Calgary Buddhist Film Series

A note from our sister temple in Calgary:

32nd Annual Alberta Buddhist Conference
With Jodo Shinshu Internationally, our own Alberta Temples are together this year commemorating 750 years of the life and teachings of Shinran Shonin!

The Alberta 750 Conference is October 28th - 31st, 2010 in Calgary. This year will feature the Calgary Buddhist Film Festival, speakers on Engaged Buddhism (including Manitoba minister, Fredrich Ulrich), Buddhist discussion break-outs, art from local artists, and social activities for the young and young-at-heart! Through this Celebration, we hope to again set in motion the dharma through our Vision of 'living, learning and teaching a life of joy and gratitude through Jodo Shinshu Buddhism'.

If you are reading this, you are Invited and welcome!"

By the way, great poster for this year's Buddhist Film Series.


Sutras for Shinran's 750th

In 2011, Buddhist memorial services to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Shinran Shonin’s death will be held in Kyoto. These ceremonies, called onki in Japanese, are held every fifty years for founders and prominent religious figures.

In preparation for next year's event, the sutras that will be performed, have been made available for free downloading at the official website of the Nishi Hongwanji.

Sorry, but the website is in Japanese. The first list are for the chants that will be performed for the celebration. The lower set on the website page is organ accompaniment for other ritual selections.

Just click on your selection. If you want to download them, right click on your selection and choose to save.

The chanting is a joy to listen to and quality of the recordings are excellent.


Shinran's 750th in Japan

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

On May 15, 2011, join Jodo Shinshu followers from around the world in commemorating Shiran Shonin's 750th Memorial Service at the Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto, Japan.

Tours are being planned through Kinetsu Tours from May 12-23.


Message from Monshu Koshin Ohtani

Upon the occasion of the 750th Memorial for Shinan Shonin in Canada, The Monshu, Ohtani Koshin prepared this special message of gratitude of the past and hope for the future.

His Eminence is the 24th generation descendant of the founder of Jodo Shinshu, Shinran Shonin. The Monshu is the spiritual Leader of the Honpa Hongwanji and the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.

Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, a Pureland tradition, was founded nearly 800 years ago in Japan.

Shinran Shonin’s Wish for Us and the World

Earlier this year, the Buddhist Churches of America's celebrated their 750th Memorial Observance of Shinran Shonin San Jose, California. The keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tanaka of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies. His talk was entitled “Shinran Shonin’s Wish for Us and the World: From Inner Peace to Outer Peace”.

In his speech, Rev. Tanaka encourages North American Buddhists to look ahead to the future. He pays tribute to the past, recognizes the good work being done currently and how we should move forward in the future. He also tells us that there is a new spiritual reality growing in America, one that de-emphasizes God, sin, and repentance and emphasizes connectedness, peace, and harmony. This shift favours Buddhism because of its rituals and practises.

Tanaka tells us that we need to be innovative and have a greater emphasis on meditation, chanting, silence and the act of offering incense. He encourages more discussion on the teachings of Jodo Shinshu.

Dr. Tanaka says that Jodo Shinshu congregations must send a message to the general public that our temples are open for business to everyone, all cultural groups and all nationalities. And that the family-based quality of our religion is precious and will serve us well in the future.

He concluded that we can make Shinran's wish for the world come true. Enjoy.

Tricycle Makes Space for Shinran

Tricycle magazine has made space on their website for a brief retrospective of articles on Shinran Shonin and the teachings of Jodo Shinshu. The links are posted on the Tricycle Editor's Blog. Here's a sample:

Beyond Religion: An interview with Rev. Dr. Alfred Bloom
by Jeff Wilson

How has Shinran made an impact on you personally?
I see Shinran as a towering figure. He took Buddhism, turned it upside down, and made it something that could illuminate people’s personal experience in a new way. Even though it comes out of medieval Japan, I believe his teaching is universal. And so he intrigues my imagination.

I think it’s the right time to explore a deeper interpretation of Shinran, because I think it might help those who are racked by guilt, by distinctions of flesh and spirit, and by the other dualisms of Western culture.

Born Again Buddhist
by Clark Strand

One morning not long ago, I was born again. Though unexpected, this was never outside the realm of possibility. According to the teachings of Pure Land Buddhism, all who call Namu Amida Butsu, Amida Buddha’s name, may be reborn in the “Land of Utmost Bliss,” provided they truly believe that he will save them. That, of course, had been the problem. Try as I might to finesse my way into the Pure Land, it didn’t matter as long as I didn’t believe.


Shin Buddhism

Summary only available when permalinks are enabled.

Shinran and Rennyo on the Amazing Race

This week on the Amazing Race, Jodo Shinshu Buddhists may have recognized two very famous statues. Part of this week's show was to go to the 16th century, Kita-Mido Temple in Osaka, Japan. Both, Shinran Shonin and Rennyo Shonin, make a cameo appearances on prime-time television.

Shinran Shonin - A Symbol of Peace

On the anniversary of 9-11, we looked for a symbol of peace and harmony. We found this video taken at the New York Buddhist Temple. In such a big and busy city, it is interesting to see Shinran standing there all alone. The statue of Shinran Shonin survived the bombing of HIroshima. It was brought to New York as a symbol of peace. The person who posted it says that children usually leave paper cranes at his feet.

The New York Buddhist Temple is led by Sensei Nakagaki. He has been called upon to lead the lead the Buddhist and interfaith community during the memorials of 9-11.

Sensei Nakagaki and Socho Ogui at the 9-11 ceremony, 2002

Every year, since 9-11, the New York Buddhist Temple has Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony. It is an ancient Japanese custom of floating lighted lanterns in waterways. It symbolizes respect for the lives of people who have gone before us (Obon). It is a quiet and serene ceremony that provides a place to reaffirm our commitment to building a peaceful future and to pay respect to the lost lives at the World Trade Center.

9-11 Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony in New York

READ MORE about Sensei Nakagaki in this article by the New York Times Magazine.