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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:

November 7, 2020 Edition

Wasan 43

(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!

A blind child, a deaf child and a child who could not walk were the only three children who did not follow the pied piper* out of town to their doom.

How often do we watch for, listen for and desire to find someone to follow, to lead the way out of our troubles or a future that we think will make us happy?  If you are like me, ‘many times.’   The causes and conditions that contributed to the person we are today made us unique, one of a kind. We are like a single jewel in Indra’s Net of our interconnections between one another in space and time.  

Yet, we are social beings and like the net, reflect each other, are connected to each other.  Sometimes we are dazzled and follow a pied piper without realizing it; this is what the Buddha advised us against when he said:

        “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in    anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in          anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe         in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in         traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after             observation and analysis, when you find  that anything agrees with reason and is   conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”


The operative phrase for me is “…conducive to the good and benefit of one and all…” But how do we know what that is? For me, if it severs our human kindness and compassion for one another, it is not.  If it tries to lure us into snipping the threads of the net connecting us, it is not.

The wisdom and compassion of the words spoken by the Buddha, for me, agree with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of all.  I know, I have tried to end hatred with hatred, in the end, it never works.  It only deepened the gulf with no way out.   When I tried to end hatred with love, it did not succeed most of the time, but it did many times.  When it did not succeed, it was because of my inability to let go of my attachments of greed, anger and folly – I followed the pied piper.

We can continue to follow  pied pipers the rest of our lives,  or we can at least explore to see if the teaching of the Buddha  about hatred can liberate us from following a path of suffering.

Gautama Buddha Dhammapada (5)

Hatreds never cease by hatreds in this world.

By love alone they cease. This is an ancient Law.

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.”


by Kenneth Kenshin Tanaka

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

Excerpts from Chapter 6 – The Eightfold Noble Path, continued from 3) Right Speech…

4) Right Conduct

Right Conduct encourages us to refrain from killing, stealing and sexual misconduct.

Killing is the act of taking life, which includes human life. In the history of Buddhism, this teaching discouraged lay Buddhists (who are not monks or nuns) to stay away from occupations that involve killing, such as making and selling of arms and weapons.

Buddhists also stayed away from work that involve killing animals, birds, fish and other living creatures. However, that does not mean that all Buddhists are vegetarian, for even the Buddha ate meat when offered. That is true even for Theravada monks and laypeople in Southeast Asian countries. (Note: when Buddhism entered China and the rest of East Asia, especially monks and nuns adopted vegetarian practices. Today many lay Buddhists are not strict vegetarians.) When they do so, they expressed their deep gratitude for the lives sacrificed and do their best not to waste them.

Stealing is simply the act of taking what does not belong to you. This, too, is one of the widely held prohibitions found in virtually all religions.

Refraining from sexual misconduct for Buddhist monks and nuns meant that they could not take part in any form of sexual activity, since they have taken vows of celibacy. For laypeople, a Buddhist understanding is that sex has the potential to cause great harm and suffering is misused, but, on the other hand, it can be a source of pleasure and fulfillment between two people in a loving and committed relationship.

And it is true that it becomes a little more difficult to define what constitutes “misconduct” for people in different cultures and over time. However, the best way for those of us living today to understand “misconduct” is to understand that it means any action that causes harm. So, for someone in a committed relationship (such as marriage), having an affair would cause a lot of pain to that person’s partner. Further, acts of obvious sexual misconduct such as sexual harassment, rape and sex with a minor constitute not only criminal behavior but also because enormous pain and emotional damage to the victims forever.

5) Right Livelihood

For monks and nuns, Right Livelihood prohibits them from engaging in activities that are unbecoming of spiritual seekers. Lay Buddhists are discouraged from being in occupations that go against the basic Buddhist ethical values.

One such value is refraining from killing, as mentioned before. Such being the case, traditionally there have been occupations that are considered unsuitable. They include occupations that involve training in arms and lethal weapons, as well as in the killing of animals. (Note: while Buddhists are discouraged from going into these occupations, we realize that some people may not have been a choice. So, we should not be too quick to judge other people’s choices and circumstances. Plus, those who are not vegetarians are able to enjoy their meat precisely because there are people working in the slaughterhouses.) Other unsuitable occupations are those that involve slavery, prostitution and illegal drugs.

It is clear from this that Buddhism discouraged professions that bring harm to others. This is in line with the Buddhist position of strongly opposing any kind of war and aggressive acts, as seen in the Buddha’s well-known words, “Hatred is not overcome by hatred, but only by acts of non-hatred is hatred overcome.” [Dhammapada]

To be continued from Chapter 6 – The Eightfold Noble Path, parts 6-8

Cleveland Buddhist Temple

21600 Shaker Blvd, Shaker Heights
Ohio 44122 United States

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