by Toyo Teru Sensei
Into the Dharma, we shall journey, like astronauts or a team of interdependent explorers that make their way through an abyss of un-explored continents, with uncharted rivers, and great divides of lands never traveled before. To me and many new members of the Dharma, we find ourselves delving into this unknown abyss of Buddhism. We embark into the Dharma like so many have done before us. Those that passed through what we now embark on, have gone onto many new paths within the Dharma, charting their explorations and publishing their discoveries. They are the Dharmanauts of Buddhism. Like our famous Astronauts of early and present space exploration, Dharmanauts to have made discoveries and charted the unknown. They have shared a seat in American Buddhism history and publish their research for our future references and studies. Many articles and publications from these Dharmanauts have entered the curriculums of scholastic Buddhist establishments around the world 360 degrees by way of Longitude and Latitude.
I call Eastern Sun Sangha members Dharmanauts and like astronauts they have embarked on the exploration not into space but Into the Dharma. This title is not just for Eastern Sun Sangha, but you too as well are Dharmanauts and our exploration begins, some alone, but many together. It is a journey only you can chart. Your discoveries are your exemplifications that only you will write into your own personal Buddhist history. However they are (Anicca) or Impermanence one of the three marks of existence, these being anicca (impermanence), dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anatta (non-selfhood). As well as anicca there is also an interdependency in our discoveries as Dharmnauts.
Our journey is an expedition of Buddhism, that covers a vast span of territory. With that said our nautical unit of length corresponding approximately to the Dharma is vast. I am told and encouraged to keep going, and that I will do, and that you as well, will achieve.
(Nautical miles is good old navy term.) The nautical mile was based on the circumference of the earth at the equator. Since the earth is 360 degrees of longitude around, and degrees are broken into 60 so-called “minutes”, that means there are 360 multiplied by 60 = 21,600 “minutes” of longitude around the earth. This was taken as the basis for the nautical mile; thus, by definition, 1 minute of longitude at the equator is equal to 1 nautical mile. So the earth is ideally, by definition, 21,600 nautical miles (and 21,600 “minutes” of longitude) in circumference at the equator.
Well enough of that technical stuff. My exploration Into the Dharma is Buddhism 360 degrees Longitude and Latitude. Today we will experience Buddhism that can be found on the circumference of this Buddiful planet. We hope to in our Gatherings cover many Dharma nautical miles and share or discoveries experienced during our journeys Into the Dharma. As we “KEEP GOING” Dharmanauts will build many bridges across un-discovered rivers. Dharmanauts will cut new paths over great divides of lands. Our Dharma Nautical miles will add up and for every new Dharma mile we will want to share our discoveries with all. Dharmanauts will encourage others to follow. We will ask for companionship Into the Dharma. Each and every Dharmanauts will travel their own way. Their Dharma Nautical miles will be different. Each has a different experience, develops different opinions, compassions, compatriots, and convictions. The foundations of Buddhism will always stay the same and will guide us Dharmanauts into the Dharma of American Buddhism. Travel Light and keep an open mind to what you may find.
Toyo Teru Katamori Sensei is a Lay Minister with Bright Dawn Way of Oneness Sangha. For information about Bright Dawn and the Lay Ministry program please visit our website.