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2.2024 Dharma Talk by Reverend John Mullins

“Make of yourself a light. Rely upon yourself. Do not depend on anyone else. Make my teachings your light. Rely upon them. Do not depend upon any other teaching.” Shakyamuni Buddha, Mahaparinibbana Sutra As I read these words spoken by the Buddha as part of his final teaching before passing into Nirvana, I was surprised […]


Since this is the start of a new year, it is customary to think about our goals for the year ahead and make New Year’s resolutions. We may resolve to quit a bad habit, learn something new, tidy our homes Marie Kondo-style, or focus on our health through fitness and diet changes. Have you ever […]

Jōdo Shinshū: Japan’s Path of True Entrusting

While meditating on a luminous vision of Amida Buddha surrounded by celestial beings and majestic light, iconic reformer Shinran Scholar realized existence’s boundless wisdom personified in Amida’s primordial vow to liberate all suffering beings. Through entrusting oneself completely to this compassionate ideal, devotees attain natural rebirth in the Pure Land paradise, Shinran taught, by reciprocating […]

Bringing Jōdo Shinshū to America: Buddhist Churches of America

On the West Coast of the early 20th century United States, a leading Japanese Buddhist denomination named Jōdo Shinshū made roots that grew into the nationwide Buddhist Churches of America organization. Through decades of adversity and adaptation, these immigrant temples provided spiritual community support while spreading dharma doors wide for all.   Seeds of the […]

Shusho-e: Welcoming the New Year in Japan

On the morning of January 1st every year, temples across Japan hold a special Buddhist service called Shusho-e to celebrate the new year. Originating over 1,300 years ago, this ceremonial service has evolved into an important Japanese New Year’s tradition for blessing the year ahead with health, happiness and prosperity.   History and Significance   […]