OBT Brand

GLOSSARY

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COMMON TERMS AND CONCEPTS

TERM

PICTURE

DEFINITION

Chanting Sutras
Sutras are the scriptures which convey the Buddha's teaching. They have been translated from the Pali language into Japanese, Tibetan, Chinese. We chant aloud in unison in the traditional style, following what fellow Buddhists chanted for centuries before us. Chanting requires disipline and focus, bringing on a quieting of the mind.
Gassho
Joined Palms -- Among Buddhists throughout the world, this is used to express hello, goodbye and thank you, and as a gesture of gratitude and reverence for the Buddha. Put your palms together with fingers and thumbs aligned, with both elbows close to the body and hands should be at mid-chest level
Gatha
The teachings of the Buddha -- These are teachings written in verse form, sung in praise of the virtues of the Buddha.
Hondo
Main Hall -- The Hondo is divided into two parts; the altar area and the seating area. Incense is burned to purify the air and to create the proper atmosphere.
Kansho
Calling Bell -- It is rung immediately before the start of service to call the members of the Sangha (the Buddhist community).
Koro
koro
Large incense burner in front of the O-Naijin
Nembutsu
nembutsu
In Pure Land Buddhism, we say the words Namo Amida Butsu (I take refuge in the Buddha Amida). In Jodoshinsu, the Nembutsu is not a mantra, meditation, or practice which leads to Enlightment, but rather the expression of Shinjin, the receiving of the True or Buddha Mind.
O-Naijin
o-naijin
Inner Sanctuary. Elevated in the front of the Hondo, the Naijin, is like an an altar. The statue of Amida Buddha is the centerpiece of the Naijin. The statue is symbolic of Amida's wisdom and compassion, and not an object of worship
O-nenju (or O-juzu)
Meditation beads. There are two sizes: a chaplet has 108 beads; a shorter version has 21, 42 or 52 beads, which show numbers of passions, illusions and ignorance of human beings. The O-nenju encircles the hands during Gassho and O-Shoko, symbolizing our Oneness with Amida Buddha.

How to hold the ojuzu:
When entering the hondo, hold the ojuzu in your left hand.
When offering gassho (see below) in front of the altar, place the ojuzu over your hands (palms together) with the tassel hanging down directly in the center and your thumbs lightly on the beads.
At all other times, hold the ojuzu inyour left hand or place it on your left wrist

O-Shoko
"honorific incense burning". One steps in front of the Koro (incense burner), bows once, takes a pinch of Oko (ground incense), and sprinkles it over the embers in the burner, bows in Gassho with the O-nenju around the hands while recite the Nembutsu, steps aside, bows once again, then retires.
The Three Treasures
Variously called the Triple-Gem Ti-Sarana, Tri-Ratna, etc., the Three Treasures is the basic affirmation of Buddhism. The Three Treasures of Buddhism are the Buddha (an enlightened person), the Dharma (the body of truth a Buddha becomes enlightened to), and the Sangha (the community that tries to live its life based on the Buddha's teaching). It is the ritual of reciting: "I take refuge in the Buddha". "I take refuge in the Dharma". "I take refuge in the Sangha".