Katie Mey, Lethbridge Herald: A small southern Alberta town’s early acceptance of Japanese culture helped shape Buddhism in Canada, making this region a hub of religious growth.
Raymond was the centre of the Canadian Buddhist movement after the Second World War, according to University of Lethbridge religious studies professor John Harding, whose upcoming work will focus on the modernization of Buddhism from a global perspective.
He underscored the local connection during a recent presentation to an audience of about 30 people at the Galt Museum, coinciding with the museum’s Religion in the Bible Belt exhibit.
The first Buddhists moved to Canada from Japan in 1905…
RocketNews24, Japan: Most people go to Shinto shrines several times a year, like for New Years or to make a special wish or prayer, like before a job interview. But with Buddhist temples, it’s usually just for tourism and funerals – not that frequently, basically. But wait! Temples are transforming these days, more and more using their halls for activities such as yoga classes, group date venues (‘gou-kon‘ in Japanese – group dinners with single men and women, seeking potential mates), and even as concert venues!
The idea to use temples as group date venues came from the observation that of the people …
Rocket News 24 (Japan): What do you think of when you hear the word Zen? For most people, “organized religion” probably isn’t a phrase that pops up immediately. This can be a bit of a predicament for Zen Buddhist missionaries working in places like Europe and North America.
The word, which comes from a Japanese translation of the Chinese word chán, literally means meditation, and has developed a romantic sense of being purely in the moment and devoid of all thought. This concept has been focused on by various artists in Western culture like Jack Kerouac, with a diminished emphasis on the less sexy …
It can be difficult to get people excited about religion in Japan. No doubt, Japan’s culture and its religions are deeply intertwined, but the vast majority of Japanese people say that aren’t very religious.
With membership in religions across Japan in free fall, many are trying to make themselves more appealing to attract more followers. How do you get people excited about religion? Do you pull a Pope John Paul II and get some sweet-ass breakdancers to get the kids all excited about God?
Japanese Buddhists have found their weapon of choice: hunks. Not just any hunks, but hunky monks. Earlier this year …
He’d prefer enlightenment to a medal, but when Japan’s horse-riding Buddhist monk Kenki Sato saddles up for London 2012, he’ll be representing one of the Olympics’ more unusual families.
Shaven-headed Sato, who starts each day with a morning prayer, is following his younger brother Eiken, who also trained as a priest and rode at the Beijing Games. His sister, Tae, 24, is a five-time national showjumping champion.
And his father, Shodo, who heads a 460-year-old temple and adjacent horse-riding club, was a member of Japan’s equestrian team before the 1980 Games in Moscow — only to have his Olympic dream dashed when Japan boycotted.
Kenki Sato is …
Another Friday night at this tiny neighborhood watering hole in Tokyo: By 7:30, the bar stools and tables in this cozy joint are filling up; office workers settle in with their cocktails and Kirin beers. And by a little after 8, it’s time for the main act.
Vow’s Bar in the Yotsuya neighborhood has no house band, no widescreen TV, no jukebox. But it does have a chanting Buddhist monk so tipplers can get a side of sutras with their Singapore Slings or something even more exotic.
A pair of younger monks — conspicuous with their shaved heads, bare feet and religious garb — man …
The following extract from Jan Chozen Bays’ How to Train a Wild Elephant is reproduced with the permission of the publisher, Shambhala Publications, Inc.
The Exercise: Use loving hands and a loving touch, even with inanimate objects.
Put something unusual on a finger of your dominant hand. Some possibilities include a different ring, a Band-aid, a dot of nail polish on one nail, or a small mark made with a colored pen. Each time you notice the marker, remember to use loving hands, loving touch.
When we do this practice, we soon become aware of when we or others are not using loving hands. We notice how groceries are thrown into … Read more »
Ten minutes of meditation before a meeting could significantly improve its outcome, according to research by the Kyoto Convention Bureau.
A group of 20 did five separate exercises – including memory, language, comprehension and listening tests – on two separate occasions, 12 days apart.
Before the first session there was no preparation, but before the second participants each did a 10-minute meditation exercise.
The study found that after the second session delegates showed an average improvement of 12.5% in completing the tasks.
The largest individual improvement across all the tasks was 21%, while the smallest individual improvement was 2%.
Reverend Matsuyama, a Zen Buddhist priest, who…
conducted the meditation… Read more »
At an informal discussion with over 200 Buddhist priests, His Holiness the Dalai Lama said Japan with its highly developed scientific knowledge combined with its ancient Buddhist tradition can produce Buddhist scientists.
He said Japanese Buddhist practitioners should engage in dialogues with scientists to explore areas where science and religion can find a common ground in understanding universal values like compassion and kindness. In the last few years, secular dialogues between Tibetan Buddhists and Western scientists have attracted attention to the role of meditation in creating balance between mind and body. Research has shown that a calm mind reduces stress and blood pressure. Quoting another scientific study, he said when one develops anger, things looks … Read more »
A bell tolls at first light. The old timber “nightingale” floors chirp under stockinged feet, there’s a whisper of saffron and black robes, a rumour of conversation and the monks enter the temple. Mist drifts around the eaves like incense and there’s a chill in the mountain air, yet behind the sliding paper screens it’s warm and dark. Low, golden lanterns illuminate an ornate altar, around which the monks sit perfectly still.
There are four monks, ageless, heads shaven. The head priest, seated in the middle facing the altar, lights a stick of incense. The monk to his left begins chanting softly, then the others. The words, incomprehensible to me, have a soothing monotony. The … Read more »