Showing posts from May, 2022

Simple...Like Ochazuke

  One of the simple pleasures that my mom misses now that she is residing in an assisted living community is Japanese rice. She mentions “ochazuke,” a comfort food that I remember from my childhood. Nothing was more enjoyable than a chawan (bowl) of rice with ocha (tea) poured over it. Slurping this bowl of rice along with tsukemono (pickled vegetables) was a favorite at mealtime. It certainly was not a fancy dish, and it did not take a long time to prepare. Even I could manage to make  ochazuke ! So I was surprised when I did a Google search for  “ochazuke” and found that there are actual recipes for making ochazuke --I cannot imagine that someone would need a recipe! Its awesome-ness lies in its simplicity...and all the childhood memories that come along with the flavors. I, and many other Shin Buddhists of my generation, who grew up going to a Jodo Shinshu temple, experience the same feeling of simplicity with our practice of reciting the name of Amida Buddha. The nembutsu , sa

"Do You Meditate?"

Buddhism is a 2,500 year old tradition and Buddhist teachings and practices take many forms. The way Buddhism is taught and practiced adapts to meet the needs of the people and cultures that follow it.  One of the things that drew me to Buddhism was how diverse, vibrant, and adaptable it is.  At Idaho-Oregon Buddhist temple, we follow a tradition called "Jodo Shinshu Buddhism," a Japanese tradition geared  toward busy people with jobs, families, and responsibilities, rather than toward monks/nuns.   Meditation is not a major part of our Jodo Shinshu practice and not something that I, personally, have ever wanted to practice much. Our Jodo Shinshu tradition relies on Amida Buddha's compassion, not our own spiritual abilities. We listen to the Dharma; we say the Nembutsu (the name of Amida Buddha: " Namo Amida Butsu" ); and we try to live a life of gratitude. We certainly can meditate, but we aren’t expected to.   In fact, if you came by our temple on a typical d