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  • Rob Findlay
    Hello, and thank you to whomever put this list together....A bit of background.... Through my life i have followed a back and forth path on the question of
    Message 1 of 12 , Mar 2, 2004
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      Hello, and thank you to whomever put this list together....A bit of
      background....

      Through my life i have followed a back and forth path on the question of
      religion and god. From fundamentalist Christianity to "self styled"
      Buddhism finally to Atheism and agnosticism.

      Today I follow a basic rationalist scientific world view, but lately have
      felt a need for "religion", by that i mean a connection to a community of
      people following the same path. Something other then the self, in life.

      Here in Salt Lake we have a Pure Land Buddhist church, and i'm just
      wondering, do Buddhists in general and specifically Pure Land Buddhists
      believe in the literal supernatural? Meaning a literal belief in ghosts,
      demons, deities, heaven, hell, reincartion of the soul etc?

      From what i've read, and seen so far there seems to be a pretty profound
      rejection of the super natural within the Jodu Shinshu sect.

      Sorry for rambling so much, I was wondering if anyone would like to share
      the path they've followed to arrive at Buddhism.



      Peace

      Rob Findlay
    • DAC Crowell
      ... have ... community of ... in life. ... i m just ... Buddhists ... ghosts, ... Not as such, no. The Jodo Shinshu worldview is actually closer to that
      Message 2 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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        --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
        wrote:
        > Today I follow a basic rationalist scientific world view, but lately
        have
        > felt a need for "religion", by that i mean a connection to a
        community of
        > people following the same path. Something other then the self,
        in life.
        >
        > Here in Salt Lake we have a Pure Land Buddhist church, and
        i'm just
        > wondering, do Buddhists in general and specifically Pure Land
        Buddhists
        > believe in the literal supernatural? Meaning a literal belief in
        ghosts,
        > demons, deities, heaven, hell, reincartion of the soul etc?

        Not as such, no. The Jodo Shinshu worldview is actually closer
        to that objective, rationalist viewpoint you espouse. There are, in
        fact, admonishions in such works as the "Tannisho" about
        beliefs in superstitions, the supernatural, etc. by Shin followers.
        This doesn't mean that all Shin Buddhists ARE totally objective in
        their beliefs, as there are still persistences of such beliefs as
        'bachi' and so on. But there's really no 'boogeymen' here.

        As far as 'heaven' and 'hell' go, there is some of that...but it's also
        good to keep in mind that while we have presumed 'hells' and
        the 'paradise' of the Buddha Lands, these are also viewable as
        metaphoric concepts for states within our own lives, here and
        now. That gets sort of deep, true...but at the same time, it's also
        very koan-like, in the same way that the Nembutsu itself is
        something of a 'grand koan', a concept one could spend one's
        whole life unravelling and discovering new revelatory truths in.

        Reincarnation is a little more complicated and nebulous. There
        is no belief in 'you come back as someone else'-type
        reincarnation, as such. But it's also believed that what we
        consider 'the soul' is simply part of the universal nature of life
        itself, that which makes the life of an insect or flower just as
        important as our own, as they all emanate from the same
        source. So when one dies, that 'life' or 'soul' returns to its source,
        within the Infinite Light of Amida Buddha, and then re-emanates
        as another life. So yes, there is 'reincarnation', but no...not in the
        way that is normally dealt with in other sects as well as in
        anecdotal beliefs, etc.

        Since you're there in SLC, _definitely_ take some time to talk to
        Rev. Hirano at the SLC Temple. He's quite sharp on these sorts
        of topics (he's spoken at our temple in Chicago, so that's an
        observation from experience) as well as making them relate to
        life as it is now. While a ML contact like this is nice if you're
        somewhat isolated from a temple or from other text assets from
        which to learn, if you can actually sit and discuss these issues
        firsthand with someone that knowledgable, by all means please
        take advantage of that as it's so much better to have that 'fast
        discourse' when one is seeking direction. You'll be glad you did!

        Namuamidabutsu!
        Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell.
      • Rob Findlay
        ... I ve already spoken to him on the phone and am looking forward to attending services at the temple this Sunday. I just hope I don t annoy anyone with my
        Message 3 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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          DAC Crowell said:
          >
          >
          >
          >
          > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay"
          > <rob@r...> wrote:
          > > Today I follow a basic rationalist scientific world view, but
          > lately have
          > > felt a need for "religion", by that i mean a connection
          > to a community of
          > > people following the same path. Something other then the self, in
          > life.
          > >
          > > Here in Salt Lake we have a Pure Land Buddhist church, and
          > i'm just
          > > wondering, do Buddhists in general and specifically Pure Land
          > Buddhists
          > > believe in the literal supernatural? Meaning a literal belief in
          > ghosts,
          > > demons, deities, heaven, hell, reincartion of the soul etc?
          >
          > Not as such, no. The Jodo Shinshu worldview is actually closer
          > to that objective, rationalist viewpoint you espouse. There are, in
          > fact, admonishions in such works as the "Tannisho" about
          > beliefs in superstitions, the supernatural, etc. by Shin followers.
          > This doesn't mean that all Shin Buddhists ARE totally objective in
          > their beliefs, as there are still persistences of such beliefs as
          > 'bachi' and so on. But there's really no 'boogeymen' here.
          >
          > As far as 'heaven' and 'hell' go, there is some of that...but it's also
          > good to keep in mind that while we have presumed 'hells' and
          > the 'paradise' of the Buddha Lands, these are also viewable as
          > metaphoric concepts for states within our own lives, here and
          > now. That gets sort of deep, true...but at the same time, it's also
          > very koan-like, in the same way that the Nembutsu itself is
          > something of a 'grand koan', a concept one could spend one's
          > whole life unravelling and discovering new revelatory truths in.
          >
          > Reincarnation is a little more complicated and nebulous. There
          > is no belief in 'you come back as someone else'-type
          > reincarnation, as such. But it's also believed that what we
          > consider 'the soul' is simply part of the universal nature of life
          > itself, that which makes the life of an insect or flower just as
          > important as our own, as they all emanate from the same
          > source. So when one dies, that 'life' or 'soul' returns to its source,
          > within the Infinite Light of Amida Buddha, and then re-emanates
          > as another life. So yes, there is 'reincarnation', but no...not in the
          > way that is normally dealt with in other sects as well as in
          > anecdotal beliefs, etc.
          >
          > Since you're there in SLC, _definitely_ take some time to talk to Rev.
          > Hirano at the SLC Temple. He's quite sharp on these sorts
          > of topics (he's spoken at our temple in Chicago, so that's an
          > observation from experience) as well as making them relate to
          > life as it is now. While a ML contact like this is nice if you're
          > somewhat isolated from a temple or from other text assets from
          > which to learn, if you can actually sit and discuss these issues
          > firsthand with someone that knowledgable, by all means please
          > take advantage of that as it's so much better to have that 'fast
          > discourse' when one is seeking direction. You'll be glad you did!

          I've already spoken to him on the phone and am looking forward to
          attending services at the temple this Sunday.

          I just hope I don't annoy anyone with my hunger for knowledge.

          Thanks again.

          Rob Findlay

          > Namuamidabutsu!
          > Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell.
          >
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          --
          Rob Findlay
          Homepage | http://robfindlay.org
          Blog | http://anarchyxero.robfindlay.org/
          --
          "For every dollar the boss has and didn't work for, one of us worked for a
          dollar and didn't get it."
          --Big Bill Haywood
        • DAC Crowell
          ... to Rev. ... to ... from ... issues ... please ... did! ... forward to ... Excellent! I think you ll find the services to be quite beautiful, but at the
          Message 4 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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            --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
            wrote:
            >
            > DAC Crowell said:
            > >
            > > Since you're there in SLC, _definitely_ take some time to talk
            to Rev.
            > > Hirano at the SLC Temple. He's quite sharp on these sorts
            > > of topics (he's spoken at our temple in Chicago, so that's an
            > > observation from experience) as well as making them relate
            to
            > > life as it is now. While a ML contact like this is nice if you're
            > > somewhat isolated from a temple or from other text assets
            from
            > > which to learn, if you can actually sit and discuss these
            issues
            > > firsthand with someone that knowledgable, by all means
            please
            > > take advantage of that as it's so much better to have that 'fast
            > > discourse' when one is seeking direction. You'll be glad you
            did!
            >
            > I've already spoken to him on the phone and am looking
            forward to
            > attending services at the temple this Sunday.

            Excellent! I think you'll find the services to be quite beautiful, but
            at the same time very simplistic and straightforward. Just keep in
            mind that while an average BCA service can, to some people,
            seem a little 'too much like church', this is simply a matter of
            appearances...and appearances are often deceptive things. The
            true value in these services is the sense of a community of
            Nembutsu-faith believers, and the wonderful communality this
            brings.

            > I just hope I don't annoy anyone with my hunger for knowledge.

            I seriously doubt it. Hongwanji is, at present, trying hard to make
            inroads in cultures outside of the Japanese so that the Jodo
            Shinshu teachings can reach a wider population. And so, with
            that, questions are not only going to be expected...but welcomed
            by those who are sincere believers.

            Also, keep in mind that one of the truly unique assets of Jodo
            Shinshu is the concept of 'ondobo ondogyo'...roughly, this
            translates out to "believers helping others to go along".
            Discussion is always a good thing, in this way. And as far as
            questions go, one thing I was taught by Ogui-Sensei (our
            minister at Midwest Buddhist Temple for a few more weeks, until
            he becomes the Socho (Bishop) of the BCA in March) is that if
            there are no questions, something is wrong, because there
            should never be anything such as a 'definitive answer' that can
            settle ALL questions. Questions are, therefore, part of the nature
            of life itself.

            Namuamidabutsu!
            Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell
          • Rob Findlay
            ... I m curious what the typical structure is for a sunday service. I know there s a part of the service where you do somthing with incense...see i m clueless
            Message 5 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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              DAC Crowell said:
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay"
              > <rob@r...> wrote:
              > >
              > > DAC Crowell said:
              > > >
              > > > Since you're there in SLC, _definitely_ take some time to talk
              > to  Rev.
              > > > Hirano at the SLC Temple. He's quite sharp on these sorts >
              > > of topics (he's spoken at our temple in Chicago, so that's an >
              > > observation from experience) as well as making them relate to
              > > > life as it is now. While a ML contact like this is nice if
              > you're > > somewhat isolated from a temple or from other text
              > assets from
              > > > which to learn, if you can actually sit and discuss these
              > issues
              > > > firsthand with someone that knowledgable, by all means
              > please
              > > > take advantage of that as it's so much better to have that
              > 'fast > > discourse' when one is seeking direction. You'll be glad
              > you did!
              > >
              > > I've already spoken to him on the phone and am looking
              > forward to
              > > attending services at the temple this Sunday.
              >
              > Excellent! I think you'll find the services to be quite beautiful, but
              > at the same time very simplistic and straightforward. Just keep in 
              > mind that while an average BCA service can, to some people,
              > seem a little 'too much like church', this is simply a matter of
              > appearances...and appearances are often deceptive things. The
              > true value in these services is the sense of a community of
              > Nembutsu-faith believers, and the wonderful communality this
              > brings.

              I'm curious what the typical structure is for a sunday service. I know
              there's a part of the service where you do somthing with incense...see i'm
              clueless and I dont want to embarass myself.


              Rob


              > > I just hope I don't annoy anyone with my hunger for knowledge.
              >
              > I seriously doubt it. Hongwanji is, at present, trying hard to make
              > inroads in cultures outside of the Japanese so that the Jodo
              > Shinshu teachings can reach a wider population. And so, with
              > that, questions are not only going to be expected...but welcomed
              > by those who are sincere believers.
              >
              > Also, keep in mind that one of the truly unique assets of Jodo
              > Shinshu is the concept of 'ondobo ondogyo'...roughly, this
              > translates out to "believers helping others to go along".
              > Discussion is always a good thing, in this way. And as far as
              > questions go, one thing I was taught by Ogui-Sensei (our
              > minister at Midwest Buddhist Temple for a few more weeks, until
              > he becomes the Socho (Bishop) of the BCA in March) is that if
              > there are no questions, something is wrong, because there
              > should never be anything such as a 'definitive answer' that can
              > settle ALL questions. Questions are, therefore, part of the nature of
              > life itself.
              >
              > Namuamidabutsu!
              > Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
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              >
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              > to:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shinlist/  To unsubscribe from
              > this group, send an email to:shinlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


              --
              Rob Findlay
              Homepage | http://robfindlay.org
              Blog | http://anarchyxero.robfindlay.org/
              --
              "For every dollar the boss has and didn't work for, one of us worked for a
              dollar and didn't get it."
              --Big Bill Haywood
            • Rob Findlay
              ... And i forgot to ask, I see alot references to somthing called an onenju i m guessing this is somthing i would want to buy from the church. With
              Message 6 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                Rob Findlay said:
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > DAC Crowell said:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, &quot;Rob Findlay&quot;
                > > &lt;rob@r...&gt;  wrote:
                > > &gt;
                > > &gt; DAC Crowell said:
                > > &gt; &gt;
                > > &gt; &gt; Since you're there in SLC, _definitely_ take some
                > time to talk >  to&nbsp; Rev.
                > > &gt; &gt; Hirano at the SLC Temple. He's quite sharp on
                > these sorts &gt; > &gt; of topics (he's spoken at our temple
                > in Chicago, so that's an &gt; > &gt; observation from
                > experience) as well as making them relate  to > &gt;
                > &gt; life as it is now. While a ML contact like this is nice if >
                > you're &gt; &gt; somewhat isolated from a temple or from other
                > text > assets  from
                > > &gt; &gt; which to learn, if you can actually sit and
                > discuss these > issues
                > > &gt; &gt; firsthand with someone that knowledgable, by all
                > means > please
                > > &gt; &gt; take advantage of that as it's so much better to
                > have that > 'fast &gt; &gt; discourse' when one is seeking
                > direction. You'll be glad > you  did!
                > > &gt;
                > > &gt; I've already spoken to him on the phone and am looking
                > > forward to
                > > &gt; attending services at the temple this Sunday.
                > >
                > > Excellent! I think you'll find the services to be quite beautiful,
                > but > at the same time very simplistic and straightforward. Just keep
                > in&nbsp; >  mind that while an average BCA service can, to
                > some people, > seem a little 'too much like church', this is simply a
                > matter of > appearances...and appearances are often deceptive things.
                > The > true value in these services is the sense of a community of
                > > Nembutsu-faith believers, and the wonderful communality this
                > > brings.
                >
                > I'm curious what the typical structure is for a sunday service. I know
                > there's a part of the service where you do somthing with incense...see
                > i'm clueless and I dont want to embarass myself.
                >
                >
                > Rob
                >
                >
                > > &gt; I just hope I don't annoy anyone with my hunger for
                > knowledge. >
                > > I seriously doubt it. Hongwanji is, at present, trying hard to make
                > > inroads in cultures outside of the Japanese so that the Jodo
                > > Shinshu teachings can reach a wider population. And so, with
                > > that, questions are not only going to be expected...but welcomed
                > > by those who are sincere believers.
                > >
                > > Also, keep in mind that one of the truly unique assets of Jodo >
                > Shinshu is the concept of 'ondobo ondogyo'...roughly, this
                > > translates out to &quot;believers helping others to go
                > along&quot;. > Discussion is always a good thing, in this way.
                > And as far as > questions go, one thing I was taught by Ogui-Sensei
                > (our
                > > minister at Midwest Buddhist Temple for a few more weeks, until
                > > he becomes the Socho (Bishop) of the BCA in March) is that if >
                > there are no questions, something is wrong, because there
                > > should never be anything such as a 'definitive answer' that can
                > > settle ALL questions. Questions are, therefore, part of the
                > nature  of > life itself.
                > >
                > > Namuamidabutsu!
                > > Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell


                And i forgot to ask, I see alot references to somthing called an "onenju"
                i'm guessing this is somthing i would want to buy from the church. With
                everything i've read, i'm certain this is going to become a part of my
                life.


                Rob
              • DAC Crowell
                ... know ... incense...see i m ... Oh, that won t happen. People know that even if you screw up the form but you re acting from the heart, then there s no
                Message 7 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                  --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
                  wrote:
                  >
                  > I'm curious what the typical structure is for a sunday service. I
                  know
                  > there's a part of the service where you do somthing with
                  incense...see i'm
                  > clueless and I dont want to embarass myself.

                  Oh, that won't happen. People know that even if you screw up the
                  form but you're acting from the heart, then there's no mistake.
                  And they know you'll be learning.

                  Service form works like this:

                  Before service is when people usually offer oshoko, which is the
                  incense offering. To do this, you stand in line with the other
                  sangha members, then when you get to the head of the line, you
                  step forward until you're about a step or two from the censor,
                  bow, then step forward and pick up a pinch of incense with your
                  right hand and place this on the charcoal in the censor. Once you
                  do this, gassho (the 'palms-together' gesture of gratitude), then
                  step back and bow as before, then step aside for the next
                  person.

                  Once everyone's done this, then there's kansho...the bellringing
                  that opens the service. Best here to simply meditate on the
                  sound of the bell. Then the meditation and aspiration follows,
                  this is done by the service chairperson.

                  After this, there's various things which are affirmations...these
                  usually contain forms of the Three Treasures in some way or
                  another. The Three Treasures are also known in other sects as
                  the 'refuges'..."I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the
                  Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha". Then there's the first gatha
                  (hymn, more or less).

                  After this gatha is the sutra chanting. Now here, there's a few
                  little surprises. Not all of the lines are chanted as they read in the
                  Romanji text. Juseige, the most-commonly used sutra, contains
                  a few of these things. The first line is chanted by the priest, and
                  this sets the pace and pitch for the sangha. So, explaining one of
                  these 'surprises', here's the first few lines of the sutra...

                  Ga gon cho se gan (first line...priest only)
                  His shi mu jo do ("hee shee moo joh doh")
                  Shi gan fu man zoku (ha! it's pronounced "shee gahn foo mahn
                  zohk'")
                  Sei fu jo sho gaku (same deal: "say foo joh shoh gahk'")

                  ...and so on. My suggestion is to chant _softly_ and listen
                  carefully. After a few services, you'll have this down. Japanese
                  has only five vowels, sort of like Latin..."ah eh ee oh ooh",
                  basically, and when you see compound vowels like in "sei", it's
                  sort of a 'mushing' of them, but you sweep thru both, hence that
                  comes out 'say'. You'll get it after a bit if you're not too familiar
                  with Japanese pronunciation.

                  After this is a little 'coda' known as the Nembutsu and Eko. The
                  form of the Nembutsu here is actually an archaic, contracted
                  one: "na man da bu", or the "nembutsu of four characters". As
                  you might've guessed, the "namu amida butsu" one is the
                  "Nembutsu of six characters". Why? This gets into some of those
                  brain-scrunching 'form and beyond form' issues. Best to let that
                  simmer for a bit...

                  After that, the dharma talk. This is the 'sermon' part of things,
                  usually about 15-ish minutes, in which that day's dharma
                  teaching is given by either the priest or a guest speaker.

                  Almost done. The closing gatha follows, and then the
                  chairperson gives the closing meditation. Then there's
                  announcements, at which you may be recognized if the
                  chairperson asks if there's any new people attending for the first
                  time.

                  And then everyone goes and has coffee. Jodo Shinshu temples
                  in the USA tend to have pretty good coffee, too. On some
                  occasions, a lunch follows the service, usually on major
                  observances and you will not want to miss the fujinkai ladies'
                  fine Japanese home cooking! Taaaasty...

                  One other thing...when entering and exiting the hondo (temple
                  hall), always bow respectfully to the Buddha. Some do this with
                  gassho (I do) and others do a formal bow without. Later, you
                  want to have an ojuzu, but if you don't have this when you first
                  attend, it's not a criminal offense. You may be able to get one
                  there at the temple, also; MBT keeps a selection of ojuzu for
                  purchase.

                  As you'll likely notice, this looks sort of like a church service. And
                  the reason for this is that the form here was initially developed by
                  the Honpa Hongwanji Mission in Hawaii with the cooperation of
                  former Christian missionaries who converted to Jodo Shinshu. It
                  was retained as it became something of an 'assimilationist'
                  gesture among the Japanese-American community before WWII,
                  and due to the ugly history of the Relocation, was retained
                  afterward as a historical legacy from those times. But there are
                  some gradual bits coming in from other, more traditional
                  sources. Some temples add parts such as the San Kie Mon or
                  Rai San Mon, which is usually chanted by the priest and which
                  you won't find in any but the most recent (the so-called "Purple
                  Book") service books.

                  And again, remember: at the beginning here, there's nothing you
                  can really do 'wrong', as long as what you do comes from the
                  heart. Just watch others, and if the temple has some people who
                  are 'greeters' for newcomers, let them know that you'd like to sit
                  with someone who you can follow easily if that's possible.

                  Namuamidabutsu!
                  Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell.
                • DAC Crowell
                  ... onenju ... church. Onenju are dangerous, hissing fanged lizards that each Jodo Shinshu adherent has to carefully train in order to use them during
                  Message 8 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                    --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > And i forgot to ask, I see alot references to somthing called an
                    "onenju"
                    > i'm guessing this is somthing i would want to buy from the
                    church.

                    Onenju are dangerous, hissing fanged lizards that each Jodo
                    Shinshu adherent has to carefully train in order to use them
                    during services. If you can't do this, then you can't be a Buddhist,
                    and the sangha members will beat you up with the service
                    books. You can always tell loyal adherents by the
                    gnawed-looking condition of their hands...

                    :)

                    Actually, onenju/ojuzu are the beads you'll see in use, especially
                    when people do gassho. The most commonly-seen ones are
                    called 'quarter-ojuzu', meaning that they have 28 beads; the
                    formal one has 108. And that's not completely accurate, because
                    there are additional beads besides that number. The informal
                    ones have two additional 'child' beads and one 'oyadama' or
                    'parent' bead, and the formal ones are much more complex, with
                    several tassels, two oyadama, a special arrangement of loops
                    below the oyadama, etc, all of which has very specific symbolic
                    and emblematic significances. Each sect has a rather different
                    formal ojuzu, also, as well as some differences in how this is
                    held. While the temple might not have the more complex formal
                    ones for sale, many do keep a stock of the informal
                    quarter-ojuzu, and some can be quite spiffy.

                    Also...'onenju' means 'thoughtfulness beads', more or less and
                    'ojuzu' means 'counting beads', which is an older term from
                    when the beads were used to count repetitions of mantras, or in
                    the case of Pure Land practices, repetitions of the Nembutsu.
                    But since Jodo Shinshu doesn't 'endorse' repetitive recitation of
                    Nembutsu for the sake of self-merit, the other term sees a good
                    bit of use.

                    Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell.
                  • Rob Findlay
                    Thank you so much for the information and patience, I feel a bit better, about things now. I m always a little nervous entering a new situation like this as an
                    Message 9 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                      Thank you so much for the information and patience, I feel a bit better,
                      about things now. I'm always a little nervous entering a new situation
                      like this as an outsider.

                      Ya know this re-interest of mine in Buddhism has brought me to an
                      interesting memory and an early experience with a practicitioner of Jodo
                      Shinshu.

                      I grew up in Vista California, and would often visit a local nursery owned
                      by a Japanese American. My memory is somewhat flawed, but i think my
                      father may have went to high school with the owner, none the less they
                      knew each other well enough that each visit we'd stay and chat. Even
                      though my father was a stark raving racist behind closed doors, in person
                      they seemed good friends.

                      I knew he was Buddhist and went to the Buddhist temple in town, which
                      happens to have been this temple. http://www.vbtemple.org/ a jodo shinshu
                      church.

                      What i remember the most overall is his smiling warmth and compassion.
                      Even when talking about being interned during WW2 the warmth and openness
                      never left him.

                      Finally on to my story: One of my strongest childhood memories is of going
                      with my Dad to the Nursery one Mothers day and during the regular chit
                      chat having this friend of ours ask me what i had gotten my mother for
                      Mothers Day. Being young like most kids I think i hadn't done anything. He
                      seemed rather troubled by this and explained to me that on mothers day in
                      Japan all the young boys give their mothers flowers. With that he took me
                      into the nursery and asked me to pick which flowers i thought she might
                      like. After doing so he simply gave them to me. An entire flat. Wouldn't
                      even hear of taking my dads money. I was very nearly moved to tears. We
                      grew up dirt poor blue collar and from a young age i understood what money
                      was and what it meant to go without it and what it meant when someone gave
                      you something of value. I gave my mother the flowers, which she promptly
                      planted and as far as i know the decedents are still living at our old
                      house in Vista Ca.

                      To this day that story has remained with me, and instilled in me the
                      values of compassion and generosity at a young age, values that now, are
                      bringing me back to church and back to a spiritual path.

                      It would seem that in a way Jodo Shinshu has brought be full circle.


                      Rob Findlay


                      p.s. I'd also like to say that, i grew up in a fairly bigoted family,
                      after that day at the nursery I was never able again to look at someones
                      race asian or otherwise as a factor in detirmining there value as a
                      person.





                      DAC Crowell said:
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay"
                      > <rob@r...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > And i forgot to ask, I see alot references to somthing called an
                      > "onenju"
                      > > i'm guessing this is somthing i would want to buy from the
                      > church.
                      >
                      > Onenju are dangerous, hissing fanged lizards that each Jodo
                      > Shinshu adherent has to carefully train in order to use them
                      > during services. If you can't do this, then you can't be a Buddhist,
                      > and the sangha members will beat you up with the service
                      > books. You can always tell loyal adherents by the
                      > gnawed-looking condition of their hands...
                      >
                      > :)
                      >
                      > Actually, onenju/ojuzu are the beads you'll see in use, especially when
                      > people do gassho. The most commonly-seen ones are
                      > called 'quarter-ojuzu', meaning that they have 28 beads; the
                      > formal one has 108. And that's not completely accurate, because
                      > there are additional beads besides that number. The informal
                      > ones have two additional 'child' beads and one 'oyadama' or
                      > 'parent' bead, and the formal ones are much more complex, with
                      > several tassels, two oyadama, a special arrangement of loops
                      > below the oyadama, etc, all of which has very specific symbolic
                      > and emblematic significances. Each sect has a rather different
                      > formal ojuzu, also, as well as some differences in how this is
                      > held. While the temple might not have the more complex formal
                      > ones for sale, many do keep a stock of the informal
                      > quarter-ojuzu, and some can be quite spiffy.
                      >
                      > Also...'onenju' means 'thoughtfulness beads', more or less and
                      > 'ojuzu' means 'counting beads', which is an older term from
                      > when the beads were used to count repetitions of mantras, or in
                      > the case of Pure Land practices, repetitions of the Nembutsu.
                      > But since Jodo Shinshu doesn't 'endorse' repetitive recitation of
                      > Nembutsu for the sake of self-merit, the other term sees a good
                      > bit of use.
                      >
                      > Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell.
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Yahoo! Groups Links
                      >
                      > To visit your group on the web, go
                      > to:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shinlist/  To unsubscribe from
                      > this group, send an email to:shinlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 
                      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                    • DAC Crowell
                      ... better, ... situation ... But given the story you told, the only question you should be asking, I think, is why you should even consider yourself to be an
                      Message 10 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                        --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
                        wrote:
                        > Thank you so much for the information and patience, I feel a bit
                        better,
                        > about things now. I'm always a little nervous entering a new
                        situation
                        > like this as an outsider.

                        But given the story you told, the only question you should be
                        asking, I think, is why you should even consider yourself to be an
                        outsider at all. You were touched by the compassion and
                        wisdom of Amida through your friend at the nursery in Vista, and
                        now in your later years you've heard Amida calling, the voice of
                        that deep hearing beginning on that day in your childhood.

                        I wouldn't call that 'outside' at all. It was simply a matter of the
                        right time for you to take that step into a physical temple...but
                        Amida Buddha has clearly been with you all this time.

                        Let us know how your first service goes this Sunday. :)

                        Namuamidabutsu!
                        Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell
                      • Rob Findlay
                        I will let you all know! Thank you. BTW, are you and I the only ones on this list ? Rob ... -- Rob Findlay Homepage | http://robfindlay.org Blog |
                        Message 11 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                          I will let you all know!

                          Thank you.


                          BTW, are you and I the only ones on this list ?

                          Rob


                          DAC Crowell said:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay"
                          > <rob@r...> wrote:
                          > > Thank you so much for the information and patience, I feel a bit
                          > better,
                          > > about things now. I'm always a little nervous entering a new
                          > situation
                          > > like this as an outsider.
                          >
                          > But given the story you told, the only question you should be
                          > asking, I think, is why you should even consider yourself to be an
                          > outsider at all. You were touched by the compassion and
                          > wisdom of Amida through your friend at the nursery in Vista, and
                          > now in your later years you've heard Amida calling, the voice of
                          > that deep hearing beginning on that day in your childhood.
                          >
                          > I wouldn't call that 'outside' at all. It was simply a matter of the
                          > right time for you to take that step into a physical temple...but Amida
                          > Buddha has clearly been with you all this time.
                          >
                          > Let us know how your first service goes this Sunday. :)
                          >
                          > Namuamidabutsu!
                          > Shaku Kyomei Ho/DAC Crowell
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > Yahoo! Groups Links
                          >
                          > To visit your group on the web, go
                          > to:http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shinlist/  To unsubscribe from
                          > this group, send an email to:shinlist-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 
                          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


                          --
                          Rob Findlay
                          Homepage | http://robfindlay.org
                          Blog | http://anarchyxero.robfindlay.org/
                          --
                          "For every dollar the boss has and didn't work for, one of us worked for a
                          dollar and didn't get it."
                          --Big Bill Haywood
                        • DAC Crowell
                          ... Heh...nope. There s definitely other users. The list tends to go in fits and bursts, so most of us check it off and on every few days. My bet is that some
                          Message 12 of 12 , Mar 3, 2004
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                            --- In shinlist@yahoogroups.com, "Rob Findlay" <rob@r...>
                            wrote:
                            >
                            > BTW, are you and I the only ones on this list ?

                            Heh...nope. There's definitely other users. The list tends to go in
                            fits and bursts, so most of us check it off and on every few days.
                            My bet is that some of them will pipe up at some point...

                            DAC.
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