Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ven. Zasu's Gift of Calligraphy

This calligraphy was brushed by the current chief of the Tendai school, the Venerable Zasu Handa Kojun. At 97 years old, he still produces amazingly vigorous work. The first character is "DOU", meaning 'the Way' or 'the Path', which was one of the words the Chinese used to translate 'Buddhism' when it first arrived in China almost 2000 years ago, since it resonated with some of the ideas of their native religion of Taoism. The second character is "SHIN", meaning both 'heart' and 'mind'. So the two characters together (DOSHIN) can be rendered as 'The Mind Set on the Way', 'Bodhicitta', or 'The Bodhisattva Path'

The Karmapa's Japanese-style goma

The 17th Karmapa burns goma on Jan 14, 2014 in India as part of his Monlam ceremony. Note that the set-up on his goma platform is Japanese. The story is that priests of the Shingon sect taught him this goma several years ago. The honzon, or main image, here is Akshobya Buddha ('the Immoveable' Buddha) whereas in Japan Fudo Myo-O ('the Immoveable'Vidyaraja) is used.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Photos from Nov 2013 symposium at the Enryaku-ji

Besides myself, this is Ichishima Shoshin, the coordinator of the event, and tw0 Tendai priests, Fushin Franz Zampiero fom Italy and Innen Ray Parcello from Canada

Delivering a paper called "The Vision of the California Tendai Monastery."

A Lone Yamabushi

A lone yamabushi observes the aftermath of the annual Shugendo goma, performed in the courtyard of the main Tendai temple, the KOMPON CHUDO on Mt. Hiei.  While the sacred bonfire (saito goma) still burns brightly, the crowd mills around, some looking for souvenirs from the fire offering ceremony.