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The Leaflet blog provides:
. Innen's weekly comments from a Dharma perspecti
ve
• the up-to-date practice calendar for our Red Maple Mindful Living Centre,
• links to our Tendai family of centres

For more on RMS, or Tendai Canada, visit www.tendai.ca
For more on the Red Maple Mindful Living Centre, click the link on the right border


Sunday, March 30, 2014

RELIGION OR SCIENCE

BUDDHISM: RELIGION OR SCIENCE

You may hear that Buddhism isn’t really a religion, usually because it has no God or doesn’t need rituals and so on. Particularly in the West, there are those who want to equate it with a school of psychology,  cognitive psychology being the preferred type. Our Dharma friend , Dharmavidya David Brazier recently wrote on this and part of his comment is below.

“Buddhism is a religion. It has beliefs, rituals, altars, offerings, bells, candles, metaphysics, clergy, devotees, prayers, meditation, visions, visitations, celestial beings, other worlds, other lives, moral law, and salvation. All these are found in Zen Buddhism, in Theravada Buddhism, in Tibetan Buddhism, in Pureland Buddhism, in the other schools of Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism, in fact, in all of Buddhism all over Asia. Buddhists probably burn more candles and incense than the Catholic Church. These are not degeneration or cultural accretions. The founder himself gave us robes, taught ritual and contrition, revealed other lives and worlds, and spoke with the gods. Secularised and rationalised variants of Buddhism exist, but it is these that are partial forms and cultural products of later derivation.

Sometimes it is said that Buddhism is scientific. This assertion would put Buddhism somehow within the frame of science, but Buddhism has much that would not fit into that frame. However, although we cannot really say that Buddhism is scientific, science is Buddhistic. Science is Buddhistic in that science is a way of knowing some things. Buddhism can accommodate everything that science perceives, but science can only perceive a fraction of what Buddhism encompasses, the fraction that appears within the frame that the restrictive rules of science impose.”

The full article is here:
http://amidatrust.ning.com/profiles/blogs/buddhism-is-a-religion  


Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu  
                   

Read this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.html

        

                  
  

           

Sunday, March 23, 2014

DISASTERS

DISASTERS

Today’s dangerous and unseasonable snowstorm took our morning contemplation to explore the arising of disasters, crises and great losses in our lives. We reflected on what we experience in these moments and how often we wish to be spared from such extraordinary events. There is a clear physicality about these experiences. We often express our response in the breath, in body tension and tears or (surprisingly) laughter.
Although no one would wish for disastrous events or great losses, we all recognized that such experiences call us to reach deep into our resources to respond. We push ourselves to protect ourselves, to serve those we love or to be responsible citizens. In doing so, not only do we recognize capacities and strengths we might have missed, but we also refine and sharpen those skills and sensitivities. Each crisis prepares us to respond to the next one.
This is not universally true. It is clear that humans have their limits and repeated, extreme crisis response becomes what we know as trauma. Such experiences over-tax our capacities and damage our abilities and bodies.
Our practice activity, especially sitting mindfulness is too often construed as merely stress management or relaxation and we mistakenly shy away from experiencing or penetrating difficulties. This will stunt our practice maturity, which thrives on bringing attention to whatever arises in the space of body-mind-environment.
                                      
Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu  
                   

Read this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.html

Sunday, March 16, 2014

TIME AND CHANGE

This week marks our biannual ritual of pretending we can manipulate time through adding or subtracting an hour on specific magic days. Our world is criss-crossed with images of time - think of all the ways we refer to time. (See the link to a few below). Phrasings of time are part of the way we construct our world, its is one of our key building blocks of identity.
Christians distinguish between time as chronos and as kairos. Chronos is simple “clock-time”. Kairos refers to the right time or the fulfilled time. Within that faith, history is a straight line of time with an end and fulfillment. Kairos is the moment when purpose begins to be fulfilled. In Asian cosmology, time is seen as a field or cycle, with no perceivable start or conclusion. The figure of Kali, the Goddess of Time comes from Hindu tradition and has been borrowed for the Buddhist vision of the Wheel of Existence.


This Wheel or bhava-chakra establishes our lives as an unending cycle of grasping, compression and dissatisfaction. Although it is a flow, driven by the principle of karma, it is not a condemnation. What we are taught is that the Dharma and our practice of it is the assured way to escape from that cycle.

(Some time phrases:  http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/time-idioms )


Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu                      

Read this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.html

Sunday, March 02, 2014

JOURNEYS

Journeys
The image of “journey” to describe our life is a familiar one, but there are many ways to make a journey. Some journeys are linear, from here to there, with a single destination in mind. Others are circular, where we go and return, sometimes to accomplish some task and come back. Still others, in the style of Thoreau or Basho, are random, we head out as we wish, travel where and for however long suits us. They may be a day-trip, a week’s holiday, a mission or a pilgrimage.
It can be interesting to ask ourselves what the image of this journey may be, how we see ourselves on it. Each type of walk has its own requirements and expectations for us. Consider for yourself what is the form of the journey you see yourself to be on. What is its shape (linear, circular, random)?  Consider who may be on your journey, or is it totally a solitary one? Consider whether you are walking a path never walked by you or others before, or is this repeating a trip you have made, or re-traveling one taken by others.
Once you have formed a picture of the journey you see for yourself, consider whether this is the one you want to be on. Can you re-imagine it in a more positive way? Is you or purpose what you imagined, or can you re-write that in some more positive way for your life? Is the route or map the only one you can follow? Perhaps there are shortcuts or alternative routes which will fulfill the purpose of this journey without such demands on you.
The most important and under appreciated insight is to consider who is accompanying you on this journey. Are there others actually walking with you, making it easier or more companionable, in ways you didn’t appreciate before?  Our teaching and practice assumes we are never alone on our journey. In Japan there is a wonderful expression, “dogyo ninin”. This means that no matter when or where we travel on our route to fulfillment we are always in the joyful and supportive company of others, at least the loving presence of Amitabha or one of his many manifestations, like Kwan Yin or Jizo. Who is walking with you?

( from our last Contemplative walking session)
Yours in the Dharma,                          
Innen, doshu
om namo amida butsu                        

Read this week’s Ask the Religion Experts column here
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/ask-the-religion-experts/index.html