Seek a deeper understanding of the fundamental and enduring questions that have been raised by thoughtful human beings in the rich traditions of the East.
First off, Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome to the year of the dragon. As befits such a year celebrating a creature who is often associated with longevity, some Buddhist monks in Japan have a similar concern in mind: from the Japan Times, "Matchmaking Service gives Buddhist monks a boost in dating market." From the article: In Japan, it is typical for relatives of monks—especially head monks—to inherit caretaker duties of their temples. But because of a lack of successors, the monks have become desperate to find wives in order to preserve this tradition and save their temples from being closed or integrated. More »
0 commentsShinno Yamasoba, 58, is the vice head priest at Daijyo-ji, an an 8th-century Shingon temple three hours outside Kyoto by train. In the Japan Times, he shares some monkish wisdom with Japanese TV reporter Judit Kawaguchiwho: "We'll know if the road was correct when we arrive," Yamasoba says, "That's how we Buddhists think. But since a monk's road is never straight, the trip is always fun. It really doesn't matter where I'm going." It's a good thing Yamasoba is the type who takes what comes in stride. More »
0 commentsMonks from Mt. Koya (Koyasan), a center of Shingon Buddhism, are coming into Tokyo to offer classes to harried city-dwellers in cafe setting. This immediately made me think of the city centers of American Zen Centers, where one can go during the week before heading out to the mountains for retreats and so on. But here, it's usually the more serious students who do the calligraphy as the women are doing in the photo above. More »