Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, On the Path, Western Holidays

How do Buddhists Celebrate Christmas?

IMG_3701 IMG_3795 IMG_3798 IMG_2901With Joy! It’s a popular holiday in the West so when i became Buddhist and traveled to different temples in the USA, I found that nearly everyone in those places big and small celebrates with the rest of the country!

Strange you may think, but no…. think about it.

To me Christmas is about the practice of generosity. Santa is a giver of gifts that are deserved and mysteriously leaves them overnight to everyone on Christmas Eve. to wake up to on Christmas morning. He wears red, the color of the heart in Chinese theory called the 5 elements.

The Christmas tree, an evergreen, the sign of life in wintertime, every culture notices this type of tree. Germans long before Christianity used to bring in pine tree boughs to freshen their home in the winter and add color and life in their harsh winters. Later they would bring trees into their home and eventually began to decorate them. Then Christianity came, but nothing was done about the tree issue until the Victorian age when the created myth about the trees began to be commercialized.

I love the lights too. the lights sparkle and immediately make you feel happy upon seeing them! I have a tiny white desktop tree with optic fibers that change color. I love that. I have red lights up on my doorway to the Buddha hall and lining the Buddha altar. I love the colors of Christmas time too. It does not bother me to know that Christians took the holiday that used to be pagan, that probably started as a way to keep the homes from smelling bad in the winter! Pine scents have been used for centuries to deodorize rooms!  There is often a reference to ‘luminosity’ in referring to the mind, this is the goal of many Buddhists who sincerely meditate and particularly attainable for those with discernment and skill.

I rarely go out during the holidays.  However, I do visit mom during this time of year.  Also this year I am going to celebrate Christmas Day with her and the family and I am bringing healthy snack food for them, that will be my contribution.  We have soup and sandwiches on Christmas Day.  Also they play Christmas Bingo, which is just drawing numbers and picking a numbered present.  I hardly go for Christmas celebrations due to the weather or mostly due to the fact I am not too attached to the day.  Mom asked me to come and convinced me to bring my daughter who usually serves up a Christmas meal to her friends without family nearby and like she does so for every holiday.  I bake goodies and breads for them to take home afterwards every holiday, they need fresh food besides pizza!

Remember Buddhas Bodhi Day is also in December around 18th or so. Remember Christmas can be a fun day, it’s not about meeting the needs for wished for gifts, it is about the act of generosity, you can give time, acts of kindness, presents if you like, and food.  All from the genuine wish to give and nothing more than that.  Oh, I stay away from the stores and only buy groceries during the holidays… but love to buy discounted Christmas items afterwords for dharma crafts.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Posted in Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders

Peace in every step, trust in precepts, certainty in mind- how to endure difficulties as robed Sangha

USA Sangha see all of uphold our precepts from all the traditions

Peace in every step, trust in precepts, certainty in mind helps a Sangha endure.  This is the only way to endure difficult times.  There is no other way if you wish to remain a monk or nun with precepts.  Otherwise do not wear our robes.  Go back and stay in lay-life.  How we endure is based upon the guidance of the Vinaya precepts we were given.

It is a parajika offense to support suicide by writing your support for it through images, posters, online posts, providing means of suicide the implements  the knowledge on how to do it, the people to carry the instruments for your behalf to give to the person you want to kill.  Arguing with a Sangha member in favor of the act of self-immolation in and out of Tibet is a parajika offense by written words or in speeches.  Because you say it with your words… get it.  Now GET OUT OF THOSE ROBES !!! I have argued with Tibetan Sangha particularly it’s the Westerners who really argue and I have enough. You westerners get a clue, you are not Tibetan even robes. Thus not supported by their system. Parajika offense is the most serious and you can never abandon it and call your self monks.

It is pointless to argue with anyone in the freetibet bandwagon, they are incapable of logic.  Their leader promotes suicide, it is so shocking that this thinking comes from the West to effectively kill, probably end Tibetan Buddhism as it was.  Every time I do engage them, by standing up for Vinaya and supporting life, they accuse me of being a Chinese govt supporter or a spy! I mean, really that no kind of logic.  I am defending the right to life, not debating, I am standing up for the sake of the Tibetan Sangha not politics. Only those two things are my concerns in countering statements that are pro-suicide.

You cannot debate Buddhism people,  I hate the way western people think their rambling emotional aggressive accusatory style in speech is debate when it is not.  Buddhist debate is seriously controlled by the Sangha, and done in privacy of the Sangha sima.  Buddhist debate is only done for proof of education and shows the level of understanding by the student, its specialized in style and has to be learned.  It is not the stuff of forums or Facebook or comments field.

They don’t debate they just bitch.  They don’t read, just use emotional statements, they don’t accept logic.  If you counter with logic and reputable sources they just get emotional like teenagers do when they are overwhelmed.  It is a rancid movement full of emotion, abuse, and does not favor life.  When it started early one the movement was pure in intention but not effective.

Now the only effective thing is that the FreeTibet movement is doing is that they are good at marketing, selling posters, Buddhist goods, tshirts with burning monks images, and buttons and the like.  They are emotional campaigners who promote officially suicide for political gain of a very, very few people.  Most of them  do not understand the history of Tibet, nor it’s warrior and warlord society, it was brutal, it was aggressive, repressive, and offered nothing to the whole of the country.

Westerners are not used to monks who commit violent acts, nor will they easily accept teachings from a tradition that is violent.  It does not accord with their own understanding of Buddhism and the Sangha.  Monks who abandon their Vinaya precepts and kill, fight, torture, enslave and many still do.  I am not saying there are no Tibetan monks who uphold strictly the Vinaya for there are indeed many that do and some are highly attained and they do not touch politics at all.  But those monks who abandoned their  precepts they go back the monastery or commit the acts within the monastery in their robes thus they mock their preceptors, their elders and the saints, and those formerly held precepts and preach kindness and compassion with beautiful smiles on their faces.

If there are robed Sangha members joining with the FreeTibet movement with this purpose then upon the joining they have openly committed parajika offense.  They are no longer considered monks by the rest of our global Vinaya Sangha. 

Gendun Drup, 1st Dalai Lamathis is the first Dalai Lama in Tibet.

Stephanie Brigden, director of the Free Tibet campaign group, said the spate of protests were “aimed at sending the next generation of China’s unelected regime a clear signal that Tibetans will continue to fight for their freedom”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9663194/China-Communist-Party-Congress-teenage-Tibetans-set-themselves-on-fire-in-protest.html

The protests have divided exiled Tibetans with some seeing them as a legitimate protest while others worry they contravene Buddhist beliefs in the sanctity of life.

This shows that they do not have a large amount of support to continue this horrific trend. Since 2011 they have promoted this one method as a means to force China to end political repression of Tibet and declare it independent.

Many gathered for a candle-lit prayer vigil in Dharamshala, home to about 10,000 exiled Tibetans, on Thursday in front of a large poster bearing the faces of those who have self-immolated.

last paragraph states:

Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to address Tibetans’ grievances saying she recognised their “intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means”.

Here is a good short article on CNN.com and reasonable summary of why it is not working for those promoting suicide in Tibet.

So why does the self-immolation of one man accomplish so much, but the same gesture performed by so many others accomplishes nothing? Perhaps the question should be phrased differently, because a closer look at Bouazizi’s deed and the Tibetan cases reveals that it is something other than the sheer number of self-immolations that makes them a catalyst for change.

Tunisians could easily identify with Bouazizi’s extreme predicament. His actions spoke to the community’s shared frustration and despair. But the demands of Tibetan self-immolators are varied. Some want a “free Tibet,” as do all Tibetan exiles, but others only want freedom of religion, or political autonomy, or the opportunity to study in Tibetan as opposed to Chinese, or the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Self-immolations that prompt political change are extraordinary and rare events. The ancient Greeks had two different words for time: chronos for ordinary time and kairos for time of special quality — a particularly propitious time for which our “right time” is a rather weak translation. For self-immolations to be politically successful, they have to happen in kairos. Bouazizi, Đúc and Palach had many imitators, but none since have achieved so much.

That’s why the high number of self-immolations among Tibetans lately could be read as an implicit admission of failure. Even though the first self-immolation by a former Tibetan monk, Thupten Ngodup, on April 27, 1998, in New Delhi, had some public impact, it failed to cause the political commotion that Bouazizi triggered in the Arab world. Nor have any of the other Tibetan self-immolators since.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/28/opinion/bradatan-self-immolation/index.html

Ok, since after this the piece is after all an opinion, gets sloppy.  Instead of saying more constructive and effective methods should be offered and participated by Tibetans the writer goes on to state that since the young teenagers who have only known occupied Tibet are doing it, they must be doing it for the attention.  So therefore the most effective means is suicide because it keeps the free Tibet issue in the world’s mindset and eventually we will get tired of it and do something!?

when you are in flames your presence cannot be ignored anymore.

It is a shouting game of sorts, except that no party shouts. The Tibetans express themselves by burning; the Chinese authorities do the same by shooting Tibetans. Then, another monk or nun engages in self-expression and everything starts anew.

Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan monk who spent more than 30 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, once said: “For those who use brute force, there is nothing more insulting than a victim’s refusal to acknowledge their power.”

Rarely has the desire for recognition been so desperate and moving.

That’s how the article ended. Approval granted, gee… I guess this mean that CNN supports suicide to get attention???!!! And yes it just an opinion piece.

This is not a healthy turn for Western minds, suicides are illegal in our country.  In fact if the person survives one there is the inevitable court date to grant a mental facility authority over their life with repeated court appearances to monitor the person.  All to protect their right to life which they threw away or keep throwing away.  I think with our problems in our own country with a sharp increase of suicide among soldiers, depressed persons, emotional persons that CNN does not need to end an article showing the Tibetans want attention so they are now getting kids to kill themselves in Tibet because those kids got influenced because they were born in Tibet and thus are a product of the new Tibet. The lame line concludes… awwwh it’s so sad… but moving??? Huh?  moving as in inspiring??? where? whom? I don’t think so!! It’s suicide for attention.

Then I cam across a bitter fight over a name change.., a name change!  There are factions in Dharmasala right now being pushed by many Westerners to promote free speech… brentwerner is a vocal promoter.  They changed it from TGIE tibetan government in exile to CTA central tibetan authority…  And now life and limb are at risk, and those western supportors are confused… saye whtf? it’s free speech man… they openly criticize the repression, saying why now the Dalai Lama becomes the same s the Chinese govt, a Maoist.. well they said he stepping backward into what was Tibetan history of internal conflict….well he did study Mao they said and liked it way back in the 60s when the same fight erupted over people promoted to power.

Western ppl need to stay out of it,  stop condescending to a foreign ex-pates who abandoned their country and took their wealth with them.  Tibet has a long history of warlords among their people that was the reason they feel in the DL time, and in the past.  Now it comes again in India.  I wonder how long India will tolerate them.

Tibetan Buddhism is riddled with violence in Tibet and outside it. The attempted killing of Katrol Rinpoche by his own teacher and his repeated rapes is only the first time we hear from a victim directly. It has used the Tibetan warlord tactics fully, which means they abandon their precepts as monks to carry out politics.  This is the norm for them.  I now because what I read about them will not acknowledge their lineage as Vinaya.  For they have admitted they openly abandon precepts to carry out gains in political power.  I will not support Tibetan Buddhism as it is.  It must reform to be considered Buddhist to begin to regain their ancient wealth in Buddhist history and contributions to it they must retreat back into the guidance of good monks and nuns.  I am not saying there are not good monks and nuns who never abandon their precepts in Tibet for any reason.  There certainly are.  However, regarding Vinaya precepts being abandoned freely by the monks that hold them, this is certainly shameful and will bring the downfall of Tibetan Buddhism.

Many in the West are naive, especially those who jump on the freetibet movement after studying in Tibetan Center.  Later they leave, and it’s the case now because of this  warlord mentality over-reaching the guidance of the Triple Refuge and 5 Precepts they were given.  As people West lose patience with the suicides they will withdraw their donations.  Thus inhibiting the growth of authentic teachings being offered and hurt the potential for their continue practice in the West.

Right now, I see most of the intellectuals in the West are gone, leaving the sincere but new to the culture, the crazies, the emotionally weak, the depressed, the psychotic and those you really do not need in your movement.  Right now I see anarchists joining your movement for the sheer joy of destruction, yes I’ve checked their FB walls, they care only for anarchy, not about Tibet, not about your causes or your conflicts.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships

Sanitizing of Buddhism, Buddhists and erasing Sangha in America by Elitists

2,555 years ago Buddha passed away leaving the disciples and the rest of the Sangha to remember his teachings and pass them along to the next generations.  Very little has changed in the Sangha who carefully follows the Vinaya which are his guidelines of monastic conduct and instructed in his last bequest.  They carried Buddha’s teachings (the Dharma) to various countries teaching and forming practice places for generations with a great deal of sacrifice and effort.

Recently in media by Buddhist orientated sites online and in print through Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and Shambala Sun much has been made about the national form that Buddhist followers should or as they assume will eventually take in the USA.

Their Protestantism of Buddhism or rather a sanitizing or erasing/rewriting of Buddha’s history and rejection of what they identify as irrelevant to modern Americans today.  This means all the ethnic Buddhists from Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea, India, Tibet, Nepal, Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia or other American countries or Europe are to be cleansed and shunned from Americans or American Buddhists as it starts with white men who are protestants who already rejected the catholics because they have monks and nuns… or maybe they are jewish who didn’t like christians at all and or even those who prefer to embrace every oddball newly created religion and market it.

They are trying to dummy-down traditional Buddhism because they couldn’t figure out  how to make it work for themselves.  Now they are trying to keep it elite and promoting a new version or a rather a odd form of Japanese Buddhism; Wow, even to do that is to disparage the efforts of the Japanese Buddhists in our American history.  But a recent picture in a news article features Japanese robed zen married clergy,  a couple (women are nuns only in Japanese Buddhist tradition and not to hold priest roles like the men can opt for marriage or monk’s life)  in a zendo.  The writer asks “What’s an American Buddhist?  http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/guest-voices/post/whats-an-american-buddhist/2012/06/17/gJQAJCQrjV_blog.html

Well, it’s a circular article first stripping away the Triple Jewel.  No Sangha, no ethnic trappings as they are not considered true or authentic enough to be Buddhist or relevant.  Then at the very end it says careful least 900 years later the adherents reject the efforts of the fabled American Buddhists who magically created a new world order of Buddhists here.

One way to look at this question is through the example of practice. When done correctly, what Buddhist meditators refer to as “sitting”–whether following the vipassana or zazen (or other) approaches to sitting meditation–does not rely on ceremonial chanting and recitations and actions that typically surround collective meditation sessions. This is not to say such ceremonial activities normally performed in an ancient or modern Eastern language are not useful or helpful. This is only to say they are not a necessity for the gradual expansion of consciousness that is the result of regular meditation. If one accepts this basic premise, which can be supported by the sutras attributed to the Buddha, then the conclusion that North Americans could conceivably develop their own Buddhist tradition some day is perfectly rational, if not probable.

This is based on opinion and not on reality, meditation has always been taught as a method but not the exclusive one, the first thing Buddhists do worldwide is to take the Triple Refuge and 5 Precepts.  The next thing they do is join in services that always recite sutras and repeat the Triple Jewel in refuge and action, join in volunteer work in the community and when it’s time and there is an opportunity they choose or not to sit on a cushion with the goal of being enlightened eventually.  This provides the stable framework necessary before one sits on the cushions.

2,555 years the core of Buddhist practice has always been formed from the Triple Jewel, being carried and protected by the Sangha who observes the Vinaya.  Also because people who come to Buddhism from new countries took the time to study Buddhism in it’s traditional form and upheld it, so the Buddhist culture developed as the Buddha instructed us Sangha who traveled to adapt to the countries conditions and culture with lots of variations in languages, practices and kept the core that is the Triple Jewel.  The problem in the USA and in many parts of the world is that there is no one identified unified culture.  We are a global society in the USA in reality, much of the myth the elitist create is not real and not reflecting the reality of the people in the USA. There is no one culture.  There can be no one form of Buddhism defining the United States and that is really ok.  The myth is there must be one form of Buddhism for each country, that’s the fakery being created by these elitists.

North American Buddhists are likely to create their own traditions and schools of thought, but they should do so with the awareness that they are forging a new Buddhist culture, not the ‘true’ Buddhist culture.

This is so strange that it is very insulting to North American Buddhists anywhere.  There is no need to forge a new Buddhist culture at all.  It does not work.  People in history have tried and when they diverge from the Triple Jewel they are not Buddhist at all, their movements become perverted and vanish.

The worst kind of approach a Westerner would take is to accept wholeheartedly without question any practice offered from any teacher without investigating and studying the history and knowing the standard teachings of Buddha and his disciples.  So ‘wholesale acceptance’ of Buddhism from the East is not likely the problem here.  It is lack of acceptance and adaptability. Just the last two.

Also they seem to have a need to make their own piss in the snow, a male pre-occupation.  That last bit is sadly the reason there is an effort by rags that call themselves the voice of American Buddhists or rather trying right now to lead the Buddhist movement with their money and media forming a horrific laughable council of teachers that fell on it’s face and nobody paid attention to it other than to point them out.  Led by the protestant versions of Japanese Buddhism and fringe trend setting teachers and all their writers who make them money… virtually ignoring the Sangha “”(they had one show Bhikkhu Bodhi who got rightfully upset with them and whom they posted as somehow he misunderstood..or he mis-heard them and gee wasn’t that embarrassing for him to explode on them during the conference type post on their blog) on whose back they cruelly stepped on to reach their goal as King of the Mountain, they virtually stood and pissed on the the living Jewels, all the while laughing in the faces of those who donate and sacrifice to make Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Americas.  This is soooo christian and not worthy of what is American today.

This sanitizing of Buddhism is wrong.  It is a symptom of lack of effort and study of Buddha dharma.  It’s rote repetition of wrong teachings based on fear of loss of their own leadership due to aging and somehow they must keep their flame alive and make a historical memory so their efforts don’t seem wasted to others.  The fact of the matter is the hippies are old and their start into Buddhism was filled with false intentions, most are failed monks and they are damn mad that people did not support them when they were innocents in robes, so they formed their careers by damning the robes and those that wear them.  All of them… look up the writers for yourself in the rags, tricycle, shambala sun, buddha dharma, the big 3 have featured all white… and all secular people claiming to be experts and leaders of Americans ‘cuz they failed to be monks.

They said they failed to be monks because they failed to get enough dana to do as they want to do (and become hits in their homelands).  Instead they were ignored perhaps bored in their robes, fearing poverty and they lacked the balls to stick it out they left their robes because there is no money in them.  Then these ex-monks damned repeatedly the very people who had virtuous roots that helped them succeed and go forth and being accepted.

Playing king of the mountain pushing off their competitors.  They promoted themselves as experts saying they have really represented Americans cuz they can have sex and create families… and they want their kids to be able to participate fully in their activities in the zendo cuz they don’t feel welcome anyplace but where they want to go and meditate while they ignore how bored their kids are waiting for them and let their kids run around doing things unsupervised while they zone out in hippie bliss or their mental version of it.

I’m sorry this is not how Americans do things, they do things by hard work, patience and sticking things out enduring because they know what really works. This fad by elitists is misleading and harmful and it does NOT meet the needs of common folk and it’s common folk that need proper Triple Jewels not fads.  They aren’t looking for trends while they work on the line or pack boxes into a truck, they are looking for a community that is stable, intelligent, active in the town, around the corner or even in the grocery…. but not at the expense of their own minds.  That’s where traditional Vinaya Buddhism excels, it’s stable it has lots of variety and enough well trained Sangha of monks and nuns to be able to endure and offer Buddha dharma as requested without all the bangs and whistles of slick rags or media blitz… and we will be long enduring whether the elites want to come to us while we are busy meeting the needs of the community where we live and reside in the Americas in and out of temples.  At my estimate we are well over 10,000 Sangha living in the USA alone and not all of us are ethnic imports from overseas but created, born and raised right here from every ethnic group that can be thought of here.  Here are some Iowas some Califnornians, some Nova Scotians, some Germans, some Chinese, a few Texans, some Burmese, and a majority of whom are Midwestern people as common as you can get and their shenanigans while enjoying traditional Buddhist offerings.

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Dharma Talks, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Sangha Relationships, Theravada culture

Wow Finally Found some English Dharma talks that don’t flinch!

Ven. Guan Cheng has a 22 video series about the Diamond Sutra on youtube.  It’s in English and is done well for it does present the Chinese Buddhist view in a very clear useful way that we westerners can absolutely get and understand!

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6D738AB1EB1660E4

Posted in On the Path, Precepts Holders

nonBuddhist receiving our help – advice for Buddhists

Helping people when we are asked means we help them with our real world skills and meet them on their own level with out compromising our own moral and ethical values and our sheerly powerful common sense, keeping our precepts, keeping our own skills not lowering ourselves or copying their behavior or supporting immoral acts.

If a nonBuddhists ask for help and you as a Buddhist can help, then do it. What ever skills you have but do not preach Buddhism while you do it for it won’t be heard with a willing heart.  In fact, it’s cooercive if you do that and Buddha has forbidden coercion.

Your practice should be strong enough to support yourself, that is fine! Just don’t try to change another in the way your trying to change yourself, it never works well for the person trying to be converted.

It’s ok to work with their belief system if you know it really well, but if you don’t just don’t pretend to gain their trust by presenting yourself as knowledgable.  Work with where you are right now is perfectly fine, not where you will be in a few lifetimes from now!

Study widely Buddhist teachings on charity, generousity, dana, and rendering assistance to learn how to behave properly. In the end it’s what your nature really is that counts to the one receiving your help, even better if they move on without realizing you helped them thus not feeding your ego.

Mahayana Sutras in English:

http://www4.bayarea.net/~mtlee/

Buddha Speaks the Sutra about Karma

The Lotus Sutra

Ksitigarbha Sutra

Samyutta Nikya

Dana the Practice of Giving (www.accesstoinsight.org)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/various/wheel367.html

Handbook for the Relief of Suffering (www.accesstoinsight.org)

The Skill of Release (www.accesstoinsight.org)

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/skillof.html

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/handbook.html

Posted in Buddhist community activities, On the Path

Shameless Clergy Regrets, Revenges after giving money away a true story

“Back on April 11, I sent an email regarding a young man who came to church and
asked for money for a bus ticket to get home to Montana. He came looking for
help here again last Friday which is my day off. My secretary gave him some food
not knowing he was the same guy who lied to me before. He came back this
afternoon and I was here. An older man whom he identified as his grandfather was
with him. I confronted him and told him I wanted the $50 back that he scammed
from me a month ago. He denied even being in church here on April 10 and
insisted I had never given him any money. He stood up and raised his voice. At
that point I told him he needed to leave and never return to this church. He
went out the door swearing at me.

If you see him he will begin the conversation by  telling your about what a good Christian he is. He said he is living at the  Emergency Residence. I checked with the DIRECTOR and indeed he has been staying there.This is the information I gave you about him in my email of April  11.ATTENTION MINISTERS AND THE secretary,I am quite sure I was scammed by  a young man yesterday at church and I am requesting that you forward this  information to the MINSTERS list so that hopefully others will not be.Yesterday a young man attended our church. He was wearing a well worn  white t-shirt. I would guess he is about 25 and about 6 ft. tall, brown hair. He claimed he had gotten stranded in Ames and was looking for money for a bus ticket back to his home in Billings, MT. He said he had been collecting cans and had gotten $14 from that. He also said he wanted to call his mother to let her know he was safe. It sounded credible. I gave him $50 out of my pocket. (we
don’t have funds at church for something like that). He then proceeded to call and talk to his father and then his mother on my cell phone. (at least that is who he claimed to be talking to). I noticed he had dialed a CENTRAL IOWA number and asked about that. He said that was just his parents cell number. I have discovered it is a land line listed to A LADY AND HER HOME ADDRESS, Des Moines, IA.  If he comes looking for money, ask him if he has gotten any money
from any other church. If you feel bold enough tell him that Rev. REGRETS IT from the UCC church would like his $50 back. What really bothers me about this sort of thing is that I will be less likely to trust another
person who may have a genuine need.Pastor REGRETS IT”
As a Religious person and Buddhist monastic with no salary like this full time minister has I pity and I am disgusted by the minister. I’m sorry the young man needed his help; the minister felt wronged right away after he gave his own $50 away to someone who needed it, expecting charity without attachments in a Church no less.
Then the pastor traces the phone call to some lady, who knows if he checked her out? He doesn’t say, if the lady knew the young man or not. Why didn’t he, he traced the number out of suspicion over the homeless young man why no follow up?
Shameful he should feel regret and immediate suspiscion on a man in need! Shame! It shames me being that he is Iowan and and  religious person who should be caring and not suspect people who he has given help to.
Then he has the nerve to hassle the young man when he comes a month later for help or probably to thank him for his charity when he was in need; the paster was immediately demanding his money back, suspecting they were up to imaginary shenanigans! And the old man with him identified as his Grandpa. How shameful to demand the money back! What must that young man think! Even more he must think all Christians are the same! And even worse may vow to never trust a clergyman or a church ever. It’s like the pastor is punishing somebody for receiving charity from him; that’s just plain wrong! Odd thinking from a pastor!
Church leaders are tightwads around and lack charitable hearts.  I’ve seen this over and again by our group meetings they get angry looking and freeze-up when asked to give money to somebody in need! AND THEY DON’T GIVE A PENNY! They all earn a pretty penny being well paid by their Church board and you bet they solicit money for their churches! Shameless man, due to his greedy heart has shown unkindness to the elderly man and harmed that boy!
This is not how church leaders should act toward  people in dire need, don’t you think homeless people are needy? At least respect them enough to not regret giving money to them! You know they have it very hard now! I would have thought it would be like the best places for safely asking for help…churches used to be kind places, now they are just business places filled with householders who know no charity in their minds!
Pitiful!
Posted in Buddhist community activities, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Vinaya

Growing with Spring remaining in Iowa

Ven. Hongyang, Old Hwy 17
I'm standing on the gravel shoulders of old Hwy 17

Recent visits by some Buddhists here have persuaded me to remain in Iowa. While they are not offering dana they are offering encouragement of Sangha to reside here in Iowa.

Just their enthusiasm and their requests alone have convinced me to stay and figure out a way to build community here.

It’s inconvenient and pricey here but maybe somebody blessed with generosity and a piece of land to donate will come forward.

Amituofo! Grow with spring energy!