Nakai featured in Tricycle

Reverend Patti Nakai of the Buddhist Temple of Chicago is featured in this month's Tricycle magazine. Nakai is a third-generation Japanese-American. Her mother was Baptist, her father Buddhist, but she attended a Presbyterian church as a child. Her journey back to Buddhism is chronicled here. For of interest to Canadians and anyone else who may be there, Nakai will be the keynote speaker at the 2015 World Women's Conference in Calgary, Alberta.


Nakai is interviewed by one of the editors, Emma Varvaloucas. The article is titled "Get Real". Here's her response to the question:

One of your favorite quotes is “Rather than answer your questions, the Buddha questions your answers.” How does that come into play in Buddhist practice?

People come to Buddhism looking for answers, but Buddhism is not about giving you some easy formula. It’s all about you needing to question yourself. When you think you’ve got it, that’s when you especially need to question it—and if you don’t question it right away, you’ll run into situations that will make you question it, if you’re fortunate. Life is always throwing monkey wrenches into the machinery of your calculating mind.


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On the Cover of Tricycle

This season's Tricycle Magazine puts the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Shinran Shonin on the cover. The 15-foot bronze statue of Shinran Shonin was taken outside the New York Buddhist Church.

But the Jodo Shinshu connection goes one step further with a feature interview with a Canadian who re-dedicated her life to Jodo Shinshu after growing up in a Anglican and Buddhist family.

Rev. Patricia Usuki became the head minister of the San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple, near Los Angeles, California, in 2004. In 2007, her master’s thesis was published as a book, "Currents of Change: American Buddhist Women Speak Out on Jodo Shinshu."

Usuki was interviewed by author, Jeff Wilson. They discussed the Shin teaching of the Primal Vow and the role of women in Buddhism.

Here's a preview:


What about today? What about female clergy in the institution?

"My own experience has been very positive. Perhaps when you start from the understanding that the Primal Vow is meant for all people without discrimination, and that it works in your life regardless of distinctions that include such dichotomies as good and evil or priest and lay practitioner, then how could the question of gender possibly be a consideration? This should be empowering to anyone. As a consequence, when social stumbling blocks occur— and sometimes they do—it’s easier to realize that the institution is made up of human beings, and human beings are imperfect. That’s why an individual like Shinran or me or you cannot hope to realize the mind of nirvana through our self-power alone."

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