Making Effort

and Pureland Buddhism in the Philippines

April 30, 2017 Lecture/Meetup of Pureland Buddhism Center of the Philippines

Leave a comment

PAST – Lecture/Meetup: Buddhism and The Purpose of Life (Apr. 30, 2017)

Teacher Masaki will discuss Buddhism and the true purpose of life in this meetup lecture.

Lecture is free and newcomers are welcome.

Where: The Columns Ayala Avenue Tower 1, Makati City, Philippines

When: April 30, 2017 | 3:30pm – 6:30pm

Please send a message to  0998-566-2533 if you would like to join.


Photo Credit: Filipino Pureland Buddhism | Masaki Usomoto | En-en Usumoto

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Image for The Three Mirrors in Buddhism

Leave a comment

The 3 Mirrors

When we think of mirrors only one thing comes into mind and that is that thing that reflects our image back to us. Mirrors in Buddhism serve the same function, it helps us see ourselves. In Buddhism there are 3 Mirrors that reflect ourselves, the Mirror of self, Mirror of Others and Mirror of Dharma. We will talk about each one below.

The 3 Mirrors in Buddhism

  1. Mirror of Others
    This is our reflected image in the eyes of others. This mirror does not reflect our true selves, it shows a distorted image of it. Why? Because we do things so others will approve of us. Because this is based on people’s biased evaluation of us, depending on how beneficial or convenient we are to them. So it’s futile to rejoice or get depressed over other people’s opinion of you because these opinions are mostly biased.
  2. Mirror of Self
    The Mirror of Self is self-reflection. While self-reflection is good as we mentioned that is it one of the 6 Good Deeds this kind of mirror tends to be biased too. This mind of conceit cannot see our shortcomings. It’s easy to see our good qualities but hard to accept our faults. Because of this it is impossible to see our true self through this mirror.7 kinds of Conceit

    1. Pride over inferiors . Looking down on someone in a lower position than me or someone who has lesser than me (school, job or society).

    2. Pride over equals. Finding something we are superior at or better at over people who are our equals.

    3. Stubborn pride. Even when we know we are in the wrong we still can’t admit it. In Buddhism we are encouraged to admit our mistakes immediately. “Don’t take pride in not making mistakes, but instead take pride in correcting mistakes immediately.” Every mistake is an opportunity to do better.

    4. Pride over superiors. Finding something we are better at over our superiors.

    5. Pride in thinking that one knows the truth, also known as Grandiose Pride. (Also pride in the belief of having attained enlightenment). One thinks that they are an enlightened being or they have a certain kind of wisdom, they are a spiritual leader, they are buddha. Conceit makes us deluded and self-righteous.

    6. Conceit in ones humility. Pride in ones humbleness. If we try to accept that we have failings, then we take pride that we are able to be humble. Even our humility is tainted with pride.

    7. Pride in the wrong. Pride in doing something bad. For example, a thief taking pride in their agility or someone who commits murder and take pride in their cruelty.

  3. Mirror of Dharma
    This is our image reflected in the eyes of the Buddha or the teachings of the Buddha. To seek Buddhism is to see the true image of yourself or to be aware of yourself.  It doesn’t distort anything and shows us everything exactly as it is. Buddhism goes beneath our tangible exterior and places our actions in 3 categories. Buddhism places emphasis on the actions of the mind because it is the source. Conceit is the hardest obstacle when seeking for the true nature of ourselves.


Image for The Three Worlds

1 Comment

The 3 Worlds and the 10 Directions

Before reading this please read: The Law of Cause and Effect

We have discussed about the Law of Cause and Effect and how it is the core of Buddhist teachings.  How is the Law of Effect related to the 3 Worlds and 10 Directions? Before we get to that let us first identify what are the 3 Worlds and the 10 Directions.

The 3 Worlds are:

  1. The Past
  2. The Present
  3. The Future

and the 10 Directions are:

  1. North
  2. South
  3. East
  4. West
  5. North East
  6. South East
  7. North West
  8. South West
  9. Up
  10. Down

We can say that the 3 Worlds means anytime and the 10 Directions means anywhere. The Law of Cause and Effect encompasses the 3 Worlds and the 10 Directions. It means the Law of Cause and Effect holds true anytime and anywhere.

We said that the Law of Cause and effect states that for every Cause there is corresponding Effect. Since the Law of Cause and Effect encompasses the 3 Worlds, a Cause (deeds or actions) we planted on the Past may manifest its Effect (result) not only in the Past, but also in the Present or Future.

Take for example a child born with handicap. It would make living more challenging. What did a newly born child do to deserve to be born in such a condition? Our birth is determined of how we are in our past life. By looking at the state of how we are born or the state of our current life, we can determine what seeds or deeds we planted in our past life. Same thing with the future, we can know how our future will play out by looking at the seeds we plant in this present life. Are we planting good seeds or bad?

The 10 Directions show that the Law of Cause and Effect applies to all places. No corner left out.

Always plant good seeds then you can have good results in the future. We can’t change the actions we did in our past but we can still do something with how our future will turn out.



April 15, 2017 Lecture/Meetup of Pureland Buddhism Center of the Philippines

Leave a comment

Past – Lecture/Meetup: What is the True Self? (Apr. 15, 2017)

What is our True self? Buddhism teaches us that there are 3 Mirrors that tell us about oursleves. Mirror of Self, Mirror of Others and Mirros of Others. Teacher Masaki will talk about it in this lecture.
Lecture is free and newcomers are welcome.

Where: The Columns Ayala Avenue Tower 1, Makati City, Philippines
When: April 15, 2017 | 2:00pm – 4:00pm

Please send a message to  0998-566-2533 if you would like to join.


Photo Credit: Filipino Pureland Buddhism | En-En Usomoto

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism is a religion and a philosophy taught by Sakyamuni Buddha or Gautama Buddha in the 6th century B.C. (around 2,600 years ago). He left us with 7,000 sutras.

Today there are two major schools of Buddhism, the Theravada and the Mahayana. Despite the variety, these two schools still share the common elements of tradition, attitude, and core teachings of Buddhism. Like a deeply rooted tree that have developed branches.

Theravada, the oldest surviving form of Buddhism, is largely practiced in the Southern Asian countries of Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, and Thailand. This maybe the most orthodox school of Buddhism as it holds the earliest teachings of the Buddha. It places little or no emphasis to deities. The goal of its teachings is to achieve Nirvana or a state of bliss free from the bonds of the never ending cycle of rebirth.

Mahayana is practiced in different forms mostly in Japan, Korea, China and Tibet. We say different forms because Mahayana is not a single group but a variety of schools such as Zen, Pureland and Tibetan, to name a few. Several Mahayana schools honor a variety of Buddhas.

Siddharta Gautama (Sakyamuni Buddha’s real name) discovered truths through reasoning rather than divine revelation.He achieved enlightenment not by concerning himself with entities beyond our experience but by finding our purpose in life, which involves true happiness. Having lived a life of extravagance and a life of extreme asceticism, and still not finding true happiness, he concluded that there must be a middle path between these 2. From there the core teachings of Buddhism started. In a nutshell, Buddhism advises us to do things the right way, and that is we should do good deeds so we will reap good results.
“The kind of seed sown  will produce that kind of fruit.  Those who do good will reap good results.  Those who do evil will reap evil results.  If you carefully plant a good seed,  You will joyfully gather good fruit.”                                    

Leave a comment

PAST – Lecture: The Life of Buddha (Apr. 16, 2017)

Buddhist teacher Sumie will give a lecture about The Life of Buddha. Sakyamuni Buddha was born on April 8, 2,600 years ago as Siddharta Gautama.
Lecture is free and newcomers are welcome.

Where: SKYPE (Message Skype ID: musr4326hx6)
When: April 16, 2017 | 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Image for Seven Charities

1 Comment

The 7 Charities

A broomThe Japanese character for “person” (below) has the meaning that one person supports another to live.
Japanese Character for Person
Indeed we cannot live without other people. We all depend on one another, for business, relationships, family, and just living in general.
No man is an island, goes the saying.
For this reason, in Buddhism, the attitude of harmony is highly regarded. Without harmony there is conflict and it becomes difficult to accomplish a task.
With solidarity or harmony in our homes, work and social, greater happiness can be achieved.

How can we practice harmony? By doing the 7 Charities, for instance. They are:
1. Warm eyes
2. A smile
3. Kind words
4. Sincere gratitude
5. Physical labor/ volunteering
6. Yielding way
7. Share a meal and shelter

They are part of the 6 Good Deeds taught by Buddha to bring happiness to the giver and receiver.

Learn more about this topic and others in our meetings at Meetup