Wednesday Evenings 7pm to 9pm Sept 7th to October 5th, 2016. All classes will be held in the Shrine Room (Hondo) of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple located at 220 Jackson Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6A 3B3
The origin of Obon can be traced to the Ulambana Sutra which relates the story of Mogallana, the most gifted of Sakyamuni Buddha’s disciples in the area of extraordinary sensory perception. A very filial son, Mogallana one day used his extraordinary powers to visualise the whereabouts of his mother who had died. Searching all the realms, from the highest of the heavens to the lowest of the hells, he was surprised and horrified to find his mother suffering the torments of the realm of Hungry Ghosts.
Go-tan-e celebrates the birth of Shinran Shonin (1173-1262), the founder of Shin Buddhism. The life and teachings of Shinran-shonin constitute one of the most significant developments in the history of Buddhism. It was he who discovered a path which ensured that the treasures of the Dharma would be accessible to all people without discrimination.
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When physicist Albert Einstein was invited to Japan, he paid a visit to Reverend Jokan Chikazumi and asked him about the Buddha Dharma, especially the heart of the Buddha (―Buddha-mind‖). It is said thatRev. Chikazumi told him the story of Ubasuteyama (the old custom of abandoning old people, usually women, deep in the mountains). A young man was hurrying along a mountain path carrying his aged mother on his back. Along the way, the mother was breaking off tree twigs and dropping them on the path. She was marking the path with a trail of twigs.
“Megumi:108 Compassionate Blessings” (by Toshihide Numata, published by BDK) The phrase ichiren takusho means to be born together on the same lotus flower blooming in Amida’s Pure land of Utmost Bliss, which is also known as the Lotus-repository world (rengezo sekai). In this present life, even though people may live under the same roof together for many years, they live in different worlds. Parents and children, husband and wife, each of us is closed up in our own world. We set up our own “selves” We take advantage of others when it is convenient for us.
It seems that at no time in human history has there been a period of lasting peace; when there has been no conflict or war. Recently, two Japanese men were taken hostage by Islamic State and tragically, one of them has been killed by beheading. Sometimes we hear the statement that we are fighting for peace. It is ironic that in order to achieve peace, we have to go to war. Personally, I cannot solve this dilemma. So what can Buddhists do?
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