One of the things I will begin adding more often (I hope!) will be a series of Dharma talks that hopefully you may find interesting, informative, or at least, to provide a tool with which to uncover the path of Buddha-dharma, which is something we all do, whether we are ordained or laypersons. In the Jodo Shinshu tradition, this is called "howa," literally a Dharma message, and is essentially the equivalent of the Christian-style sermon in our tradition. The howa, in its most orthodox form, is meant to elucidate a point in Jodo Shinshu or Pure Land doctrine, but it is not considered a requirement to have for practice, (or an "empowerment") as in other Buddhist traditions. In America, the howa typically follows after sutra recitation in our temples. Usually, they are quite short, sometimes around 10-20 minutes, which is an accomodation of our American attention span (I've been to Dharma talks in Japan which lasted for over 2 hours)!!! I promise that the howas on this blog will not take 2 hours to read! The Dharma talks I will post personally will not be limited to the Jodo Shinshu tradition, but I will try to make them as accessible as I can. Please read them with an open mind, and with a grain of salt.