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Zen Scholar Presenting History and Practice of Buddhism

Posted March 16, 2017, 10:06 AM HST Updated March 17, 2017, 10:40 AM HST
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Statues representing Sakyamuni Buddha (left) and Amida Buddha (right) represent one of the central tenets of early Buddhism called ‘mindfulness.’ Photo courtesy of Kohala Hongwanji.

Author and Zen scholar Dr. Mark Unno will return to Hawai‘i Island for a presentation on Buddhist history and a guided meditation at the Kohala Hongwanji on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m. The general public is welcome, regardless of faith or background, to attend the free event.

Dr. Unno will explore two forms of mindfulness practice originating from the Buddhas, Syakamuni (the commonly-known historical figure) and Amida Buddha (the symbolic, universal Buddha).

During his presentation, Unno will talk about the history behind Buddhism and the development of different practices of mindfulness, as well as the Shin Buddhist path of Namu Amida Butsu–a widespread form of nembutsu–which aims to cultivate a state of consciousness and compassion.

Zen scholar, Dr. Mark Unno. Photo courtesy of Kohala Hongwanji.

Unno’s research focuses on Classical Japanese Buddhism with an emphasis on Zen and Pure Land Buddhism. He is Associate Professor of Japanese Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Oregon. He teaches courses on Asian Religions, Classical Japanese Buddhism and Comparative Religion. Unno is also the author of Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light (2004), the editor of Buddhism and Psychotherapy Across Cultures (2006), and is a regular contributor to Buddhist journals like Tricycle and Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly.

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The March 19 event is free to attend and monetary donations and potluck contributions are welcomed. Call (808) 895-3179 to RSVP or email pahiki@gmail.com.

The presentation is being hosted by the Four Temples Association (Honoka‘a, Kamuela, Kohala and Pa‘auilo Hongwanji Buddhist Temples) and funded as a Nembutsu Seminar by the Commission on Buddhist Education (Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawai‘i).

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