The Other Power Rainbow

by Rev. Jon Turner.

As human beings, we are of two minds.  The first mind can be thought of as the small mind.  This is the mind that judges and filters all of our experiences as good or bad.  It narrates our lives.  Just like in a movie trailer, in a very deep voice: “In a world, where Reverend Jon Turner is a super hero, he struggles fiercely to make things right.”    However, this small mind cannot really be trusted.  

What is Life?

by Rev. Jon Turner.

Frank Sinatra once said, “I believe George Harrison’s hauntingly beautiful song is one of the greatest love songs ever written, and it never even says ‘I Love You’”. The song he was referring to is Something from the album Abbey Road.  Sinatra is correct but this song also has another meaning. On one level it is a romantic love song, but on another it is a deeply religious confession.

Reflections on the Parable of the Two Rivers and the White Path

by Rev. Marvin Harada.

Buddhism is rich with parables and stories used to communicate or express the teachings. One of the most famous parables, is the parable of the Two Rivers and the White Path, by Chinese Pure Land Master Shan-tao, or Zendo in Japanese. Shan-tao composed a most graphic and powerful parable, based on his own spiritual existential experience.

Make a Wish and Blow Out the Candle

by Rev. Jon Turner.

Siddhartha Gotama led the life of a sheltered and pampered royal.  He was a prince in line for his father’s crown.  One day he ventured out beyond the castle walls, and for the first time he saw the realities of life: growing old, becoming sick and dying.  For the first time, he realized that his royal lineage would not protect him from these events.  During that same adventure outside that castle he met a monk.  He was radiant and unconcerned with the future.  He seemed to have found a way of living beyond the extremes of life and death.  

Are All Dogs Buddhas?

by Rev. Jon Turner.

There is a very famous koan in Buddhism that asks the question “Does a dog have Buddha-Nature?” As an American who absolutely loves dogs I would answer certainly without hesitation.  I admire how my dog Madigan lives in the moment. She is a hybrid breed. She is a Schnoodle; she has the warmth of a Schnauzer and the intelligence of a Poodle.

Dancing for Joy

by Rev. Jon Turner.

In mid-July, the Orange County Buddhist Church holds an Obon festival. During the festival, many people come to the BEC Book Sale booth in front of the Hondo and ask us where are the Koi fish, the Bonsai trees, the displays and the demonstrations. I always smile when this happens and I explain to them that they are thinking of the Hanamatsuri festival which is held each year in mid-April to celebrate the Buddha’s birth.

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

by Rev. Jon Turner.

Whose Line Is It Anyway? was the title of a TV Show that ran from 1998 to 2007 on ABC. The host was Drew Carey. The show was filmed in front of a live audience. There were four actors who would improvise a scene given a short description and various props. The more random and disjointed the better since this opened up more space for the actors to create.