Welcome to the Nichiren Shu Temple site of Portland Oregon!

 Join us in service at the Treasure Tower Temple of Portland Oregon.  All forms of Buddhism and all religions are invited to participate and ask questions. Sunday service is at 10 am and followed by social hour which includes tea and food.  Please check the Monthly Calendar for event times and days.

 

Where Can We Meet the Buddha?

In today's world it has become increasingly difficult to encounter the Buddha, someone whose very presence inspires peace and love in the depths of one's being. The Lotus Sutra tells us that the Buddha is among us now, just as he was present with the assembly at Mt. Sacred Eagle thousands of years ago. If so, why can't we see him? Why can we not feel his presence? Is it because we have never truly searched? The lotus Sutra tells us to seek the Buddha with all our hearts, even at the cost of our lives. With whole hearted dedication and sincerity, we open our eyes to the life of the Buddha that has been hidden from us behind the transient joys and sorrows of daily life. Do we really have a sincere desire to come into the presence of the Buddha? If so, then that desire should be acted upon and expressed. To make that possible, the Nichiren Order invite you to participate in its Sunday services and other activities, so that together we may see and encounter the Buddha.

 

Where Can We Learn the Dharma?

In today's society, many people are unaware that 2,500 years ago Sakyamuni Buddha explained that hard realities of life and the inner poisons that prevent us from finding any lasting self-fulfillment. The Buddha taught the way to liberate ourselves from this turmoil while creating harmony in our daily lives.

Many people today are unaware of the Merits of the teachings [Dharma] of the Buddha. They engage in alternative solutions to their problems. These solutions range from the conventional to the desperate. Some people try to solve their problems through medical and physical therapy, while others try to find a solution in the form of drug or alcohol abuse. However, very few discover and embrace the gentle wisdom of the Dharma. In the Lotus Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha specifically entrusted the Dharma to us. In this age of spiritual confusion and emptiness we must incorporate the Dharma into our live as well as assist others to do the same. The Nichiren Order invites everyone to come to the Temple for Sunday morning services and other activities to discover the Dharma for themselves.

 

Where Can we Join the Sangha?

Many Buddhists think of the Sangha as referring only to the Buddhist clergy. Sakyamuni Buddha, however, considered the Sangha to be those who actually transform their lives by living in accordance with the Dharma. the Sangha consists of all those who in the effort to attain Buddha hood, assist all sentient beings in doing the same. Joining the Sangha does not mean that one must be a monk or a nun. All that is needed is a sincere aspiration for enlightenment for the sake of all sentient beings. When many people come together to encourage each other and to share in this aspiration, a genuine spiritual community is created. This is the Sangha which brings real benefit to the world. Nichiren Order recognizes this need for a genuine spiritual community and invites you to participate in the Sangha through participation in its Sunday services and other activities.

Dharma:

Text from the Nichiren Order of North America

According to dictionary.com, 2018 was the year of “misinformation”. Dictionary.com
also claims that the word has existed since the late 1500s. The word “misinformation”
became relevant again because of the amount of false information that abounded on the
internet last year.
The word “misinformation” needs to be differentiated from “disinformation”, according
to dictionary.com. The two are not interchangeable. Disinformation is described by
dictionary.com as “deliberately misleading or biased information; manipulated narrative or
facts; propaganda.” Dictionary.com defines “misinformation” as “false information that is
spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” Dictionary.com goes further to
claim that, “When an individual sees this disinformation, believes it, and then shares it,
that’s misinformation.” The two definitions can be confusing. In summation,
disinformation, it seems, is deliberate; while misinformation may or may not involve
intent, disinformation becomes misinformation when it is spread.
That the word “misinformation” had existed since the late 1500s tells us that the spread
of false information is not new. However, it is only in this era that the issue of
misinformation has come into the forefront because of its ominous repercussions. People
have lied for as long as man has existed, but it is the internet that has transformed it from
something where people could do so without being identified. And, anything put out on
the internet spreads with unbridled virality, causing tremendous damage. I am sure that
everyone will agree that this is true. There is the example of how Cambridge Analytica
used the personal data in Facebook to create psychological profiles of people to influence
the outcome of the U.S. election and Brexit. And, the last two years have seen an array of
political ads of every polemic stance on the internet, from Breitbart to the New York Slate.
In addition, there are people who unabashedly spread conspiracy theories, such as Alex
Jones who contend that the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting which left 26 dead was staged by
“crisis actors” to promote more restrictive gun policies.
Information, whether true or not, can be weaponized today, because it can be spread
pervasively and quickly with new technology. We once got our information from
newspapers, and later from television. These sources attempted to follow a code of
journalistic integrity. However, today, anyone can produce their own content through
social media outlets like Facebook. Because the general public has no need to conform to
the standards of journalism, it has become almost impossible to know whether a particular
piece of information is corroborated with other facts or whether its original source is
reputable or not. While we remain uncertain about the truth value of a certain thread of
news on social media, it is being passed on from person to person so rapidly that people
eventually accept it as fact.I am encouraged that 2019 will be a good year to address our present crisis because
2019 is the year of the wild boar. Let us see what the experts in Chinese astrology say are
the characteristics of the wild boar. The wild boar charges toward any goal or adversity
with one-pointed concentration, without fear. It is honest and diligent, and as a result
perseveres all manners of pain in the completion of any challenge that it chooses. When it
is interested or likes something or someone, it stays with it to the end without wandering.
If we were allowed but a single word to describe it, the wild boar can be characterized as
being very “ganko” (頑固). “ganko” is the Japanese word for stubborn.
Honestly, stubbornness is not necessarily a welcome trait. Stubborn people are usually
seen as a problem because they are not easy to get along with. But, we are in a time when
we must be vigilant of every piece of untruth spewn in the world. Lies can deteriorate our
world and make it unsafe. 2019 will bring even more untruths with even greater efforts to
mask its falsehood. We must be like the wild boar in being stubborn about demanding the
truth. If we do not, we jeopardize ourselves not only on a personal level but also as a
human race.
This is critical because many things in our world are supported by ideas alone. And, it is
these ideas that are the easiest to be influenced by the recent unchecked spread of
misinformation. The foundation of our nation, for example, depends on our confidence in
ideas. Concepts such as democracy, equality, or freedom are mere ideals, yet it is upon
these that our institutions and relations are built. Our nation is very fragile because it is
only as stable and strong as our confidence in these ideals. As a corollary, these ideals can
only be upheld by an expectation or normalcy of truth.
This is why we must be defiant in not allowing lies to overtake our lives because
untruths lead to an opportunity or birth of yet other untruths, until it magnifies
exponentially, destroying all trust in what we know. This year, let us embrace the ganko-
ness of the wild boar in demanding truth and ousting misinformation.
(Eisei Ikenaga)

Image source from vietnamonline.com