Sunday, August 5, 2012

Welcome to Mirror of Dharma Blog!

                Welcome, everyone! My name is Felix, and I'm a Cuban-American living in Los Angeles. I have been studying Buddhism steadily for more than five years at the Pure Land Buddhist Center of Southern California (Jodo Shinshu Shinrankai). I hope you too can enjoy the same peace of mind and satisfaction that I have found from these truly life-changing teachings. In the picture below, I received a Buddhism Fellowship Award in June 2013 for sharing the Dharma to my family and friends.


Original Photo by Yuichi Asakura

                  On this blog, I will try to convey each lesson to you as closely as I have learned it from the seminars of our teacher, Kentetsu Takamori. Our sensei (pronounced sen-SAY, meaning the honorific title of teacher), Mr. Takamori, is also a best-selling author who has copies of his work sold internationally and published in many languages. I am so very grateful to his teachings, and I highly encourage you to read his books which are available online.

                If you're new to Buddhism, you've probably heard here and there about Zen meditations, intense practices lasting sometimes even decades where very devout monks aspire toward the enlightenment. Or you've heard about how the Dalai Lama gives inspirational talks on how to spread world peace by calming down our minds. Though these figures and ideas remain popular to this day, the mental practices these Buddhist sects actually require can often call for something that may be too challenging or out of reach for many modern people to perform in modern times.

                Could you shave your head, live in seclusion, eat only a small portion of vegetables, and purge your mind of all evil by intense meditation? Perhaps... but only if you're 100% dedicated to that path. You might attain enlightenment this way but it could possibly be after millions of years and many, many lifetimes. The problem remains that those practices could be too extreme for us to practice ourselves nowadays, especially if we're working a full-time job and raising kids.

                 Now you've probably never even heard of Pure Land Buddhism, but I hope this blog can change that. Here I intend to familiarize you with the step-by-step way the Pure Land School teaches us how to at long last find the real meaning of our lives that we have all desperately longed for. The common purpose all mankind has been looking for is none other than to arrive at this state of everlasting happiness.

                Pure Land Buddhism is for all people and all walks of life with nothing required except listening and an open mind to learn. Pure Land Buddhism will teach you how to fulfill your true purpose of life and obtain an absolute form of happiness while you're still alive in the here and now.

               This is a goal that is actually obtainable for you in this very lifetime. It's not something you wait for in the afterlife. My greatest hope is that you will continue to listen to Buddhism until you find this true happiness.

                   Gassho. (pronounced GA-shou, used as a Buddhist greeting or farewell, often accompanied by placing the palms together and bowing as a sign of mutual respect)

                    --Felix Crosser

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