Saturday, October 24, 2015


We now have the first of our bi-monthly podcasts available for listening and download. The first of these are the September and October Dharma talks on the Visualization Sutra. 
Coming months will offer you the ongoing series which explores scripture and the associated mandala. Each month we will also post the text of that talk for those who would like to follow along that way. Older talks can be requested from Red Maple.

Once we have that series in place we will begin to upload audio versions of some of the more pertinent topics in our older Ask the Religion Experts series. That was a weekly newspaper column which we participated in along with a half dozen representatives from other religious traditions. The topics varied, some were of the moment, some had longer-term relevance. It is that second group which we will reproduce as talks.

If we are able to strong-arm some other friends of Red Maple, we will add some other talks related to mindfulness or Buddhist commentary. If you have topics to recommend or would like to deliver some of these recordings, please contact Ray.

Our podcasts are available here:

ps. Special thanks to Podcast-master Dave O. who has coached me through some hiccups with the software.

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

Friday, October 09, 2015


I regularly get articles from mainstream Buddhist magazines. The latest one showed the lamentable state of Dharma dialogue in the West. Supposedly reputable senior teachers describing what qualifies Dharma practitioners as Buddhists. It took the form of "if you accept this...and if you don't accept this..." then you are either in the club or out.

The dharma was taught to free us from the dukkha which characterizes our lives, not to invite us to sign up from some specialness. Surely our Shakyamuni did not "launch" a religious movement with membership and screening processes. The dharma does not have any Platinum Memberships.

I understand that our traditions describe certain people/actions which will have terrible consequences - trying to murder a Buddha, for example.  Nonetheless, how many sutras proclaim the potency of calling out to various Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, no matter what or when, and they assure our future Buddhahood.

It is sad when we are more concerned about being "Buddhists" than realizing the Dharma through our thoughts and actions.