Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Announcement - Amidaji temple is opened for visitors!

Inside the library of Amidaji. Here you can study and sleep
or you can bring your own tent and place it in the courtyard
Amidaji temple is opened to visitors if they do not mind the simple conditions. One can sleep in the library (or bring one's own tent), and attend services and Dharma talks in the Hondo (Dharma Hall). A shower and toilet are provided, too. We can also arrange meals together! In time, I will be able to offer better conditions and more accomodation facilities, but if people are determined to listen the Dharma and there is the posibility for them to travel, why not pay a visit to me now? We can spend some meaningful time together, discuss any doubt or misunderstanding you might have, say Nembutsu, learn the simple Amidaji liturgy, and even help me with some physical work in the courtyard.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Amidaji construction news 2016 (part III)

- last update August 8th - 
 Dear Dharma friends,

Here it is a short summary of what I did this summer, and what I plan to do in the next months at Amidaji temple. For more detailed information (including the funds I spent from your donations) and photos you can click on the links provided in the text:

1) What I did until now
the renovated Hondo (Dharma Hall)
- I renovated, arranged and did some repair on the inside of the Hondo (Dharma Hall). I also added some liquid thermal insulation and painted the walls.
- I paid half of the taxes that must be paid for this year and which are related with the land of Amidaji and the two wooden houses (Hondo and Library)
- I added a new altar with a new beautiful Amida scroll (a gift of Zuikoji temple Osaka)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Emotional instability does not mean absence of faith

My mind can never be at peace.
Since the Buddha and me both know this simple truth,
Namo Amida Butsu comes naturally on my lips.
There are people who confuse emotional instability with the absence of faith (shinjin), and so they hope that faith will give them some kind of constant emotional stability. However, it is normal for unenlightened beings (and people of faith remain unenlightened until death and birth in the Pure Land!) to experience various degrees of emotional instability. It is exactly why Amida urges us to entrust to Him, and not on our own so called, ”personal power” and "personal achievements or merits". Trully, nothing stable can be achieved by an unenlightened mind, especially not Nirvana or birth in the Pure Land.

We must bear in mind that faith will not give us absence of desires while we are still here in our samsaric bodies. Faith will only make us enter the stage of non-retrogression, which means that no matter how many desires we have or how low we are on the scale of spiritual evolution, we will surely reach the Pure Land in the moment of death.

Thus, an unenlightened person who entrusts to Amida continues to suffer while still in his/her samsaric body. For a non-Buddha mind clinging is always present, and so,  there will always be suffering, insatisfaction, and some kind of emotional instability. I often say this to my Dharma friends - shinjin (faith) is not satori (Enlightenment)! Not even a little satori, so much more a greater satori which leads to absence of desires and constant emotional stability!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I don't miss meditation since I met the Primal Vow

Do you ever feel like anything is "missing" for you without regular meditation?

My aswer:
I really do not feel something is missing... For an ordinary person meditation is useless anyway because no one can attain Enlightenment through it in this last Dharma age. More than this, meditation can even be a distraction from the Primal Vow. If Amida wanted us to practice meditation and considered meditation to be helpful to us, then He would have included it in His Primal Vow, which He didn't. As Honen said, Amida chose only His Name from the myriad practices. Why? Because this Name is supreme and all-powerful, and will take us quickly to freedom from birth and death.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Amidaji Construction News 2016 (part II) - THE LIBRARY

scroll down for the latest updates!

building the concrete platform for the library
1) The plan for the library
One of the most important steps in the Amidaji project is the library. The original plan was to build a bigger Hondo (Dharma Hall) near the actual one, which will be then transformed into the library. But as the funds needed for the new bigger Hondo are beyond my financial possibilities, I decided to build a little wooden house this summer and use it as a library. When that bigger Hondo will be built and the present one will be transformed into the library, this little house will be used only for the accomodation of visitors.

The truck with the building materials 
for the new wooden house arrived on June 13th. 
I also had a service and Dharma talk on  the12th 
and did various little works in the courtyard of the temple.
The thing is I have a great ammount of copies of my books (especially those printed in Romanian by the CBBEF), as well as various old and new Jodo Shinshu English translations that need to be stored in a proper building. Now many of them are kept in precarious conditions near the place dedicated to the temple, and in the homes of some of my trusted friends and readers. So, while many copies will still remain at these friends who help distribute them in their respective towns, I urgently need a suitable place to store the books I have at my disposal, and where the visitors can easily come in contact with them.