What we're about

The famous English historian H.G. Wells wrote “The fundamental teaching of Gautama (Buddha) is clear and simple and in the closest harmony with modern ideas. It is, beyond all dispute, the achievement of one of the most penetrating intelligence the world has ever known.” So let's learn Buddhism together!

A good teacher is necessary to walk us through the process. Join us for an informal introduction session and let's get to know each other. Feel free to send us a private message or email at bitae22@hotmail.com with your contact information if you'd like us to share with you some Dharma materials. We have about 10-20 participants in each meetup so please don't get discouraged seeing the few RSVPs on this page.

Upcoming events (4+)

Right View Lab: It's an extremely difficult practice, but let's give it a try 

Link visible for attendees

Hello everyone.

Welcome to the gateway to Buddhism 101 for all. We have a strong aspiration to reach out to those who need help. That's one reason we hold online events. The passcode is written at the bottom of this passage.

In regards to how we view life, it's beneficial to remind ourselves that our minds are like an iceberg. There's some of it poking through above the water level, and there's a vast amount of it below which is unseen. Let me give an example of how a young couple moves into an apartment building. Each Saturday the wife would shout to her husband, "Look at our neighbors laundry hanging over there. It looks so dirty! They must be using the wrong detergent!" This went on each week for quite some time. Then one Saturday, the wife woke up and said, "Today they look beautiful and clean." Then the husband said, "I woke up early this morning and cleaned the window."

One day a princess in the legendary Dragon Palace under the sea held up a jewel and told all the fishes, “I will give a prize to anyone who can tell me what color this is.” Each of them named a different color: the black porgy said it was black, the bluefish said it was blue, and the white-fish said it was silver. Then they asked the princess, “Which one is right?” She replied, “The jewel has no color of its own. It is transparent, and simply reflects each of your colors.”
Similarly, we are unable to see anything except through the prism of thought and emotion. When it comes to examining ourselves in particular, it is impossible to take off the tinted glasses of partiality and self seeking. Egoism clouds our vision.

In general all of us have poor memories and are forgetful. If we are aware of this, we can write ourselves a note or become better organized and that way we can avoid spending an extra 150 hours a year just looking for lost items.

One of Buddha's disciples, Cudapanthaka once asked the Buddha why he was born so stupid. Buddha's answer to him was telling him to cheer up and know that being aware of his foolishness is next to being enlightened. After dusting and cleaning in the monastery for 20 years, he had become an arhat and attained a high stage of enlightenment.

It is not always easy to know one's own shortcomings or unknowingness. Many are suffering because of their own misunderstanding. If I always think I'm right, this mindset can damage my relationships. Holding resentments and being overly proud can do the same thing. Because of these 'dragons' some people can find it difficult to ask for help. Some can be merciless to others if we think they are in the wrong. This shows how our minds are complex like an iceberg and that we might not have access to all the information we need, or may be influenced by our own biases and may be unaware of their grip on our perceptions. Having these illusions of always being right and our pride in not asking for help or holding resentments towards others can cause many problems in the world. Maintaining a right view means to be aware of our misperceptions as much as possible. Overall, we only know the tip of the iceberg.

By listening to Buddhism, we can understand ourselves better. It's also beneficial to be able to apologize when we need to and not always try to maintain the upper hand. Having humility is just as important.

We can deepen our understanding of Dharma by belonging to a sangha and listening to Buddha's wisdom. These are the three gems to value in this world; the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. When we work on ourselves with each other we are better able to choose good conditions and practice wisdom. Also, the more we practice, the more we are able to act in ways that bring harmony and compassion into our lives and our world.

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.
If you're interested in learning Buddhism but have a schedule conflict, please write to me for a one on one session. Thank you very much for reading this till the end. The passcode is 426646.

Bita and Yuichi Asakura

Women's Group to Share & Support Each Other With Dharma & Karma

Needs a location

Hope this message finds you well our friends.

We have had women request a women’s Dharma Workshop, so we’ve decided to try it. We will meet once a month on a Tuesday from 5 to 6 PM PST. The format will be brief self-introductions, a dharma talk by Bita, followed by questions on the dharma. I will moderate. If you’d like to join us, please send an email to BOTH [masked] and [masked]. One email, two recipients is what we’re looking for. In your email, please tell us the following: (1) the names of the Dharma Lab meetups you usually attend, (2) about how many Buddhism meetups you have attended, and (3) where you consider yourself to be along your Buddhist path (e.g. I meditate 3 times a week; I have read extensively about Tibetan Buddhism; I chant twice a day every day; I tried Zen Buddhism, I clean my space every day, I join one of Bita and Yuichi’s meetups each week, etc.); (4) if you’re a contributing member, please let us know. Be sure to sign it with your whole name, especially if you have an email like “itsadeal58”! I don’t want to address you as Ms It Sadeal, that would be rude. Please join us, I think we can make it a good experience for everyone. I’m looking forward to it!
I’m Lori. I have been studying Buddhism with Bita and Yuichi for a few years now. I am a retired research chemist and I study French in my spare time (j’adore France). If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness, or want to learn to meditate, I’m available to help you. I can be reached at [masked], and Bita can be reached at [masked]

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Once you RSVP, you will see the link to the Zoom meeting room. When you click the link and you Zoom application starts, then you'll be required to type the passcode. The passcode is[masked].

Karma Lab: How we can make spiritual growth until we all acquire true happiness

It is not unusual for people to ask themselves;

  • Why do bad things happen to me?
  • Or simply, "why me?"

Often these questions come up when things are not going well, or when they fall apart. In these moments we may feel like we're confined to a small bubble, and it feels like there's no solution to our problems.
Buddhism does not state that there's some supernatural being that causes bad things to happen or some ancestral curse that shapes it.
Rather Buddhism says to practice good deeds and refrain from bad. This does seem like common sense but there's a difference there.
There are two reasons why this applies to our lives.

One reason is that karma has energy. Not only is it invisible, somewhat like a virus which can't be seen, but it also has strength, and it shapes our future. This strength or power has an influence on our daily lives. Buddha said: "Bad karma creates bad consequences and good karma creates good consequences."
When bad things are happening to us it's an opportunity for us to practice self-reflection and make extra effort to practice simple good deeds such as cleaning, showing a smile to people, and giving gifts to our friends and family.
It's human nature for most people to blame others at times for our unfavorable outcomes or difficulties in life. It's harder to stop and look more closely at ourselves.

Another question people ask is: "Why don't I improve as I practice?"
For instance, why can't I remember to take a single pill in one day? That's because we are human beings and humans forget. Forgetting that we borrowed money is a bad deed. But the lender does not usually forget. If we do not pay it back, this goes against the good habit of keeping our promises.

Another example of being unaware of our unwholesome actions is that we don't feel pain when we step on someone's foot. The other person definitely can feel a lot of pain. In this way, Buddha said, we can create unwholesome karma with our body, speech, and also with our mind.
So, it is therefore important to regulate our minds because they are the parent, our speech and actions being the children. That is why the Buddha taught us about the Six Paramitas, six types of daily practices.
With patience and practice of these teachings, we will undergo a complete transformation. In addition, our lives will improve. We are all encouraged to practice kindness and compassion, the act of which is always at the top of the lst.

There is a difference though between our compassion and that of the Buddha's. That difference is that ours is conditional and the Buddha's is unconditional. It's ok that ours has limitations.
We can still strive to come closer to Buddha's compassion. One way to do this is to let go of our expectations and make an effort to practice compassion and kindness solely for others' sake and not expect too much in return. It's possible too that many forms of happiness will come to us through different sources. Either way, we will move forward and grow spiritually.

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. And we have about 10-18 people join us so hope you don't get discouraged by seeing the few RSVPs here on this page. See you soon too!!!

Last but not least, once you RSVP, you will see the link to the Zoom meeting room. When you click the link and you Zoom application starts, then you'll be required to type the passcode. The passcode is[masked].

Bita and Yuichi Asakura

Purpose-Driven Lab: Having a CLEAR-CUT vision of the purpose of life is the key

Hi, our Dharma friends!
This meeting is an online event. You will see the link once you RSVP. The passcode of the Zoom meeting room is written at the end of this event description.

This event is a friendly get-together of like-minded people starting with light-hearted ice-breaking for 20 minutes followed by a Dharma talk, which is more like a lecture for 20 minutes. During the last 20 minutes, we have a Q&A session. (The length of time varies according to time and circumstances)

The following is the review of our recent meeting. Main topic: Ours is a long-term mission.

  1. We all have our purpose in life, which energizes us to move on.
  2. Our ultimate goal is different from our short-term goals or mid-term goals in life, such as marriage, landing a job, forming a family, or retirement.
  3. If we think about our mortality and impermanence of life, minor issues become less important, and we feel an urgency to accomplish our real purpose.
  4. It is helpful to have friends and family members who can support us as we travel through this Saha world of suffering toward our destination.
  5. Practicing compassion and kindness to such good people is important.
  6. We all have shared imperfections, and sometimes we hurt each other because we are human and are fallible. Self-reflection can help us move through such troubled times. Remember, we’re all in this together, we are all struggling, and we are all suffering.
  7. Buddha said the purpose of this journey is to find genuine happiness that overcomes life’s sufferings.
  8. The eight universal sufferings taught by the Buddha are: birth ( life), aging, sickness, death, separation from the beloved, encountering the despised, and being of the flesh (our body). This last suffering contains all the other sufferings.
  9. When we practice Six Paramitas (our daily practices), our good efforts will be rewarded. Good people will be drawn to us and be a source of support. It might take some time but no effort is wasted. Some seeds take time to bear fruit.
  10. When we know our purpose – self transcendence – we can overcome our limitations, the obstacles in our way, and the pain we suffer on our journey.
  11. Self transcendence is to forget the desire for instant gratification and remember those people who will benefit from our effort, and to be grateful for the people who have been supporting us.
  12. If you don’t have such people please make an effort to find at least one such person. And of course, coming to this meet-up you will be a part of the community.

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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. And we have about 10-18 people join us so hope you don't get discouraged by seeing the few RSVPs here on this page. See you soon too!!!

Last but not least, once you RSVP, you will see the link to the Zoom meeting room. When you click the link and your Zoom application starts, then you'll be required to type the passcode. The passcode is[masked].

Bita and Yuichi Asakura

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