The Obon Festival is a Japanese Buddhist three-day observance during which families honor their deceased ancestors. According to scholar and Shin priest Alfred Bloom, The Obon observance has deep roots in Asian ancestor cults from India to Japan. It is based on the legend of the monk Mogallana's rescue of his mother from the hell of hungry ghosts. The story dramatizes the son's anxiety for his mother's welfare after her death and how it was resolved through Buddhist practice. Practicing meditation, Mogallana gained spiritual insight and vision, which enabled him to see his mother's true condition. He then asked the Buddha how to free her from her suffering. More »
  • The Path of Supreme Optimism Paid Member

    Today's Daily Dharma: Buddhism is a path of supreme optimism, for one of its basic tenets is that no human life or experience is to be wasted or forgotten, but all should be transformed into a source of wisdom and compassionate living. This is the connotation of the classical statement that sums up the goal of Buddhist life: "Transform delusion into enlightenment." On the everyday level of experience, Shin Buddhists speak of this transformation as "bits of rubble turn into gold." Taitetsu Unno, "Number One Fool" (Spring 2008) Sign up for Daily Dharma here. Read the full article: Number One Fool More »