Category Archives: Zen

Beginner Buddhism Part Eight: Example Home Service

Speaking of home services, I coincidentally uploaded another small video I made: This wasn’t what I originally planned for lesson eight, but decided to do this instead. Lesson nine will cover Buddhist deities. This was just a short, somewhat generic … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shu, Religion, Tendai, Zen | 3 Comments

Nembutsu as Self-Reflection

From time to time, when life gets me really flustered or frustrated, or I am just frustrated with myself, I use my special rosary from Kamakura, and recite a full cycle (about 1080 times) of the nembutsu (the Buddha’s name). … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Jodo Shu, Religion, Theravada, Zen | Tagged | 4 Comments

Why Get A Tattoo?

We’ve all thought about it. Maybe we did get one. I haven’t, but I have thought about. I wanted something cool and “Buddhist-looking”, like the nembutsu (南無阿弥陀仏) or something, but I never got one. While joking with my sister online, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japan, Korea, Religion, Travel, Zen | Tagged | 8 Comments

Ikkyu-san, the Clever Little Monk

One of the most famous and lovable Buddhist monks in Japan is Ikkyū, affectionately called ikkyū-san (一休さん) in popular culture. Ikkyu-san is a clever, and mischievous young Buddhist monk (kozō 小僧) who often outsmarts adults, and helps his friends. There … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Family, Japan, Literature, Zen | 4 Comments

You’re Not Getting Any Younger

Recently I found this old comic from Sinfest,1 and wanted to talk about it here. The Buddha described the “Four Sufferings” (or “stresses” as I like to call them) in his first sermon: Birth is stress (as a parent, I … Continue reading

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Another Side of Soto Zen Buddhism: Sojiji Temple

One of the nice things about meeting blog readers, especially overseas, is that you get to see and learn so many cool things. I was fortunate once again to meet Tokyo expert and blog reader, “Johnl”, who has his own … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Religion, Travel, Zen | 7 Comments

Year 2011 wrap-up

New Year’s Eve didn’t go as planned, but it was interesting too. Originally we planned on taking my daughter and I to a local temple to take part in the bell-ringing service, or joya no kane, but I had to … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Family, Japan, Travel, Zen | 2 Comments

Understanding the Buddhist Sutras: a (somewhat) brief overview

(Photo is a screen shot from the movie “Kūkai 空海” by Toei Video Co. Ltd., all rights reserved) As an extension of my very brief history of Buddhism, I wanted to talk about this subject. The key to understanding Buddhism … Continue reading

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Tsunamis and Radiation: a matter of history and perspective

While turning off the computer and cooking some oatmeal a while ago, I was reading Prof. Bodiford’s history of medieval Sōtō Zen, and I stumbled upon a fitting passage. In Tōtōmi Province in 1498, the countryside had been ravaged by … Continue reading

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Ven. Yin-Shun explains Buddhist meditation

One of my favorite books on Buddhism after all these years is Ven. Yin-Shun’s book on Buddhism called The Way to Buddhahood. I was thumbing through the book recently looking for something, when I stumbled upon this lengthy explanation about … Continue reading

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