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Japanese Buddhist Temple

buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
edited July 2005 in Buddhism Today
So... I've been thinking about going to a Japanese Buddhist temple that is in town.

It goes under the name "Jodo Shinshu Pure Land Buddhism".

I have no idea what that means.

The service basically starts with the ringing of a bell.
Then a short period of meditation.
Chanting aloud of the Sutras and then reading aloud of the Nembutsu.
They may sing a Gatha.
Then a recitation of the Three Treasures
End the service with the burning of incense - the O-Shoko.

I've been thinking about participating in this - but

1) Don't want to offend anything by not knowing what I'm doing or reciting.
2) Don't know if this is the Buddhism I want to participate in.
3) Don't know if what I think or feel about Buddhism is what they think or feel about Buddhism.

I'm very confused. I think it may be enlightening for me - but I'm not sure and don't want to seem ... what's the word I'm looking for .... disrespectful.

What do you folks think?



  • edited July 2005
    Well, I have not been to a temple myself, but from what I know, the people at the temples are extremely friendly and welcoming. I have a hard time thinking any of them would be offended if you did not know what you were doing or reciting what they were reciting. I think you should go...and then tell me all about it because I am afraid to go to one as well! LOL. Just remember, that most of the people there also had to step into a temple for their first time at one point in their lives! I am sure it would be a wonderful experience for you!
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
    edited July 2005
    Well, I just don't want to show up at a Buddhist temple like a Jewish rabbi showing up at Mass.

    I also don't want to seem pretentious by it being assumed that I should do something in their temple that I just don't believe it. I think that would be rude.

    I'll wait for some additional posts (to possibly provide more help and insight) - but I'll let you know what happens.

  • edited July 2005
    Talk to Elohim...I think he had a post up a while back about "proper etiquette" at a temple. I think you and I are the only ones on here right now, so you may have to wait for an answer! LOL.
  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator
    edited July 2005
    Ah yes, but that was for a Thai Theravada temple. I have never had the pleasure of visiting a Japanese temple. Sorry I cannot be of more help. :(
  • edited July 2005
    Buddhafoot, I have been to a pure land temple. May I suggest that if you wish to attend the temple that you call them first and explain that you would like to attend but are not sure of the proper etiquette. I'm sure they would be willing to help you out. I know they did when I first started to attend.

    Also in our temple they do publish pamplet that you can pick up before going that list the strua, etc. so you will not feel out of place so to speak.
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