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Never an Expert Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Ken Yamada   
Thursday, 26 January 2012

Once at a lecture on Buddhism, someone sitting across the aisle recognized me and said, “Sensei, why are you here? Don’t you already know this stuff?”


I don’t really so I welcome the opportunity to learn more. To me, following the Buddhist path is about constantly deepening our understanding of ourselves, and in turn, growing our appreciation for life. It’s a process that continues throughout our entire life. There is no “end.” No one ever becomes an “expert.”


Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 January 2012 )
Open Your Eyes Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Ken Yamada   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Imagine a spiritual truth seeker living on a mountain, waking early to meditate, eating the simplest food, practicing the most arduous disciplines and leading a life of severe deprivation. The path leading to higher awareness must be difficult indeed.


Don’t be fooled, it’s really easy!


It’s no joke, if what Shinran Shonin says is true. Allow me to explain.


Last Updated ( Sunday, 16 October 2011 )
Medical care and Buddhism Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Ken Yamada   
Wednesday, 02 March 2011

A thousand years ago, a kind of Buddhist last rites in Japan became popular—family members gathered around a dying person, together chanting “Namu Amida Butsu.” These deathbed rituals helped send the person to the Pure Land, they thought.


Maybe it’s time to bring back these rituals.


I’m joking, but calmly contemplating the Pure Land isn’t such a bad idea considering the more common end-of-life scenario—over-reliance on medical technology.

Meaning of Dana (Giving) Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Ken Yamada   
Wednesday, 22 September 2010

In our society, it’s important to get a return on investment, to make every dollar count, to get something for your money. That’s how we’re taught to think and that’s the capitalist way.


This makes sense and we’d have a tough time if we thought otherwise. But this attitude tends to seep into other aspects of life, giving us a feeling that we are wasting time or expending too much energy on something that doesn’t much affect me or is unnecessary to my personal happiness.


Last Updated ( Wednesday, 22 September 2010 )
Searching for a Teacher Print E-mail
Written by Rev. Ken Yamada   
Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A friend once complained her teacher was incompetent. The teacher “doesn’t know what he’s talking about and doesn’t make sense,” she said. Consequently, students met after class to discuss the lesson and work out problems.

Actually, the teacher appeared to me quite effective, forcing students to figure things out for themselves. They seemed to be truly learning.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 May 2010 )
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