Saturday, December 13, 2008

An Apple for the Sensei

This week the members of the Inter-Faith Network of Calgary had the great opportunity to visit the Calgary Buddhist Temple.

Sensei James Martin provided a background on the Mahayana school of Buddhism and the Jodo Shinshu branch practiced at this temple.

While discussing the modifications made to some of the ancient traditions to adapt to North America, Sensei Martin pointed out that in Japan - where Jodo Shinshu is widely practiced - a plate of rice (a staple in all Japanese houses) is traditionally placed, as an offering, in front of the statue of the Buddha.

In keeping with the North American tradition of giving an apple to the teacher, the congregation of this temple offers a polished one to the ultimate teacher (sensei) - Supreme Buddha:

After the enlightening presentation, we had a lively group discussion.

Picture: Sensei James Martin (in robe) sitting next to Rev. Tom Melvin (Deer Park United Church)