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

NASA is planning to send men to Mars in the 2030s. This mission has already begun. NASA launched a rover named Curiosity on Nov. 6, 2011, which landed on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. It’s goal was to see if Mars could support microbial life. They had Curiosity drill into the sedimentary rock near what scientists assume to be a stream bed and identified elements such as sulfur, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and carbon, which happen to be key chemicals necessary for the creation of microbes. According to Robert Zubrin, founder of the Mars Society, 95 percent of Mars’ atmosphere is carbon dioxide. Carbon is the basis of life forms. “If the theory is correct, life should have appeared on Mars,” is what he contends.


An interesting acronym thrown around these days in space technology is . ISRU stands for “in situ resource utilization”. This concept is used with Mars in mind. Astronauts at the International Space Station today receive regular shipments of crucial items such as air, water, food, fuel, from Earth. The International Space Station is about 350 kilometers from Earth. Mars at its closest to Earth is 55 million kilometers. At this point in our technology, it would take about three hundred days for man to fly to Mars. Mars ISRU is about the prospect of obtaining life-sustaining elements from Martian resources. Generating necessary products from local materials sounds new, but the concept has been around since explorations past. I am sure that when Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492, he must have restocked on supplies in the Americas before he made his journey back to Spain.


NASA is presently experimenting in three areas of Mars ISRU. NASA was encouraged by Viking’s landing on Mars, which revealed that Mar’s atmosphere was 95.5 percent carbon dioxide. Based on this, NASA has developed technologies to convert this carbon dioxide into oxygen and fuel. In 2020, NASA will equip a rover that will collect carbon dioxide from Mar’s atmosphere and produce oxygen and carbon monoxide. This experiment is projected to produce six to eight grams of oxygen per hour, which is still just one percent of what would be necessary to support astronauts. But, its success is all that is necessary to fulfill the possibility of man’s long-term existence in space. NASA is also developing instruments to drill into what is called regolith-based water deposits. NASA was inspired by the fact that its rover, Curiosity, found that Mars’ surface soil contains about two percent water by weight. NASA has created technologies to excavate and actually produce drinking water, and later propellants, fuel cell reactants, and other life-support consumables. Finally, NASA is experimenting with the possibility of manufacturing and constructing necessary goods and structures on Mars by using its indigenous materials. Advancements in 3-D printing have afforded this possibility.


I have great interest in man’s possible existence outside of the Earth’s atmosphere. To be completely free to live and function anywhere is not only convenient, it follows Buddha’s notion of not being constricted. There is a concept in the Lotus Sutra called soku ze dojo. soku means “exactly or equal to”, while ze means “this”, and dojo refers to our “domain” or “place of practice”. Together as a phrase, soku ze dojo means that our place of practice is anywhere that we presently reside or exist. In other words, our practical application of the Buddha’s teaching should not be limited to a certain place such as at our temple. Its application should occur wherever we are, whether we are at work, play, or at rest. So, the Buddha’s teaching should exist and flourish wherever we are. As suggested by the concept of ISRU, we have all the resources necessary to live as the Buddha lives wherever we may venture.

(Eisei Ikenaga)