Deep Conversations: Three Themes to Guide Me – February 21, 2017

As I was preparing to move from Charlotte to Syracuse there were many goodbyes to be said.  Some people asked me if I was going to have a going away party or if I wanted to have one.  I had thought about the notion of a going away party before it was brought up so I already knew what my answer was going to be.  In all cases I politely declined and tried to offer…

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Lectures on the Historical Background of Standards and Rituals in Nichiren Shu

Historical Background of Standards and Rituals in Nichiren Shu This will be the first in a series of lectures on how the standards for conducting services in Nichiren Shu came about.  The process was not always smooth nor was it fast.  It was a joint project between a few Nichiren sects and took much longer than originally anticipated.  There were many obstacles along the way until a book was published to standardize and codify the…

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Increasing Online Offerings for Viewing: Rebroadcast Setsubun Service

I’ve been think about how to develop the virtual  Myosho-ji Sangha and better support those who currently participate as well as being more valuable and relevant to others wishing to practice Nichiren Shu and unable to attend a temple.  One idea that came to mind was to rebroadcast services.   By doing this I am hoping it will be of benefit to those who may be unable to join in for the actual service live…

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Moving to Syracuse: The Why’s – January 8, 2017

By now most, if not all, know that I am leaving Charlotte, NC and moving to Syracuse, NY.  While it may seem sudden to many it is something that I have been planning on doing for several years, though I may not have shared it openly.  Many have asked me why Syracuse and why now.  I would like to take this time to provide some answers. When I returned to Charlotte after graduating from Portland…

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“Investing Energy in Face-to-Face Solidarity” – December 3, 2016

I hesitate to post this, so much has been said, written, and transmitted regarding events past and pending in the US especially after the election of our next president.  Noteworthy is virtually everyone has an opinion yet when tallied next to votes cast there is a surplus of opinions compared to total votes.  I did vote, I worked at the polls on election day.   In my opinion what first needs to happen is to…

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Sakyo and Shabutsu Dharma Talk – 23 October 2016

Thoughts on why we do this, how you might do it as part of your daily life, what you might do with the finished item. Let us combine both Shakyo and ShaButsu all together here to simplify the response.  Also I would like to set aside any discussion of the highly ritualized and formal practice. There is value in the formalized practice and there is value in a less formal practice.  It difficult to do…

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A Holiday Message and Plea – 17 October 2016

A Holiday Message and Plea for Financial Support for All Nichiren Order of North America Temples – October 17, 2016 It is the season that time of year when we think about gratitude and giving.  Hopefully that does not translate as grateful the stores are open late or Black Friday begins on Thursday. I am writing this post solely for the purpose of reminding you of the importance of your financial support for the spread of…

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Compassion –  Peaceful Practice

There is a lot of talk about compassion where I work as well as in some of the media I consume. Frequently the word compassion is paired with fatigue. Compassion-fatigue is such a hot topic there are departments and groups and initiatives and numerous other groupings with corporate sounding names being formed, set up, and initiated. Speakers are identified, topics are selected, strategies formulated, days designated, colors selected, slogans and code words promulgated, and the…

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Because of You

Often I will hear how someone feels their part in making the world a better place is unimportant or insignificant. Occasionally their discouragement is so great they feel like giving up.  In the passage I quoted today the phrase I encourage us to consider is “we, too, have obtained benefits.” Because the Buddha attained enlightenment we receive benefits. Without enlightenment, we may not have even known there had once been a Siddhartha who lived in…

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Put it on Their Heads &  Tefillah

As I read the Lotus Sutra this morning I turned to this page and the phrase “put it in their head” stood out. The act of putting the Sutra on the head is a practice we copy during our service.  When we say the Verses for Opening the Sutra we lift the Sutra at the point when we say: “When we see, hear, or touch the Sutra…” While we do not actually put it on…

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