Welcome to the Leaflet

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


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

SEGAKI-E AND O-HIGAN THIS WEEKEND

Hi Sangha and Friends, .... in the Dharma, Innen, doshu

We are hosting our o-Higan and Segaki-e event this weekend.
These are wonderful events, full of personal meaning, where we both acknowledge those who have impacted our lives and passed recently and make a symbolic statement about the afterlife, with Segaki-e, the celebration for Hungry Ghosts.

We are mounting the special Segaki-dan, the altar for Ghosts and we will perform the temple circumambulation-chanting ceremony.

If you would like to participate, contact us,
Innen, doshu

Saturday, October 22, 2016

SYMPOSIUM IN SAN DIEGO

Hi Sangha and Friends, 

I will be presenting a poster entitled Two Feet, Deep: Theory and Forms of Contemplative Walking at this year's International Symposium for Consciousness Studies.

https://www.mindandlife.org/international-symposium-contemplative-studies/

This is a wonderful opportunity and major honour for me and us, who will be one of the few Canadians presenting.

There are many leading speakers presenting. For more details, check the link. He will share his experience, source paper and reflections on his return. I expect video and text will be available over the next few months.

in the Dharma, 
Innen, doshu

Saturday, July 09, 2016

WALKING EVENT

Hi Sangha and Friends,
 
SPECIAL WALKING EVENT
  • On Saturday July 16 we will switch our schedule to allow sangha members to join Judy as she does the ALS fun run at the Mateway Activity Centre in Renfrew to raise funds for ALS!
  • There are 3km and 5km runs for $15. Registration: 8:30AM Start Time: 9:00AM
  • Judy will be running ; Innen and the RMS “fast-puppy”, Josh, will pole-walk the 3 k circuit
  • FYI – a 3 km walk takes about 45 minutes at a brisk pace.

Check the Shedule page for other changes.

 .... in the Dharma, 
Innen, doshu

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hi Sangha and Friends,

Thank you to everyone for your understanding and patience as I recover from my health challenges. The latest tests show that I am clear of the pneumonia and am welcoming us all back to resume practice on June 18.
in the Dharma, 
Innen, doshu

Saturday, March 26, 2016

CHURCH AND STATE

My current readings have been a mix of deepening my knowledge of the history of South Eastern Europe, especially Portugal, and a biography of Honen, the Tendai priest who launched the Pure Land School (Jodo-shu) in Japan. Coincidentally, they overlap in time. Honen lived between 1133 and 1212 CE, and the period I am at in my study is the transition from Moorish dominance to the early formation of the state called 'Portu-Cale' which occurred in the late 1100's as well.

What I found curiously coincidental was that both the mainstream Buddhists in Japan (primarily Tendai) and the King, as head of Catholicism in the new Portuguese state sought the same validation. In Japan, the hierarchy on Mt. Hiei, had enjoyed primacy in the emperor's court for centuries. They had established a kind of agreement whereby they were left alone to preach salvation as long as they did not interfere in state matters. In Europe, the new Portuguese king sought similar approval for his realm through the Pope in Rome. 
 
In Japan, the monks of Mt. Hiei stuck by this agreement and, when Honen started to win over more and more converts to his practice style, a style which effectively undercut monastic monopoly of faith, they arranged for Honen to be exiled. The Portuguese king needed to link his feudal tax system to a regular donation scheme to Rome, thus securing approval and support for his kingdom, which existed in a region of a dozen or more other small-scale kingdoms.
 
Its interesting how religious movements have to negotiate this church-state boundary. Contrastingly, many Islamic states and Tibet solved the issue by assigning state power to the clergy. As we well know this can be a mixed solution too. It gives us the Dalai Lama but also the ayatollahs of Iran and figures like those scheming priests in 16th century Europe.

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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

TOWARD A CONTEMPORARY UNDERSTANDING OF PURE LAND BUDDHISM

NEW BOOK: Toward A Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism

Sometimes a new book can be an introduction to the landscape, a summary of familiar material, a personal scan on a topic or some other “good reads”. And then there are books like this. Toward A Contemporary Understanding of Pure Land Buddhism is subtitled Creating a Shin Buddhist Theology in a Religiously Plural World, and is edited by Dennis Hirota, a Professor of Asian Studies at Chikushi Jogakuen University in Japan. He is a brilliant writer on Pure Land in his own right, a world authority on Shinran.
This book is a very engaging format in that it presents a set of three “contemporary interpretations” of Pure Land, by Hirota and two other equally erudite Pure Land academics. Then follows a set of commentaries by two giants of contemporary western religious thought, George Kaufman, (God-Mystery-Diversity: Christian Theology in a Pluralistic World ) and John B Cobb Jr. ( Beyond Dialogue: Toward a Mutual Transformation of Christianity and Buddhism) The book concludes with a response to those two by the three opening writers.
The initial three chapters offer three separate approaches to the Pure Land path, which the authors call the hermeneutical, the process and the buddhological. The first is a familiar approach which centres on a coherent understanding of oneself and one's place in the world. The second, Process Theology, is relatively new and comes from recent Christian thought, notably the writings of people like John Cobb Jr. The final piece introduces what it calls a “buddhological” approach, that is using the language and concepts of esoteric Buddhist writing to explain Pure Land practice, especially mandala visualization. What follows are the back and forth commentary of the five writers.
There is insufficient space here for any kind of expanded remarks on this book. After my first read-through, I have to confess there is so much to consider and examine that I probably have little to say at this point. I found this title most provocative with its underlying theme of how we are to express Pure Land practice in addressing contemporary concerns. All note that Pure Land has succeeded in providing a potent and profound theory and practice which explains the universe and our means to salvation. It has not similarly provided guidance for everyday life. It would seem that this was not a concern for teachers like Shinran.
This book is far from an introduction to Pure Land. Those new to it are better of with Suzuki's Buddha of Infinite Lightor Unno's River of Fire, River of Water. This book will take us far beyond those opening doors.

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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

TRAVELS WITH BASHO

Hi Sangha and Friends,

I pulled my copy of the collected poetry and writing of Matsuo Basho off the bookshelf recently and started to re-read it. This time I approached it a new way.

Basho is probably the greatest poet of the Japanese haiku style, which is characterized by a delightful and ironic styles compacted into just over a dozen syllables in a three stanza structure. Some call him the Japanese Thoreau because, in addition to being the acknowledged master of this poetic form, he exemplified a peripatetic lifestyle that forms the backdrop of his life and work. His poetry emerges from the travels he takes back and forth across the Japanese landscape in the middle of the 1600's. Alone, accompanied by younger poets, on foot or on horseback, he visits shrines, old friends and sites of rare natural beauty.

I had read through his poems and travelogues several times before, but this time I decided to follow them with maps and pictures. I kept my tablet open as I read and whenever he mentions where he is, I tracked it on the map and photo software. Of course the landscape is radically different from his experience. Now there are skyscrapers, power lines and paved multi-lane freeways all across the landscape. Nevertheless, many of the natural sites and temples have changed little, so I can view something of what inspired his poems.

Basho may have been a Buddhist priest or at least presented himself as one, and his style has deeply influenced the aesthetic and subject matter of later Zen poetry.



I am currently using The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches

 

You can read most of Basho's greatest works here: http://www.poemhunter.com/matsuo-basho/


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