What we're about

Hi, thanks for your interest. In this group, you can learn the deep philosophical concept that lies beneath Japan's culture which is so unique and full of uncharted treasure. Our purpose, however, is not just gain academic knowledge, but rather, to grow spiritually and ultimately attain spiritual awakening. In Buddhism it's called enlightenment. Anyone who is interested in either Buddhism or Japan is welcome. The host of the meeting will show a short slides about Dharma (Buddha's wisdom) and thereafter we'll have a discussion so that all the participants will have some takeaways. We have about 10-20 participants each time so please don't be discouraged by the few RSVPs you see on this page. Take good care and hope to have you with us soon!

Upcoming events (4+)

Karma Lab: You Can Change Your Destiny As Much As You Want, Right Now

Hi everyone! Hope this message finds you well. We're going to start a new series of classes on Buddhism which focuses on each concept taught in Buddhism. On Wednesdays we're going to learn about the basics of karma.

The following is an excerpt from the book If you plant seeds of happiness, flowers of happiness will bloom by Kazushi Okamoto:

The first step on the road to happiness is not blaming things on your destiny, even when you feel that
“Things just don’t work out well for me . . .”
How do we feel when unexpected things happen? When it’s something good, we think, “Gee, I’m lucky!” When, on the other hand, it’s something bad we ask, “Why me?” Or we think, “It’s not my fault—it was just a piece of bad luck.” Thus, when something unexpected happens, which is to say, when something whose cause we cannot determine happens, we use expressions like “luck,” “coincidence,” or “by chance.”
But let’s stop and think about the matter. If you look up “chance” or “coincidence” in the dictionary, the definition is, “Something that occurs without a cause.” But are there in fact things that happen without causes? Let's learn from the wisdom in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

We're able to continue bringing these Dharma sessions for you thanks to the generosity of those of you who support us. Let me take a moment to express our gratitude now. If you too are able to support our cause, you can offer your donations on PayPal or Venmo to Bita Enayati at [masked]. Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping us continue to bring quality teachings to you, day in, day out. It's not the amount that matters but your desire to be part of a cause greater than ourselves.

Stay well and let's go forward towards the light of unconditional goodness together! Please message me at [masked] with your self-introduction if you'd like to get to know each other more and also to confirm your RSVP.

If you're interested in learning Buddhism but have a schedule conflict, please write to me for a one on one session.

Bita and Yuichi Asakura

Purpose-Driven Lab:How Buddhism Empowers Us To See the Meaning of Our Hardships

Hi our friends,

Hope this email finds you well. The following is an overview of how learning Buddhism makes our life more purpose-driven:

We learn how to improve human relationships as well as our own human nature to become a better human being: what is humanism in other words. Alan Watts has said that Buddha was a great psychologist. Buddhism is an education and Buddha was a great teacher. So there’s elementary school, middle school, and college in Buddhism. Once we graduate from the “college” of Buddhism, our real life begins.

Most of you have probably heard of the 4 Noble Truths in Buddhism the first of which is Life is Suffering. When I had a CT scan of my lungs a few years ago, I was told by my doctor that there was a shade in my lungs; it surely is a tumor, doctor said. At that moment, all the colors in my life began to fade away. I felt so alone. But listening to Buddhism enables us to see that everyone goes through suffering in life as the Buddha taught life is suffering but we’re not born to suffer. Other examples might be the suffering of getting dementia or a family member who develops Alzheimer's and we have to care for them.

How can we overcome such sufferings? In short, by cultivating gratitude. Do you think a tree exists by itself? How do you think we are able to get water from the faucet so easily today? We easily forget about the hard labor of all people who have worked hard to produce such benefits for us. But it’s not easy to be mindful of it. We easily forget.

No. 1 question we get from meetup participants is how to deal with nasty people out there, such as at work, etc. First solution is to plant seeds of kindness to improve our relationships. We need to call them by name, Hello David….. nice talking with you David… Call them by name to recognize them. People who are humiliated or feel they’re not being recognized, they burst into fit of rage and might even commit crime. If we fulfill their need for recognition, they will begin to like us and vice versa. Our relationships will improve. Phrase a day calendar: Let us discover the good in others and commend them for it. Praising others is offering kindness to them; it’s one of the good deeds taught by the Buddha: giving the gift of heart and the gift of kind speech. The more we purify our minds to mean what we say, the more of a good deed it becomes.

Our relationships will improve and our life quality will improve as we gain insight about human nature. They are just the two sides of the same coin: we are all self-centered. We have a lot of self-love like narcissists. We need to understand this aspect of human nature. Conflicts easily arise. So we need to put others first and put ourselves in others’ shoes. Happiness is sure to follow for us and for others.

Join us to learn more.

We appreciate if you can support our cause. You can offer your donations on PayPal or Venmo to Bita Enayati at [masked]. It's not the amount that counts but the desire to contribute to a cause greater than ourselves. Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping us to continue bringing quality teachings to you, day in, day out.

If you're interested in learning Buddhism but have a schedule conflict, please write to me for a one on one session.

Happiness Lab: Let's Get Together & Think Together What Happiness Is & It's Not.

Hello our friends,

The following is an overview of how learning Buddhism helps us access more inner joyfulness:

Rain and sunshine are equally good: the state of mind of being enlightened: equanimity. A kind of mindfulness that does not crumble or fade away. To achieve this kind of happiness, we need to overcome 2 kinds of obstacles: impermanence is one of them. Getting to see our true self is another way of going forward.

In the Buddhist scriptures, Buddha often refers to the number of the sands in the Ganges River, which happens to be a numerical unit in Japan of 10 to the power 52. As you see the world stage and the span of time is very different in Buddhism than what we're normally used to.

Let me tell you a joke:

A man asks the Buddha: How much is a million years for you?
Buddha: It’s like a second.
Man: How much is a billion dollars to you?
Buddha: It’s like a penny
Man: Can I have a penny?
Buddha: Just a second.

Buddha teaches that human life is like a lightening, like a second. Happiness is relative; without making comparison, we can’t make a judgment. Comparing human life to the history of earth (4.6 billion years). If 4.6 billion years is like a year, the dinosaurs time on earth is like December 31. Locusts live 7 days. Mayflies live for only a few hours. What’s the purpose of their life? People in their 80s feel like their 80 years have passed like the blink of an eye.

Another view in Buddhism is that when we understand impermanence, we treat things with more care. For example, when you're moving to a new home, and put your chinaware in a box, you might label it as FRAGILE. Or HANDLE WITH CARE. Why? Because we know it might break.

When you go through a tough time, you ask yourself , "Is this real?" People say it feels so surreal. Meaning they can't believe it.

If it's a good thing, we also feel, is this real? Pinch me to see I'm not dreaming.

Let's discuss more on what happiness is.

We're able to continue bringing these Dharma sessions for you thanks to the generosity of those of you who support us. Let me take a moment to express our gratitude now. If you too are able to support our cause, you can offer your donations on PayPal or Venmo to Bita Enayati at [masked]. It's not the amount that matters but our desire to contribute to something greater than ourselves. Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping us continue to bring quality teachings to you, day in, day out.

Stay well and let's go forward towards the light of unconditional goodness together! Please message me at [masked] with your self-introduction if you'd like to get to know each other more and also to confirm your RSVP.

If you're interested in learning Buddhism but have a schedule conflict, please write to me for a one on one session.

Karma Lab: You Can Change Your Destiny As Much As You Want, Right Now

Hi everyone! Hope this message finds you well. We're going to start a new series of classes on Buddhism which focuses on each concept taught in Buddhism. On Wednesdays we're going to learn about the basics of karma.

The following is an excerpt from the book If you plant seeds of happiness, flowers of happiness will bloom by Kazushi Okamoto:

The first step on the road to happiness is not blaming things on your destiny, even when you feel that
“Things just don’t work out well for me . . .”
How do we feel when unexpected things happen? When it’s something good, we think, “Gee, I’m lucky!” When, on the other hand, it’s something bad we ask, “Why me?” Or we think, “It’s not my fault—it was just a piece of bad luck.” Thus, when something unexpected happens, which is to say, when something whose cause we cannot determine happens, we use expressions like “luck,” “coincidence,” or “by chance.”
But let’s stop and think about the matter. If you look up “chance” or “coincidence” in the dictionary, the definition is, “Something that occurs without a cause.” But are there in fact things that happen without causes? Let's learn from the wisdom in the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha.

We're able to continue bringing these Dharma sessions for you thanks to the generosity of those of you who support us. Let me take a moment to express our gratitude now. If you too are able to support our cause, you can offer your donations on PayPal or Venmo to Bita Enayati at [masked]. Thank you for your support and encouragement in helping us continue to bring quality teachings to you, day in, day out. It's not the amount that matters but your desire to be part of a cause greater than ourselves.

Stay well and let's go forward towards the light of unconditional goodness together! Please message me at [masked] with your self-introduction if you'd like to get to know each other more and also to confirm your RSVP.

If you're interested in learning Buddhism but have a schedule conflict, please write to me for a one on one session.

Bita and Yuichi Asakura

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