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


  2018, according to Chinese astrology, is the year of the “inu” or dog. When I was very young, our
family took in a little puppy. She was what we who grew up in Hawaii called a “poi dog”, which simply
means that she was of a mixed breed. She definitely had some terrier in her as she adored the water. I
still remember the first time that I took her to play in the Nuuanu Stream which ran through the temple
property where I grew up. She leaped into the water without hesitation. The property has diminished in
size but it was large enough then that she did not need to be leashed all the time. She was not a very big
dog but she was a great runner and outran bigger dogs that wandered into our yard. She may have been
a bit gruff and a tomboy if I could personify her. In all this, the one characteristic that I remember fondly
about her was that she was always honest. Whenever she thought that she had done something wrong,
or had committed something that she knew we did not approve, she would cower, and be very
apologetic. I do not think that she was in fear. I was convinced that this was not Pavlovian. We
disciplined her when she was a very small pup, but she would display these behaviors even as she got
older, long after we had stopped scolding her. It was as though she knew for herself, what was right and
wrong.
  “Man’s best friend,” is how we characterize dogs. But, this may be a bit presumptive on our part in
assuming that dogs have no volition of their own. Dogs are extremely honest and sincere in their actions
and emotions. When dogs suspect something is wrong, they will bark and try to protect their territory
and their master. By the same token, they will welcome all whom they know, warmly, whether they are
human or not. I do not see this as dogs catering to their masters in an obsequious, sycophantic, servile
way. Rather, dogs have nothing to hide, and pour out their emotions exactly as they feel. By contrast, we
humans are not so comfortable with ourselves, or so we become as we get older.
  During a dinner meeting between two leaders, one man once entreated to the other, “I need loyalty.”
And, the other man took exception and demurred by saying, “You will always get honesty from me.” The
subtle exchange, to me, makes a very important distinction. The first man seeks obeisance, and expresses
this under a layer of hidden coercion. To this, the other responds that he is motivated by transparency,
and not loyalty, regardless of whether he is under duress. In our interactions as adults, we tend to
encounter this sort of scenario often. We complicate our communication needlessly with hidden
innuendos. More than often, those in power will assert their dominance, while those in a subordinate
position will succumb to overt power. This manner of interaction is unfortunate as it breeds mistrust,
thereby creating an atmosphere of misunderstanding, animosity, and later, contention. There is a
difference in being loyal and being truthful.
  I am optimistic that this year is the year of the dog. We have something to learn from them. Their
straightforward attitude represents an alternative to how we as humans have communicated to each
other. An earnest attempt to be as honest as possible with whomever we meet may reclaim a more
simple and good life. The Buddha, for example, is not interested in one’s loyalty. Rather, truth is what he
seeks. Loyalty is something that is begotten from respect. Respect can only be gotten from truth. Loyalty
cannot arrive before truth.
  People have misconstrued dogs as being loyal. Rather, I feel that dogs are consistently open and
truthful. As such, they gain their master’s respect. Loyalty naturally grows out from this. Just as dogs
express themselves in sincerity, I hope that we can all live without hidden agendas to find a way to be
honest with each other. Honesty in each and every one of us is the cornerstone of building a responsible
and resilient community. This I hope for 2018.
(Eisei Ikenaga)