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Dharma World Buddhist magazine

July-September, Volume 43

content of this issue of Dharma World Buddhist magazine


Contemporary Ideas about Karma

Understanding Karma for Today by Dominick Scarangello

Dominick Scarangello, PhD, specializes in early-modern and modern Japanese religions. He has taught at the University of Virginia and was the Postdoctoral Scholar in Japanese Buddhism at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of California, Berkeley (2013-14). Currently, he is an international advisor to Rissho Kosei-kai.

What Does Karma Really Mean? by David R. Loy

The true focus of the karma teaching is not on the consequences (effects) but on one's actions (causes).

David R. Loy is a professor, writer, and Zen teacher in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Zen Buddhism. He is a prolific author whose essays and books have been translated into many languages. He teaches in America and other countries on various topics, focusing primarily on the encounter between Buddhism and modernity and what each can learn from the other. See www.davidloy.org.

Karma as the Constructive Activity of Experience by Maria Heim

Karma . . . is not so much reaping what one sows but the constant work of fashioning who one becomes.

Maria Heim is Professor of Religion at Amherst College. She holds a PhD from Harvard University and did her undergraduate work at Reed College. She has held fellowships from Guggenheim and Fulbright. Her most recent book is The Forerunner of All Things: Buddhaghosa on Mind, Intention, and Agency (Oxford University Press, 2014). She is currently working on two projects: a study of emotions in classical Indian thought and a study of Buddhaghosa's hermeneutics.

Chinese Buddhist Perspectives on Karma by Beverley McGuire

Neither a theodicy nor a license to judge other people's actions, karma provides a means of confronting and responding to one's own life and morality, but the most honest stance toward other people's suffering is that of extreme humility.

Beverley McGuire is an Associate Professor of East Asian Religions at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She received her PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University, and she specializes in late-imperial and modern Chinese Buddhism. She has published articles in Journal of Chinese Religions, Material Religion, and Religion Compass and a book entitled Living Karma: The Religious Practices of Ouyi Zhixu (Columbia University Press, 2014).

All Sentient Beings Are Bodhisattvas by Fumihiko Sueki

Modern Buddhists have . . . concealed [the] doctrine of karma and the cycle of rebirth or have sought to abandon it as violating the true teachings of the Buddha. But are they right to do so? Should we reject the concept of past and future lives and assume that our few decades in this life are all there is?

Fumihiko Sueki, PhD, is a professor emeritus of the University of Tokyo, the Graduate University for Advanced Studies, and the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. He currently serves as president of the Japanese Association for Comparative Philosophy. His research focuses mainly on reconstruction of the intellectual history of Buddhism in Japan from ancient to modern times. He is the author and editor of a number of books, mainly on Japanese Buddhism and the history of Japanese philosophy and religion.


Do Not Do What Is Wrong by Nichiko Niwano

Nichiko Niwano is president of Rissho Kosei-kai and an honorary president of Religions for Peace. He also serves as an advisor to Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan).


Reviewing the Buddha's Teaching on Karma and Its Social Ramifications by Jonathan S. Watts

The Buddha repudiated both past karmic determinism (pubbekaṭavāda) and theistic determinism (issarakaraṇavāda), because they lead to passive resignation and discourage taking action that can be of direct benefit.

Jonathan S. Watts has been a researcher at the Jodo Shu Research Institute in Tokyo since 1999 and at the International Buddhist Exchange Center in Yokohama since 2005. He has also been an associate professor of Buddhist Studies at Keio University, Tokyo, and has been on the executive board of the International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) since 2003. He has coauthored and edited Never Die Alone: Death as Birth in Pure Land Buddhism; Rethinking Karma: The Dharma of Social Justice; and This Precious Life: Buddhist Tsunami Relief and Anti-Nuclear Activism in Post 3/11 Japan.


Discovering the Lotus on This Shore: A Reading of Kenji Miyazawa's "Okhotsk Elegy" by Jon Holt

Miyazawa wrote stories and poems in order to help others understand, venerate, and propagate the Lotus. In doing so, he created works that are both very Japanese and very worldly.

Jon Holt is an Assistant Professor of Japanese in the Department of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. His research interests include modern Japanese poetry, Japanese Buddhism, and manga. Recent publications include "In a Senchimentaru Mood: Japanese Sentimentalism in Modern Poetry and Art" (Japanese Language and Literature [2014]); and "Ticket to Salvation: Nichiren Buddhism in Miyazawa Kenji's 'Ginga tetsudō no yoru'" (Japanese Journal of Religious Studies [2014]). His translations of Amari Hayashi's tanka recently appeared on asymptotejournal.com.


The Actual Refugee Crisis in Europe by Ignacio Marqués

We have seen European leaders meeting in Brussels to consider the promise of providing more facilities to Turkey if it agrees to stop the crowds of refugees and allow them to remain in its territory, forbidding their access to EU countries.

Ignacio Marqués, a Roman Catholic priest in Barcelona, founded the Sant Pau Centre Terapèutic there in 1984, Spain's first Welcome Centre for helping sub-Saharan people. He was for ten years the Archdiocese of Barcelona's episcopal delegate for migrants and gypsies, and promotes interfaith dialogue among people from 127 countries, including Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Christians. In May 2015 he visited Japan and spoke at Rissho Kosei-kai Dharma centers in Tokyo and Nagoya.

Niwano Peace Prize

Abiding by the Laws of Interdependence The 33rd Niwano Peace Prize Acceptance Address by Dishani Jayaweera, Cofounder of the Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation, Sri Lanka

The Niwano Peace Foundation awarded the thirty-third Niwano Peace Prize on May 12 to the Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation (CPBR) of Sri Lanka for its distinguished contributions to peace building and reconciliation in Sri Lanka during and after the country's twenty-six-year civil war and its help in rebuilding a society that honors diversity. The presentation ceremony took place in Tokyo. In addition to an award certificate, CPBR received a medal and twenty million Japanese yen. The cofounder's acceptance speech follows.

The Centre for Peace Building and Reconciliation (CPBR) of Sri Lanka was founded in 2002 by Ms. Dishani Jayaweera, a former attorney, and Dr. Jayantha Seneviratne, an expert in conflict transformation, who are Sinhala Buddhists by birth. CPBR is a nonprofit organization promoting peace building and nonviolent conflict resolution. It supports personal and societal transformation within and between ethnic, religious, linguistic, and regional communities in Sri Lanka, working at the grassroots, local, and national levels. To achieve goals of national reconciliation, CPBR focuses on people considered to hold the greatest influence and promise for transformation: religious leaders, women, and young people.

Founder's Memoirs

The Asian Conference of Religions for Peace by Nikkyo Niwano

Nikkyo Niwano, the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, was an honorary president of the World Conference of Religions for Peace and was honorary chairman of Shinshuren (Federation of New Religious Organizations of Japan) at the time of his death in October 1999. He was awarded the 1979 Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.

The Threefold Lotus Sutra: A Modern Commentary (125)

The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law Chapter 25: The All-Sidedness of the Bodhisattva Regarder of the Cries of the World (4) by Nikkyo Niwano

This is the 125th installment of a detailed commentary on the Threefold Lotus Sutra by the founder of Rissho Kosei-kai, Rev. Nikkyo Niwano.

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