Archive of Jornal Articles

Pure Land Notes. Journal of the Pure Land Buddhist Fellowship. Web version. namandabu PLN web header.gif
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The Tannisho Today
Rev Tairyu Furukawa March 1996
On Meditation
Vaughan Evans May 1995
From Blood to Rocks
Geoff Carpenter March 1996
Rev John Paraskevopoulos March 1996
The Meaning of Kikyoshiki
Hongwangi International CentreSeptember 1996
The Shin Buddhist Way
Rev Jack Austin September 1996
A Sutra of Healing and Protection
Tricycle Publications March 1996
Rules for Being Human
Unknown September 1996
Sallea Ungar September 1996
The Importance of Self Effort
Joren MacDonald September 1997
Self Power and Other Power Play Together
David Brazier
September 1997
Faith in What?
Ajahn Sumedho (summerised by Max Flisher) Sep 1997
The Myokonin
Friedrich Fenzl September 1997
Toshio Murakami September 1997

"If there be Harmony in the Home"

Page from >
Chanting and Talks in audio and text format + Gallery of 8 images

Venue: PLBF Southampton Sangha home dojo. (File name: statuespeech_2)
On 28th October 2007, a Buddha Rupa statue that once belonged to an English Zen monk named Venerable Zenko was ceremoniously inaugurated into our home dojo.

This is the place in which daily I teach tai chi to individuals and pairs and where, on a weekly basis the Southampton Shin Sangha meet to meditate, study and try to put into practice the Buddhas teachings.

Venerable Zenko/Charles Geoffrey Croysdale, born the son of Mr. Nelson Charles Croysdale on 2nd March 1919, died on the 23rd February 2007.
Pic: Golden Buddha in our Garden

Reverend Sato of the Three Wheels Buddhist Temple in London conducted his funeral on the 5th of March 2008 and the Rupa is a small part of his bequeathed estate.

Following the Ceremonial Inauguration I delivered this short speech:
More or less the last thing you pass before entering this dojo is a small wooden plaque, pinned against the door frame - up at about eye level on the right. It has hung there outside this dojo since day one, which was September the 18th 2005. Before this it had hung there in a slightly higher position just above the door into my previous dojo in St. Mary's.

Here, as there, it is easily missed because one passes all manner of inanimate two or three dimensional objects on the way to the dojo; notwithstanding the fact that then, as now, one has to walk through my 'living space', up the stairs and past my bedroom to get to the actual dojo in the first place! In other words, a person that is welcomed into this "my" dojo is at one and the same time welcomed into my home.
Golden Garden Buddha

By the same token, a person who gets as far as this dojo becomes, before they get there, quite aware that they are not visiting a monastery, or a temple - or any kind of 'centre' of learning, religion or commerce.

The plaque outside this door is easily missed because, I am pleased to say, my home has in it lots of pretty things to look at; to be distracted by - or drawn to. Furthermore, this house is also home to my partner Mary and her 11 year old son Lawrence. Her feminine touch has added pretty distractions to this home that were not present in St. Mary's.
She tells me that following her first visit to that place - more than three years ago now and as a prospective Tai Chi student - the 'message' she left with was the essence of those words written on that little wooden plaque above the door. It says:

If there be righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.
If there be beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there be harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in each nation there will be peace in the world.

Credit for these words is given there on the plaque as being a "Very old Chinese Proverb". This may, academically, be debated but this is not really necessary because the thing is only a trinket and indeed, many cultures or religions may lay claim to recommending the same or being the first or last to say, preach or endorse what amounts to no more than "personal responsibility" and good old "family values".

If the statement was very old and of Chinese origin then it would I suppose (academically) best be further categorized as either Buddhist or Taoist. Just "Chinese" is not enough; we need a date. The older it is, the more likely to be Taoist. If this were so the proverb would be referring to the Taoist concept of "household priest" wherein the head of the house had a 'parish' that extended no further than to the front door. This, they suggested, was enough!

The Buddha was once asked questions that inquired as to the nature of "the moon and the stars". He eventually replied "Look at the place you stand".

If we were just able to understand ourselves in our own homes - we might go on to try to understand our next-door neighbour … and all of those that live in the road, both sides, and the next road, in this town and in the next town, in the county, in the country … and so on.

Should we come to understand all of this - we might then be ready to understand the moon and the stars. Till then we should at least "look at the place we stand."

There was a predecessor to the two dojo's already discussed. This first one however was part of a community hall and unlike like those that followed in so much as that it was not intrinsic to or part of my home.

This, my first dojo, was opened to the public in February 1996 and, because I provided what some people said they wanted, this being a mish-mash-mix of the exotic this and that, this venue quite soon became quite popular and its reputation as a 'centre' grew.

Whist popularity can be pleasant, it does I have found, has its drawbacks.
Dictators can be awfully popular - this does not mean they are always right! To maintain power and influence a dictator must see to it that he gets it all his own way and then things stay the way they are.

Thankfully, I am not in the position of a dictator. Thankfully, I am as confused, as insecure and as lost as the person next to me - just as he or she is as confused, insecure and as lost as the person that is next to him or her.

If ten years of study of the Buddha's teachings has taught me anything it is has taught me that! We all suffer - we are manipulators and we are the manipulated - and we can always justify our actions. Likewise, if we can put ego aside, we can learn from our mistakes. In hindsight I consider the mix that I offered at my first dojo was a mistake. It confused maters.

So, when I moved the dojo from the hall to within my home I took that opportunity to make certain delineation's and clarifications. Tai Chi has in this room henceforth been taught on an individual and personal basis only - and a fair fee is charged. Furthermore I explain to all students before they begin that the decoration and ornamentation in the room reflects only the fact that they are being taught Tai Chi by a person who is a practicing and apparently devout Buddhist.

Over the years I have begun to learn that one need not go out to try to change the world or put right wrongs. I have learnt that it is more important to 'take care of the home' and go about ones business with non-ado. This is the manner in which I have sought to run this my dojo since it has been here in my home. There is room here for Tai Chi because I (with Mary's assistance) have made sure that this is so. The Amida Buddha Shrine is here because the Sangha through their generous contributions has made sure that this is so - and it is their devotion that will be blessed and acknowledged on this day of inauguration.

Sunday 28th October 2007




PLBF Southampton Sangha
Buddha Rupa Inauguration
"Not Separate from Person"
"Harmony in the Home"
Stupa of Namu-Amida-Butsu
Lantern Festival
Amsterdam Buddha Parade
Buddha Dharma Study Notes
1. The Four Noble Truths
2. The Nobel Eightfold Way
Further Study of the First Truth
3a. Three Aspects
3b. Suffering and Self View
3c. Denial of Suffering
audio file shortcuts
The Three Jewels
text pages
Saying the Name
"Enmei Juku Kannon" Gyo
The Three Jewels @ wikipedia.org
stand alone pages
On Faith in the Heart
Ven. Myokyo-ni Obituary