Andrew Furst

The Passing of Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno

Posted by in Buddha

While  many in the Buddhist world are watching with worried eyes on the health  of Master Thich Nhat Hanh, we’ve lost another great light in the Pure Land Tradition. The Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno passed away on December 13, 2014. My heart goes out to his family; his wife Alice; his son Rev. Mark Unno; daughter-in-law Megumi; and his dog Metta. His son Mark noted To the very end, he was fully aware and at peace, saying, “Thank you for everything, Namu Amida Butsu,” and when he could no longer speak, simply putting his palms…read more

The Four Noble Truths

Posted by in Buddha

These are the foundation of the Buddha’s teachings. Understanding these truths are an important first step towards liberation. The truth of suffering or dissatisfaction (dukkha) The nature of all compound things is temporary. Things are created, age, wither and pass. We are born, we age, get sick and die.  The nature of the individual is  temporary.  It is our natural state as an individual to suffer from birth, aging, sickness and death. However, we compound this suffering by imposing expectations, preferences and aversions on the world.  The dissatisfaction that arises from…read more

A Waking Dream

Posted by in Verse Us

I had the most unusual waking dream.  I don’t remember all the details, but I was talking with a friendly woman who somehow discovered I was Buddhist.  A smile turned up on her face, and she mentioned that she knew a lot of Buddhist. She followed immediately with a question.  Knowingly she asked, “How do you normally start your day?” I thought for some time, not sure how to answer.  It seemed like a test.  Did I meditate? Did I get up at 3:00 AM like the Dalai Lama?  Did I perform…read more

Meditation Techniques – Bee Breath Pranayama

Posted by in Buddha, Meditation Techniques, Meditations

Breath is the metronome of life. It is the substrate of our being, a source of calm, and a measure of our discomfort.  Like waves reaching the  shore line, it beckons home. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word, roughly meaning extension of the life force.  Similar to our Qigong exercises, Pranayama can bring your awareness, Qi, Prana to where it needs to be to restore well being and give us energy. I learned this wonderful Pranayama technique from a co-worker.  It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.  I invite you to try it….read more

The Sutra on Totality

Posted by in Buddha

This is a Sutra that I’ve always found to be clear, sharp, and insightful.  It marks the boundary of any explanations that we’d like to entertain and keeps us honest when we stray into imagination. The Sutra on Totality Monks, I will teach you the totality of life. Listen, attend carefully to it and I will speak. What, monks, is totality ? It is just the eye with the objects of sight, the ear with the objects of hearing, the nose with the objects of smell, the tongue with the…read more