Monthly Archives: December 2008

New Year’s Eve in Japan

Tonight was New Year’s Eve in Japan, or Ōmisoka (大晦日) in Japanese. As we’re getting over the nasty jet-lag from the trip, we were able to enjoy the day more, spend time with the family, get some shopping done and … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Jodo Shu, Religion, Travel | 1 Comment

Why the Middle Way?

Sinfest continues to be one of my all-time favorite webcomics, including this gem of a post: This is exactly the same cycle we live with our entire lives, swinging back and forth between selfish gratification, guilt and then self-punishment as … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion | 6 Comments

Day Two in Japan

Baby enjoyed her second birthday recently. We all went out for really good sushi, ate our fill, and then Baby got to enjoy a birthday cake made like Anpanman, her favorite cartoon character. She received among other things, an Anpanman … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Religion, Travel | 4 Comments


Therefore sages say: The one who accepts the humiliation of the state Is called its master The one who accepts the misfortune of the state Becomes king of the world –Tao Te Ching, Ch. 78 Conflict is nothing new to … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion, Taoism | Leave a comment

Arrived in Japan, Just in Time

For those who have been keeping track, we have safely arrived in Japan a little while ago. The trip involved us flying from Ireland to France, and then we raced through Charles Du Gaulle Airport just barely in time to … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Japan, Japanese, Language, Travel | 6 Comments

Commentaries on the Amitabha Sutra, part 2

This is part 2 of a series of posts exploring the Amitabha Sutra. Part 1 can be found here, for those who missed it. This part of the sutra can difficult to understand, so let’s explore carefully: [3] “Shariputra, why … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion | 3 Comments

Off to Japan for two weeks!

Hi all, I’ve been too busy to mention this earlier, but I am off to Japan starting tomorrow for two weeks. Baby’s 2nd birthday is in a couple days and we’d like to celebrate it in Japan, where her grandparents … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Travel

Buddhism and Merit

In many classic Buddhist texts, and in traditional Buddhism, you often hear about the term merit. In traditional cultures, some lay people often try to accumulate good merit in hopes of a good rebirth (as a monk, a heaven realm, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion | 14 Comments

Shakyamuni Buddha’s Pure Land

Normally when we talk about the Pure Land of a Buddha, we usually refer to Amida Buddha and his Western Pure Land, or perhaps the Medicine Buddha’s Pure Land to the East, or even the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s Pure Land to … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion, Tendai | 3 Comments

More on the Demon’s Drink, alcohol

My post on the “demon’s drink” of alcohol yesterday seems to have aroused some strong opinions on both sides. Allow me to weigh in more on the issue. Bhikkhu Bodhi* had some strong feelings about the subject in this article: … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Religion | 11 Comments