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Cleveland Buddhist Temple Newsletter

Dharma from the Forest City

Supervising Minister Rev. Ron Miyamura, 
Midwest Buddhist Temple

Contact Rev. Anita, Resident Tokudo Minister, CBT at:

October 24, 2020 Edition

Wasan 41

Pure winds blow in the
Producing the five tones of
the scale.
As those sounds are harmonious
and spontaneous,
Pay homage to Amida,
the one imbued with purity.

(Excerpt from A Pure Land Teaching Jōdo Shinshū Song of True Shinjin… Compiled by Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii 1999.)


Due to Covid–19, The Cleveland Buddhist Temple has suspended in person Shin Buddhist Services until further notice. Please contact us to request a special service. We look forward to resuming in person services soon!

Quid Pro Quo

If we think about it, we are more attached to a Quid Pro Quo view of life than we think. Latin for “something for something”, or “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine,” sometimes takes on an illicit connotation, maybe like a bribe. But I’m betting we have a deep belief in this concept in our daily lives, a belief that when it turns into thoughts, words or deeds causes suffering.

In talking about the Right View (see Tanaka excerpt below) we are invited to become aware of our understanding of life, of the Four Noble Truths, and then examine this understanding, to explore if my understanding, my view is valid. We don’t have to wait until we have time for contemplating philosophical questions – we are handed the opportunity constantly.

Buddhism does not demand or require blind faith, just the opposite. The Buddha never asks we accept his teachings because he taught them. We are told to examine them for ourselves, to find if they ring true to our life. Considering if our view includes an attachment to Quid Pro Quo may help us become more aware of views we hold.

Who has not heard someone complaining “…after all I’ve done for ‘x’ and now I ask one simple favor and all of a sudden ‘x’ gives a lame excuse not to do it!” Then, the dark thunder cloud of our attachment to Quid Pro Quo rolls in and parks itself right over our heads and makes us miserable or angry.

It happens all the time. This is our teaching moment, when that anger or misery takes over. If we can, we become aware enough to examine this view of expectations of how ‘x’ ought to behave. We examine why we believe in an exchange of something for something.

Following the Eightfold Noble Path is not easy; it asks us to examine ourselves, to examine our views and our understanding of this life. If we can see this in others, then we can begin to identify it in ourselves. The first Noble Truth, attachment to desires takes many forms. Attachment to a view that is counterproductive and awareness of it may be the first small step to chipping away that attachment.

A surprising then then happens, liberation. For me, it is learning that I do something because I choose to do it, regardless. The liberation is from dependence on ‘x.’ And this liberation helps reduce suffering.

So unless we are little porcupines, we have patterns of scratching one another’s backs with expectations of a favor returned. When the reality of these expectations of someone meets up with the reality of their actions we can use them as gifts to become aware, and perhaps even thank that person.

Namo Amida Butsu.

In Gassho,
Rev. Anita

Please email me at Would really like to hear from you, your comments, thoughts, or just to say “Hi.”

Jewels: An Introduction to American Buddhism for Youth, Scouts, and the Young at Heart by Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka BKD American, 2020.



Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka

Excerpts from Chapter 6 – The Eightfold Noble Path…

The question now is to ask what are the ways of cultivating good Karma, thus enabling the jewel within to shine brighter. In Buddhism, there are a number of ways, but the most well-known is the Eightfold Noble Path. What are the eight that makeup the Eightfold Noble Path? They are Right View, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration.

They can be seen as representing each of the eight spokes of the Wheel Of Dharma, one of the main symbols of Buddhism. Its importance is seen, for example, in the Scouts’ award metals, the Sangha and Metta Awards.

These eight parts of the Path should not be seen as stages, where each one is completed before moving onto the next. Instead, all eight are practiced together as a set, as they complement and support each other.

Also, the Noble Path is not so much a set of commandments as it is a set of self-imposed guidelines for those seeking to experience greater meaning and fulfillment in life. It is voluntary and not commanded by some external force from above or by a religious institution.

Further, each of eight is referred to as “right,” but they are not meant to be “right” as opposed to “wrong” in the moral sense. Instead, “right” is meant in the sense of being “appropriate” in keeping with truth, which then helps a person to lessen suffering and experience greater happiness.

In this sense, these are not absolute rules to be applied in all cases, all the time. At times we are unable to live up fully to the ideals of the Noble Path. This is true for those of us who are not living in a pristine and pure environment like the monks and nuns. So, I recommend that we apply these ideals in the spirit of “I shall try my best to carry them out” because life situations are not always black and white.

1) Right View

Right View refers to our understanding of the Four Noble Truths and other Buddhist principles such as the Four Marks of Life.

… As for the Four Marks of Life, they can be expressed in more “everyday” terms as,

  1. “Life is a bumpy road,”
  2. “Life is interdependent,”
  3. “Life is impermanent,” and
  4. “Life can be great.”…

To be continued with excerpts from Chapter 6 – The Eightfold Noble Path, Views 2-8

Cleveland Buddhist Temple

21600 Shaker Blvd, Shaker Heights
Ohio 44122 United States

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