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Re: sangha fellowship in Washington DC?

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  • montcomd1
    Greetings, Ernesto, Here is an answer to your question about Alfred Bloom s online course on Shin Buddhism. I like this course for several reason. It is
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 25, 2002
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      Greetings, Ernesto,

      Here is an answer to your question about Alfred Bloom's online course
      on Shin Buddhism.

      I like this course for several reason. It is well-written and also
      enjoyable to read. It is a step-by-step explanation in very logical
      order, of Buddhism, Shin, Shinran, development in Japan, nembutsu,
      Amida, etc..

      The course is divided into 25 chapter, and I have finished chapter 8.
      There are multiple choice questions at the end of each chapter, to
      test your comprehension. But they are not hard!

      Shin Buddhism is very new to me, and I am glad to have an enjoyable
      and knowledgable tutor like Dr. Bloom to help me. I think you will
      enjoy Dr. Bloom's exposition. Hopefully it won't be to basic for you.

      I came to Buddhism first through Theravada, and got to know some Sri
      Lankan monks, who taught me Vipassana meditation. I got my initial
      (unfavorable) opinion of Shin, not from these monks (who are ultra
      tolerant) but from Christmas Humphrey's book "Buddhism". Mr. Humphrey
      does not like Shinran! So for years I thought Jodo Shin-shu was
      hopelessly corrupt! I am so happy to see that it is a vital part of
      world Buddhism! I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 119 "Thy word is
      a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path".

      For many years now I have tried to fit myself into evangelical
      Protestantism, but I have come to realize that it's a little like
      shoehorning a round peg into a square hole. Nevertheless, I am
      culturally Protestant, and read scriptures to get my own light from
      them. I have come back to Buddhism spiritually, and am looking for a
      sangha to fellowship with.

      Working out my own salvation with diligence!

      --- In shinlist@y..., ShinBuddhist@a... wrote:
      > Howdy!
      >
      > In a message dated 11/24/02 1:27:32 PM Pacific Standard Time,
      > montcomd1@y... writes:
      >
      > > Dear friends,
      > >
      > > I am new to Shin Buddhism. I have been involved in a Theravada
      group
      > > many years ago, so I know the fundamentals of Buddhism. I am
      > > presently in a Lutheran Church also, and they have the experience
      > > of "Other Power" also, from a Christian perspective. But I feel
      that
      > > Buddhism is a calmer, less ideological practice, that I am
      > > increasingly drawn to.
      >
      > This reminds me of an experience that Kenneth K.
      Tanaka
      > shares with us in his book, Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu
      Buddhism
      > in America (A Dialogue with Buddhists & Others). He writes as
      follows:
      > "Many religious scholars agree that Shinran's teachings are
      like those
      > of Martin Luther (1483-1546), the most famous Protestant reformer.
      Shinran
      > and Luther do share similar understandings regarding 1) human
      nature, 2)
      > ultimate truth and 3) the source of spiritual resolution. (See page
      109)
      > I often teach classes of students studying for the ministry.
      The
      > students are of many different faiths. Once, in my class on Jodo-
      Shinshu, a
      > group of young Lutheran seminarians taking the course blurted
      out, 'Your
      > teaching is just like ours!' I praised them for seeing how Shinran
      and Luther
      > are alike, but also pointed out some differences.
      > Then in jest, I said, 'You know, it's actually Shinran
      Shonin who
      > influenced Martin Luther, because Shinran lived about three hundred
      years
      > earlier! Did you know Luther was a reincarnation of Shinran!' The
      class, made
      > up of equal numbers of Buddhists and Christians, roared with
      laughter. They
      > enjoyed sharing mutual respect for each other's traditions and were
      willing
      > to accept that they were alike in some ways and different in
      others." Pages
      > 60 - 61.
      >
      > >
      > > I have been taking Dr. Alfred Bloom's Shin course on the Shin
      Dharma
      > > Net, and have been reading "River of Fire, River of Water" by
      > > Taitetsu Unno. I ma very impressed with Shin.
      >
      > I have been tempted to take that course also.
      Though I have
      > had the opportunity to read extensively and visit various Shin and
      Jodo
      > temples both here in Los Angeles and in Kyoto, I have yet to take
      this
      > course. It would probably bee a good plan to begin taking it at the
      beginning
      > of the new year. Could you possibly share with us what it is about
      the course
      > that has impressed you the most?
      >
      > >
      > > I would like to know if there are individuals in suburban
      Maryland
      > > who get together to fellowship.
      >
      > If I am not mistaken, there should be, at least,
      one Shin
      > temple in the Washington, DC area. The following is a link to Ekoji
      > Jodo-Shinshu Buddhist Temple in Northern Virginia, close to
      Washington, DC. I
      > hope that it is geographically convenient enough for you to visit.
      >
      > <A HREF="http://www.ekoji.org/">Ekoji Buddhist Temple (Jodo
      Shinshu)</A>
      >
      > Grasped,
      > never to be abandoned,
      > Ernesto.
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