The Buddhist Temple of Chicago practices one of the most popular sects of Buddhism in Japan called

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The Buddhist Temple of Chicago practices one of the most popular sects of Buddhism in Japan called Jodo Shinsu, also known as Pure Land Buddhism (Shotō 1). Instead of stressing the Eight Fold Path, as traditional Theravada Buddhists do, Pure Land Buddhists chose to interpret the teachings of the Buddha more freely (Wangu 1). Furthermore, Pure Land Buddhists seek guidance from Amitabha Buddha, a deity figure from Mahayana Buddhism (Wangu 1). As the current ruler of the Western Paradise of Sahavaki, it is believed that when Amitabha Buddha was on the verge of enlightenment, he made a vow claiming that if he attained Nirvana, he will help those who seek his name reach Nirvana as well (Wangu 1). Now, devote Pure Land Buddhists proclaim…show more content…
The service began with the strike of a gong by Rev. Nakai followed by a brief moment of silent meditation. Afterwards, the Three Treasures, also known as saranagamana, were recited. The three treasure state, “I go to the Buddha for guidance. I go to Dharma for guidance. I go to the Sangha for guidance (budtempchi.org). Furthermore, these three treasures serve as a foundation of Buddhism (Irons 1). Although the Buddhist Temple of Chicago is moving towards a more radical approach to Buddhism, the temple still uses some traditional traits of Buddhism. According to the service book, the day I visited was Hatsu Mairi, which in Japanese means “first visit.” On this day, the children of temple members are welcomed to temple. So, the Dharma School children, aged from five to twelve, presented a game of Paramita Jeopardy. For myself and the rest of the congregation, our skills of knowing the Six Paramitas were put to the test. Paramita, also known as a “perfection,” include Donation, Morality, Forbearance, Effort, Concentration, and Wisdom (Edwards 1). However the concept of the Paramitas may hold two different meanings in Buddhism. In one sense they may be known as a “supreme.” However in a more interpretive approach, a Paramita may signify “the other shore” where the individual must leave the “shore of life” to reach to the “shore of Nirvana” (Edwards 1). The game was played for about fifteen minutes and ultimately my team lost by

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