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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:

September 19, 2020 Edition

Wasan 36

The wondrous land, was
beyond measurement,
Is made up of adornments
fulfilled through the Primal
So bow down to and take
refuge in Amida,
The pure one who broadly
grasps all beings.

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

29 Hours to Say Goodbye

Ts’tesut’yun (Ցտեսութիւն) – until our next meeting. To me, this expression used by Armenians when they part company has a Buddhist ring to it. The English ‘goodbye’ sounds so final. ‘Till our next meeting’ has an interdependent implication and at the same time, acknowledges the unknowable conditions that may once again bring us together again, somehow, somewhere.

There are many partings; the most profound is death. Sometimes we do not have the chance to say goodbye, sometimes we do. On Saturday morning the vet told me Dokie was dying. I had 29 more hours to spend with Dokie and say goodbye. Okie and Dokie, two sibling kittens came home with me when I adopted them a little over a decade ago from the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Last Sunday, Dokie and I said our last goodbye. The veterinarian came to our home, we both cried.

The pain of death of one so loved opens the flood gates of feelings that don’t make sense. I questioned what I believe and why I believe it. It is not easy, but I come back to the truths of our Buddhist teachings. It is a final goodbye, as we understand it, for this time and space. But it is also a Ts’tesut’yun for what is unknowable in this life.

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.”

Excerpt on Patience: The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva. Revised Edition, 2006. Shambhala, Boulder. 

This 8th century CE Indian Buddhist monk and scholar lived in the famous Nalanda monastery. Each stanza offers a thought we can just relax into and consider. Shantideva was an adherent of Nāgārjuna, a Pure Land master.

The Way of the Bodhisattva by Shantideva

39. If those who are like wanton children
Are by nature prone to injure others,
There’s no reason for our rage;
It’s like resenting fire for being hot.

40. And if their faults are fleeting and contingent,
If living beings are by nature mild,
It’s likewise senseless to resent them –
As well be angry at the sky when it is full of smoke!

41. Although it is there sticks that hurt me,
I am angry at the ones who wield them, striking me.
But they in turn are driven by their hatred;
Therefore with their hatred I should take offense.

42. In just the same way in the past
I it was who injured living beings.
Therefore it is right that injury
Should come to me their torturer.

43. Their weapons and my body –
Both are causes of my torment!
They their weapons, I my body brandished;
Who then is more worthy of my rage?

44. This body – running sore in human form –
Merely touched, it cannot stand the pain!
I’m the one who grasped it in my blind attachment,
Whom should I resent when pain occurs?

45. We who are like children
Shrink from pain, but love its causes.
We hurt ourselves through our misdeeds!
So why should others be the object of our rage?

46. And who indeed should I be angry with?
This pain is all my own contriving –
Likewise all the janitors of hell
And all the groves of razor trees!

47. Those who harm me rise against me –
It’s my karma that has summoned them.
And if through this these beings go to hell,
is it not I who bring the ruin?

48. Because of them, and through my patience,
All my many sins are cleansed and purified.
But they will be the ones who, thanks to me,
Will have the long-drawn agonies of hell.

49. Therefore I am their tormentor!
Therefore it is they who bring me benefit!
Thus with what perversity, pernicious mind,
Will you be angry with your enemies?

50. If a patient quality of mind is mine,
I shall avoid the pains of hell.
But through indeed I save myself,
What of my foes, what fate’s in store for them?

51. If I repay them harm for harm,
Indeed they’ll not be saved thereby.
My conduct will in turn be marred,
Austerity of patience brought to nothing.

52. Because the mind is bodiless
It cannot be destroyed by anyone.
Because of mind’s attachment to body,
This body is oppressed by pain.

53. Scorn and hostile words,
And comments that I do not like to hear-
My body is not harmed by them.
What reason do you have, O mind, for your resentment?
(Chapter on Patience to be continued)

(Chapter on Patience to be continued)

Cleveland Buddhist Temple

21600 Shaker Blvd, Shaker Heights
Ohio 44122 United States

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