Rev. Iwohara

Posts by Rev. John Iwohara

Growing Up and Not Old

| June 8, 2012

Recently I had the privilege of attending both Cub Pack 79’s “Graduation Ceremony” and Girl Scout Troop 5325’s “Court of Awards.” Both units are sponsored by the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Both units are a source of pride for the temple in general, but having attended both events again this year, I was struck at… Read More »

To Have Faith

| May 1, 2012

自信教人信・難中転更難・大悲伝普化・真成報仏恩 To have faith and to teach a person to have faith Is within difficulties, again difficult Transmitting Great compassion, transforming All Is truly to repay the indebtedness owed the Buddha These words are taken from Zendo Daishi’s Ojoraisan-ge or Verses in Praise and Homage of Going to be Born. It is a work where… Read More »


| March 2, 2012

Deep mind is the deeply entrusting mind. There are two aspects. One is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation. The second is… Read More »

In Our Lives We Experience Many Things

| January 6, 2012

In our lives we experience many things. The things we experience we tend to label as pleasant, unpleasant, or neither pleasant nor unpleasant. We regard these experiences as being positive, negative or neutral. As human beings, however, we also look at our experiences and sometimes go beyond the simple label of positive, negative or neutral.… Read More »

May There Be Peace in the World, and May the Buddha’s Teaching Spread!

| December 2, 2011

In a letter that Shinran Shonin wrote he states: Those who feel uncertain of birth should say the nembutsu aspiring first for their own birth. Those who feel that their own birth is completely settled should, mindful of the Buddha’s benevolence, hold the nembutsu in their heart and say it to respond in gratitude to… Read More »


| November 12, 2011

Every year in the month of November, the Venice Hongwanji holds its annual Eitaikyo service. This service is also often called the Muen Hoyo (無縁法要). Although the first phrase “Muen” can be translated to mean “without condition” or “without connection,” it is used to refer to those people who no longer have living relatives. The… Read More »

Spirituality vs. Religiosity

| October 13, 2011

Recently there has been a growing discussion and increased distinction between spirituality and religiosity. The distinction is being made because more and more people it seems have a growing mistrust or apprehension towards the organization that flies under the banner of religion. Although I am obviously biased on this issue because I am a member… Read More »