|What is The Living Dharma? The "Dharma" refers to the teachings of Buddhism, the essence of which is the impermanent and interdependent nature of all life. But "Dharma" also refers to the everyday experiences of our lives that make these teachings come alive. That's why we say the Dharma is "living." Ultimately, The Living Dharma is about the compassion that naturally arises in us when we reflect deeply on what it means to be a human being.|
|What Is Buddhism?
Why be a Buddhist?
Above: Noted inter-religious specialist Rev. Dr. James Fredericks lectures on the first night of his thought-provoking lecture series entitled "Buddhism and Christianity: Our Common Spiritual Quest."
Coming Events: 10:00 am Sunday Services in November are November 3, 10, and 24. November 17 at 4:30 pm is our annual Hoonko Service in honor of Shinran Shonin.
Regular 10:00 am Sunday Services in December will be on December 1 only. On Sunday, December 8 at 7:00 am, the temple holds its annual Mochitsuki (sweet-rice cake making) and on December 15 at 4:00 pm, the temple holds its Year-End and Oseibo Service. Please join us if you can.
|Common Misconceptions About Buddhism
All about reincarnation, paganism, suffering, meditation, "prayer," and more
|Frequently Asked Questions
We frequently receive questions about visiting our temple, finding a Buddhist temple nearby, coming to Buddhism from another faith, coping with illness or death, and others. If you have a similar question, please read our FAQ page. We also have a special Buddhism 101 Page with frequently asked questions from students.
|The Living Dharma Search Page
Over the years, numerous contributions from a diverse collection of authors have made the Living Dharma Website a rich resource for insights into the Buddhist teachings. Search our entire site for info on Buddhist terms, for essays by a specific Buddhist teacher, or for info on a specific topic of interest to you.
|About West Covina Buddhist Temple
E-mail Us: We welcome your questions and comments.
Map: Please visit us if you live in or are visiting the Southern California area.
Temple Calendar: Everyone is always welcome at our Sunday Services.
The Gateway: Read the current edition of WCBT's monthly newsletter.
An Introduction to West Covina Buddhist Temple: This 7 min. video introduces the temple and the wide variety of activities that it offers (74MB).
A Brief History of Shin Buddhism From Shakyamuni to Today: This 18 min. video (15MB) traces the development of Shin Buddhism from Shakyamuni, Mahayana Buddhism, the Seven Masters, Shinran, Rennyo, and Kiyozawa.
Three Gathas: Higashi Honganji's California temples combine to sing three popular gathas (songs). This is an 8-1/2 min music video (68MB).
|Real World Buddhism
Buddhism is all around us everyday,
in all forms of media
New & Featured Articles:
How We Can Help Our Earth: Emerging trends in our environment appear to be warning signs that we can no longer take our planet's natural resources for granted; we must strive now to establish a sustainable future.
Peace, Harmony, and Co-existence: Rev. Kodo Umezu, Director of the Jodo Shinshu Center’s Center for Buddhist Education, was invited to give a talk at the United Nations, a very auspicious occasion. Buddhism, specifically Shin Buddhism, is slowly becoming more well-known internationally.
Richard Gere on Compassionate Action: In these excerpts from a recent interview, Gere gives us a fascinating insight into the true basis for his activism
Some earlier reviews of Buddhistic movies:
Jedi-Shinshu/The Buddhist Heart of Star Wars: In his fascinating review, Frederick Brenion looks at the actions of Luke, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan and Yoda from a Jodo Shinshu perspective revolving around the key concepts of jiriki (self-power) and tariki (other-power).
Departures: This film won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film of 2009, and is a heartfelt movie that follows a similar storyline to the book it is based on, Coffinman, by Shinmon Aoki. The film presents the Nembutsu teaching in a very emotional and dynamic manner. As reviewer Michael Jitosho states, "I felt refreshed after the movie was over, having encountered the Dharma in a different form and with a new understanding. Essentially, I was able to watch the teachings of the Nembutsu unfold in the life of this mortician."
American Beauty/A Movie Review by Peter Hata: This is a troubling film, because it critically examines the core values of our American middle-class lifestyle and dares to ask, "Is this really living?" But it’s also a beautifully moving film because the Kevin Spacey character, as someone who goes all the way to the "other shore," shares with us his extraordinarily relevant insights.
Groundhog Day: Groundhog Day is a Buddhist movie because of the "transformation" of the main character, played by Bill Murray. He becomes, as we would say in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, "a true human being," as opposed to the self-centered and arrogant person he starts out as.
|The Living Dharma Library
Memorable Dharma talks, essays, retreats and seminars
|New & Featured Articles:
WCBT 2013 Family Retreat: Interdependence: Not only did this retreat offer a refreshing escape from our urban Southern California environment to the beautifully scenic Central Coast, the weekend’s dynamic activities also provided a truly memorable glimpse into the essential truth of “interdependence.”
My Life with Buddhism: WCBT member Anthony Gutierrez shares his insight that, "I'm a person full of greed, anger and ignorance always thinking about myself. But now that I see these things in myself, there is room for understanding and compassion that I can show to others. In the end I believe I have found meaning in my life."
WCBT 2012 Family Retreat/Why Me? Why Not?: A Closer Look at the Meditation Sutra: At this retreat, Bishop Nori Ito deepened our appreciation of the timeless story of Queen Vaidehi by revealing the link between this ancient teaching of the Buddha, our Jodo Shinshu tradition, and most importantly, our everyday lives today.
Growing the Sangha: Rev. Ron Miyamura, head minister of Chicago's Midwest Buddhist Temple, adds new insights regarding the issues facing our changing Shin Sanghas in 21st century America. Like most Buddhist temples located in urban centers, Rev. Miyamura notes the growing interest in Buddhism from Americans not from traditional Shin Buddhist families. As he states, "Obviously, the real growth of our Temple has to be from these non-traditional members. Additionally, it goes without saying, the future of our Temples depends on this group of new members. This is the real challenge for the next 20 years. I do not have a magic wand that I can wave to ensure our future. In recent years, we see a lot of initial interest in Buddhism, but we do not know how to transform that interest into a curiosity enough to join the Sangha."
Searching for the Way: Not having been raised a Buddhist, Reiko Ikehara Nelson explains that she had previously only encountered its teachings during funerals and memorial services, but that somehow, "I remembered the beauty of the poem “White Ashes” and decided it was time to learn and study Buddhism. Something clicked within me. It’s been a little over a year but the teachings of impermanence, suffering, the inter-connectedness of all life, and living in the present moment have opened up a new way for me to view and live my world."
WCBT's youth groups range from pre-schoolers through college-aged
|The Living Dharma Bookstore
These are all highly recommended books (see more books in the store)
|The Tannisho Homepage
||In his modern translation, Dr. Taitetsu Unno, Professor of Religion at Smith College, movingly captures the timeless essence of this Shin Buddhist classic.|
| Buddhist Glossary
||What those Buddhist terms mean (a bibliographic reference)|
|E-mail Us: The Living Dharma website is an experiment to find new ways to share the timeless teachings of Buddhism on the World Wide Web. As such, we're interested in what you think of our site, and welcome your questions and comments. From time to time, we put a few of these on our various E-mail Pages (e-mail addresses omitted): Coming to Buddhism From Other Faiths, Buddhism and Death, Buddhism 101 (questions from students).
Map: Please feel welcome to visit us in person at West Covina Buddhist Temple. Since 1997, many people have visited WCBT...one couple even visited us from Belgium (while on vacation, of course)!
Temple Calendar: Everyone is always welcome at our Sunday Services, which usually start at 10:00 am. However, we occasionally have afternoon services, so check our Calendar first.
Temple Address:West Covina Buddhist Temple, 1203 W. Puente Ave, West Covina, CA 91790
Mailing Address: West Covina Buddhist Temple, PO Box 1616, West Covina, CA 91793
The Gateway: Read or download the current edition of WCBT's monthly newsletter, “The Gateway,” which offers not only a glimpse into temple events and people, but also Buddhist essays and responses to some of the interesting e-mail questions we receive from all over the web.
The Living Dharma Staff: These are the Sangha members who work on this website under the guidance of Rev. Peter Hata.
|Buddhist Temple Locations and Recommended Buddhist Sites: Check here to find a Buddhist Temple to visit or join, or to browse our list of recommended Buddhist websites, all of which offer additional Buddhist teachings.|
©1997-2013 West Covina Buddhist Temple
Updated November 11, 2013