What is Buddhism? | Myosenji Buddhist Temple - Part 2

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After being closed since March, 2020, due to the pandemic, we are pleased to announce that Myosenji Temple will reopen on July 1st with limited hours. The hours for July 2021 are:

Monday through Friday 10:30am – 5:30pm

Maximum stay for each person is 1-hour per weekday. Masks required.

Saturdays – Appointment Only (10am – 2:30 pm)

Saturdays are for those who have health issues or who cannot receive the vaccine. 1-hour appointments to chant at the temple can be made for an individual person or the family. Masks required. Please email the temple.

Sundays and National Holidays CLOSED

Myosenji Buddhists are longing to visit the Temple and chant to the Joju Gohonzon. So it’s not difficult to imagine that many people will want to visit on Sundays. This will make it very difficult to keep social distance in the building. As long as we need to limit the number of participants, Sundays and National Holidays in July will be closed.

Myosenji’s Live Stream schedule on our website and our Facebook Live group continues with the same schedule. We hope all Myosenji members can continue to participate online.

This Sunday is Memorial Day in the United States. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists offer toba memorial tablets for the benefit of the deceased. The word “toba” is Japanese for the word stupa in Sanskrit. The original form of a stupa in ancient India was that of a burial mound. Many different forms of stupas developed over the years in both India and China. The five-story pagoda is one of the most commonly known forms of a stupa.

In Nichiren Shoshu, the toba memorial tablet also takes the form of five levels. The five levels signify the five elements of earth, water, fire, wind, and space. The bottom level of the toba is shaped like a square. This represents earth. The second level is in the shape of a circle, representing water. The third level, denoting fire, is a triangle. The fourth level, in the shape of a semicircle represents wind. At the top of the toba is the level representing space or ku. It is shaped like a jewel signifying the “treasure of fulfillment.” Nichiren Daishonin taught that all phenomena in the universe are composed of these five elements. This, of course, includes the human body.  Therefore, the toba signifies the body of the deceased.

Register here for Sunday, May 30th’s online Karma Lecture

You can read more about the Toba Memorial Tablet, the Memorial Altar and Memorial Ceremonies in the book, Nichiren Shoshu Basics of Practice.

Myosenji Temple has a unique and special connection to Washington, D.C.’s cherry blossoms.

Not far from Myosenji Temple (Silver Spring, MD), the first ever Japanese cherry trees in the United States were planted in 1906. David Fairchild, a U.S. Department of Agriculture official, imported one hundred flowering cherry trees and planted them on his property in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The success of his blossoms set in motion a series of events that lead to the gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City to the city of Washington. This gift included trees from a nursery called “Myo-Ka-en”(妙華園) which was adjacent to Myokoji Nichiren Shoshu Buddhist Temple (sister temple to Myosenji). It is of note that the Japanese characters Myo (mystic) and Ka (flower, but also “ge” in word “renge”) were used to title this property. Nichiren Shoshu Buddhists chant Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo. Fifty-nine varieties of cherry tree scions from Tokyo were grafted at this nursery which were sent to Washington.

Myo-Ka-en nursery closed in 1921 but Myokoji Buddhist Temple still stands today with the same cherry trees we see in the Tidal Basin. Somei-Yoshino cherry trees grace Myokoji Temple (Tokyo), the Tidal Basin and Myosenji Temple (Silver Spring, MD).

Festival2015Families and children are encouraged to include a visit to a Japanese Buddhist Temple to spark learning of Buddhism and appreciation for the deep connection between Tokyo, Japan and Washington, DC made possible by cherry blossoms.


Sunday, March 28th at 2pm

REGISTER for this Sunday’s (March 28th) Introductory meeting. Hear our Chief Priest lecture on how Buddhist practice can activate your Buddha nature to become happier and more compassionate.

Online Intro meeting begins at 2pm. Live Stream opens 1:50pm. Both members and guests need to register. Registration closes on Saturday, March 27th at 6pm. Register now and you will be sent the link to the Live Stream Intro at 1pm on Sunday, March 28th via email/text.

Register today for SUN Feb 28th’s meeting

Now in the Latter Day of the Law, neither the Lotus Sutra nor the other sutras lead to enlightenment; only Nam-Myoho-Renge-Kyo can do so. And this is not merely my own opinion. Shakyamuni, Taho, and all the other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions as well as the innumerable Bodhisattvas of the Earth have so determined . . . . A lamp will be useless after the sun rises. How can dewdrops be beneficial once the rain falls?

written by Nichiren Daishonin, 13th century Japan

In the “Sutra of Infinite Meaning” (Muryogi Sutra), Shakyamuni Buddha made it clear that, although he had been preaching the Law for forty-two years, he had until then revealed only the provisional teachings in preparation for the Lotus Sutra. He preached the Lotus Sutra during the final eight years of his life. What is this Truth which was only revealed for the first time in the Lotus Sutra? *

Introductory Meeting

To hear the answer to the above question, REGISTER for Sunday’s (Feb 28th) ONLINE meeting. Myosenji Temple will host a brief video presentation and lecture by our Chief Priest, Rev Sakabe, on Buddhism’s Beliefs. Learn how Buddhism’s truth can answer your most pressing questions.

  • Learn how to chant Nam Myoho Renge Kyo and properly use the Juzu Beads, Buddhist prayer beads.
  • Q&A with our Chief Priest.
  • The meeting starts at 2:00 pm and concludes around 3:00 pm. Open to the public.
  • Register using the Google Form below

SUN Feb 28th Online Meeting – Register Today