Jushoku’s Meanderings – February 2022

We will start this Jushoku’s Meanderings with a remembrance of Thích Nhất Hạnh, who died on January 22nd. He was a Vietnamese monk, prolific author, poet, translator and influential contributor to Buddhism outside Asia. He said of his own imminent death, “I am a...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – January 2022

End of Year Thoughts - Tora Doshi - Year of the Tiger – is upon us. In short, the tiger represents energy, strength, protection, altruism, leadership, purposefulness, respect, revolutionary ideas, but also vulnerability, sensitivity, selfishness, overestimation, and...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – December 2021

The Background: Over the last 20+ months Tendai Buddhist Institute has adapted to the pandemic identified as COVID-19. Never in the history of human infectious disease has a virus been studied more intensely within such a short period of time. The mobilization was a...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – November 2021

Each day we are all confronted by choices about which we must make decisions. The choices may be about practical matters, or they may be ethical, moral, even existential. We like to think that the decisions we make are rational. More often than not our decisions are...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – October 2021

There is no entry this month done by Abbot Monshin Naamon.  Instead, you can read the entry by Koshin Bower for this month here

Koshin’s Meandering – October 2021

Koshin’s Meandering With the equinox just past, the onset of October brings chilly winds and the change in leaves around the Northeast. The feeling of fall is definitely setting in. The shift echoes the recent changes in my own life. A lot has changed....

Jushoku’s Meanderings – September 2021

It must be September; the barn swallows have begun their migration to Central and South America, apple cider doughnuts, fresh juicy peaches and apples call to me from the local farm stand, the field corn is taller than the car when I drive on the road through the...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – August 2021

The Provisional World Have you heard the phrase ‘Delta Whiplash’ yet? We are in the midst of a surge, and not just any surge, this is with a variant, Delta, that is more communicable, more deadly, and has more breakthrough cases, cases that affect people already...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – July 2021

July 2021 Note: This is a rewrite of an earlier essay. Within the Buddhist community there are those who contend that polishing oneself (purifying oneself of transgressions) to be free from obscurations is the superior way to improve society, one person, one spirit,...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – June 2021

Part One: Sometime in the mid 1990’s Dr. Victor Hori, a professor (now retired) at McGill University and a Zen Buddhist priest, paid a visit to Karuna Tendai Dharma Center (now Tendai Buddhist Institute). I was pleasantly surprised to meet him. He had heard about our...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – May 2021

Freedom and its relationship to saṃsāra, nirvāṇa, and duḥkha In an undergraduate course, maybe an anthropology, sociology, or political science class, I remember reading a journal article on a cross cultural study of what the word freedom meant to different cultures...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – April 2021

From The Black Death and the Trans-formation of the West, David Herlihy, writes of the, “death” as a liberating force, pushing European society forward, destroying it, but at the same time transforming it, spurring new growth and possibilities. There is a reason...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – March 2021

In December of 2017 we had to demolish the cow barn on the Tendai Buddhist Institute’s main property. The barn itself was over 250 years old and sat about 50 meters from the main house. Originally it was attached perpendicular to the horse barn which we took apart...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – February 2021

Recently I felt as though I had awoken from a year's long nightmare. Unfortunately, the last five years were not a nightmare, not a dream, but a reality that cost over 400,000 lives, has decimated our economy, exacerbated our environmental challenges, emboldened, and...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – January 2021

Do you know anyone who does not feel that 2020 was the worst year in our lifetime? Do you know anyone who is not looking forward to 2021 with hope and longing for a return to normal? My guess is that your answer is NO. As I started writing this essay, I was thinking...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 12-1-20 – Dec 2020

The last month of 2020 caps a disjointed period that began last March. We were simultaneously subjected to a once in a century pandemic resulting in death, disabilities and torn hearts - economic upheaval for the average person that will be takes years for recovery -...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 11-1-20 – Nov 2020

Shumon, Kairen and I spent an hour and a half on the morning of October 24th standing in line and voting at the Columbia County Board of Elections early voting site in Hudson, New York. Standing in line, forfeiting our time (a small sacrifice to be sure), seemed...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 10-1-20 – Oct 2020

As the header of this Shingi states - we are now in the 'neo-normal' phase under the corona pandemic. New York State was the epicenter of the COVID 19 pandemic in the States for several months early on. We suspended all our in person gatherings at the temple, stayed...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 9-1-20 – Sept 2020

An Afternoon Musing In the last 25 years about six to eight Barn swallows usually appeared around the temple compound in May and several dozen departed in mid-August. This year they appeared when expect, but only three or four showed up. It is now August 30th. Around...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 8-1-20 – Aug 2020

Adapted from an August Dharma Talk We may all feel as though we have been taxed beyond our ability to cope. The Covid 19 pandemic, economic crisis, racial inequality, those who are supposed to protect society have been seen in video taking the lives of those who are...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 7-1-20 – July 2020

Our environment is manifesting in some strange ways in the middle of this pandemic. That is not to say it is a result of the plague; maybe coincident, maybe totally unrelated. For the first time since we have been in East Chatham, NY there are no migrating bats making...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 6-8-20 – June 2020

Let me begin this edition with a wonderful announcement. We will start meeting in-person, in the temple hondo, on June, 10, 2020. The discussion will begin at 6:00 PM in the Hondo, the kuri does not have sufficient space for social distancing, followed by the...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 6-1-20 – June 2020

Jushoku's Meanderings A recent Wednesday evening virtual gathering was devoted to people sharing their experience during the isolation because of the shutdown. Specifically, I wanted to hear how people are experiencing the separation, then also a sense of gratitude...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 5-27-20 – May 2020

A recent article by the conservative political journalist Andrew Sullivan, writing in New York magazine, succinctly states what I've been thinking for some time: "Tribalism is now not just one force in American politics, it's the overwhelming one, and tribalism abhors...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 5-20-20 – May 2020

Each morning Shumon, Kairen and I do the daily service in the sanctuary. Kairen is temple assistant, so I sit on a chair to the right of the altar so that Kairen can practice the service as leader. Shumon is assistant. When we don't have a temple assistant Shumon and...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 5-9-20 – May 2020

There are so many thoughts rambling through my mind. Consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has been compared to a war. How people of color, the poor and the elderly are disproportionately dying from the corona virus. The economic devastation occurring as a result of the...

Jushoku’s Meanderings – 5-1-20 – May 2020

In the last Jushoku’s Journal I wrote about how things may be different as we resume a ‘new abnormal’. There are a number of interesting articles that I can cite that discusses such things as paying closer attention to the environment, changes to colleges and universities, and the airline industry. There is no doubt that there will be some major changes, and many of us conceived that we have an opportunity to ‘reboot’ many social, political, economic. environmental institutions and perspectives.

Jushoku’s Journal – 4-24-20 – April 2020

Being isolated has one advantage. That is, we have an increased opportunity for introspection, reflection, practices, and meditation. This may not seem as obvious if there are several people in isolation together. Additionally, now is the time we might best make use of such activities. A problem can be that in isolation our perspective on time changes and we tend to plan to do our practice later and then . . .

Jushoku’s Journal 4-14-20 – April 2020

I’ve lost track of how long we have participated in the New York State executive order to stay at home. It feels like a month. Many of us do not go out, except to occasionally grocery shop, one day runs into the other with little distinction. Once we started staying at home our expectations of simple things like going to a restaurant, visiting a friend, or attending a religious service ceased to be a demarcation in our lives. This latter feature is probably most relevant to me, since I retired from teaching, I spend most my time in my study at the temple.

Jushoku’s Journal 4-7-20 – April 2020

Right now, as I write this the sun is shining, the goldfinches are changing to bright yellow with their summer plumage, green buds are appearing on the lilac bush, red and white sprouts from the peonies, the peepers are in full symphony, a chipmunk showed up on a rock under the bird feeder, and I am waiting for the swallows to make an appearance for the season. It seems so incongruent because we are in ‘stay-at-home’ mode, I’m not traveling, except once a week to the grocery store, I don’t see people, except Tamami, that are not on my computer screen. Social life has been altered considerably for the next few months, yet the immediate environment is what one would expect this time of year.