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Honolulu Buddhist Temple

Dharma Talk for the Izu Honan-E Service by Rev.Yamamura

May 4, 2019

St. Nichiren was exiled to Izu of Shizuoka prefecture on May 12, 1271. In a small boat, St. Nichiren was taken from the coast of Kamakura to Ito of Izu, but through the plan of an evil official, before landing at he was left on some nearby rocks. When the tide ebbed, the rocks were exposed, however, at high tide, they were covered by the sea. St. Nichiren was in danger of drowning, but he was saved by a fisherman who happened to be passing by boat. Over the next few days the fisherman and his wife looked after the Saint. Later, there was news that the feudal lord of…

Dharma Talk for Sun-rise Service

May 2, 2019

St. Nichren studied the entirety of Buddhism over a period of twelve years in Kyoto, Nara and Hiei-zan. And he understood that Buddhism and the true intentions of Shakyamuni Buddha are in the Lotus Sutra, and he resolved to spread the Lotus Sutra to the people of Japan. Before announcing the results of his studies in the town of his birth, St. Nichiren trained himself for 100 days at Ise.   He did this to make his pledge to the protective deity of Japan, Amaterasu Omikami of Ise, that he will spread the Lotus Sutra throughout Japan. He later traveled from the Grand Shrine of Ise to Seicho-zan in his hometown…

The Aloha Buddhism from the Material by Dr. Kenneth Tanaka Compiled by Rev. Yamamura

April 27, 2019

Buddhism in America has a history of 150 years. Today, Buddhism is a modern religion. The present state of the religion is that American Buddhism is growing. In America, Buddhism is growing artificially and also in terms of its influence on society. In 2011, the number of Buddhists was three million. (One percent of the American population.) Of that number one million five hundred thousand Buddhists are immigrant Buddhists (from Japan, China, Vietnam, Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Korea, etc.). The other one million five hundred thousand are converts who were raised as Jewish or Christians. (Converts to Japanese Zen, through the influence of Dr. Daisetsu Suzuki. Also Tibetan Buddhism through the…

Faith by Rev. Yamamura

April 26, 2019

What is most important, above all, for Nichiren Buddhism, the Nichiren-shu and the Honolulu Myohoji is faith. The point is that are you really believing in Shakyamuni Buddha, St. Nichiren and the Lotus Sutra? Or not. Let me share with you a example about faith. The Odaimoku, which we chanted today, it could be likened to a rope. As you all know, this world is a world of suffering. There are still conflicts in this world. There are bad people. There is a great amount of stress and frustration in this world. There is no telling when we might fall ill. There are also many things that don’t go the…

Dharma Talk for Hanamatsuri By Rev. Yamamura

April 24, 2019

The other day, I was interviewed by the Hawaii Herald. I expressed my hope to revolutionize Hawaiian Buddhism. It is said that present day Hawaiian Buddhism is declining. I earnestly pondered over the cause for this. And the reason is that Hawaiian Buddhism placed too much emphasis on socializing. To socialize is to meet friends, to share a meal, and while having tea, to speak about experiences and to deepen friendly relations. Of course, socializing is important for the lives of human beings   Yet, socializing can also be done at Zippy’s and Mac Donald’s. The temple is a place to learn. The true role of the temple is to learn…

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo by Rev. Yamamura

April 24, 2019

    We all chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. And we all know that the basic meaning of Odaimoku is, “I devote myself to the Lotus Sutra.” However, odaimoku also has another important meaning.      In a letter to Abutsubo, St. Nichiren said that the body is composed of the five elements of the universe, including earth, water, fire, wind, and space. These five elements are also the five characters of the Myo, Ho, Ren, Ge and Kyo.      St. Nichiren is teaching us that the body, which is composed of the five universal elements and the environment the five universal elements are essentially the same. For example, the…

Why Do We Chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Odaimoku)? By Rev. Yamamura

April 20, 2019

To chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is to praise ourself and to respect another, gratitude and purification, and to realize Truth through word. I believe that you have more or less understood why we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo through these three interpretations. However, honestly speaking, why we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo cannot be understood by an intellectual understanding. Nevertheless, the Myoho of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is, as the characters indicate, the wondrous teaching (Dharma). It teaches us that the wondrous teaching cannot be understood by thinking with the human brain. To truly understand Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, there is no other way than to practice it. It…

Why Do We Chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Odaimoku) By Rev. Yamamura

April 19, 2019

Why Do We Chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo (Odaimoku) By Rev. Yamamura To chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is (1) to praise ourself and to respect another, and (2) gratitude and purification for the great nature. The third theme is word. In the 21st chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is explained. Since it is difficult, I will explain it in simple terms. Myo Ho is Shakyamuni Buddha’s infinitely spiritual power. Moreover, Renge is a symbol of the teaching by which He wished to save us, that everyone is equal. And a symbol of Shakyamuni Buddha’s practice is Kyo. First, there is Myo. Shakyamuni Buddha became one…

Tangyo Raihai By Rev. Yamamura

April 19, 2019

Tangyo Raihai There was a priest called Fukyou in India long ago. He did not read sutras at his temple, nor did he give sermons, and never conducted memorial services. So, what did he actually do? He would get up in the morning, put on his priest’s attire and go out. As he met people, he would bow his head, put his hands together, and say, “I respect you, and will never look down you,” and continued on his path. That’s all he did. If a priest suddenly came up to you, and said those things, wouldn’t you be surprised? If this happened today, he would simply be ignored, and…

Why should we meditate?

April 17, 2019

Why should we meditate?   We can broadly classify human emotions as being two kinds. One is a good feeling. One is a bad feeling. Human emotions are divided as pleasant and unpleasant. We are classifying our daily happenings as being pleasant or unpleasant. A happening that is pleasant for us is a good happening. A happening that is unpleasant for us is a bad happening. In other words, we are comparing the happening with our past memory and judging and experiencing the happening as good or bad. That is the nature of our mind. The goal of Buddhism is to unify that mind. Another goal is to improve human…