History of the Golden Chain
The original Golden Chain was written by a woman in Hawaii, a Caucasian woman no less. She was a gifted poet and devoted Shin Buddhist. Her name was Dorothy Poulton. She immigrated to Hawaii from England. Dorothy worked on a plantation with the Japanese population there. She set up Sunday Schools for the children. Her husband, Earnest Hunt was a sailor who encountered Buddhism in India. Upon his return to England he studied to be an Anglican priest, but on the eve of his ordination converted to Buddhism. He married Dorothy who then became Dorothy Hunt. The both immigrated together to Hawaii in 1915.
Many consider the Golden Chain as the essence of Shin Buddhism, indeed of all Buddhism. And while the Golden Chain is regarded a recitation for children, because it was in English in a time when all of temple life was in Japanese, the Japanese-Americans, Japanese-Canadians & new non-Japanese attendees who were English speaking welcomed it. Their childhood memories of temple life created a fondness for the Golden Chain.
I am a link in Amida Buddha's golden chain of love that stretches around the world. In gratitude may I keep my link bright and strong.
I will try to be kind and gentle to every living thing and protect all who are weaker than myself.
I will try to think pure and beautiful thoughts to say pure and beautiful words, and to do pure and beautiful deeds.
May every link in Amida Buddha's golden chain of love be bright and strong and may we all attain perfect peace.
We thank the Buddha for showing us the way of freedom.
We will endeavor to walk in his noble path, everyday of our lives.
READ MORE ABOUT THE GOLDEN CHAIN IN SENSEI ULRICH'S DHARMA TALKS...