Amitabha Buddha

AMIDA BUTSU 阿弥陀仏 (AMITABHA BUDDHA) Originally, Amida was a Bodhisattva monk called Dharmakāra (Hōzō 法蔵). He was a king who, like Shakyamuni, gave up his thrown to become a monk. After eons of practice, he became Dharmakāra Bodhisattva, who then made 48 vows. Having fulfilled them, he became known as Amitābha Buddha. This story doesn’t… Continue reading Amitabha Buddha


WHAT IS ‘MIKKYO’? Do not expect to be taught mikkyo in the following article. Instead, I want to explore the etymology of ‘mikkyo’ and hopefully dispel some misunderstandings surrounding its practice. ‘Mikkyo’ 密教 literally means “secret teachings” or “secret doctrine”, and mostly refers to the practices of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism within the Tendai, Shingon, Shugendo… Continue reading TENDAI MIKKYO


HONGAKU – ORIGINAL ENLIGHTENMENT Original Enlightenment, although related to Buddhanature (Tathagata-garbha) is a different teaching. Original Enlightenment (also innate enlightenment) is the view that Enlightenment is not something to be gained, but rather we are already enlightened, we just need to realise it. The reason we can’t see this is because there is a veil… Continue reading Hongaku

5 Periods 8 Teachings

Goji Hakkyō 五時八教 5 Periods 8 Teachings The following is a brief summary of Chih-i’s classification of the Buddhist Sutras. Chih-i, using examples found in the Lotus and Nirvana Sutras, put the sutras into Five Periods, or Flavours. The flavours start with pure milk and move through a process of cream, curds, butter and ghee,… Continue reading 5 Periods 8 Teachings