March 16, 2020

Dear All:

Given the rise of cases of COVID-19 in North America and around the world, to ensure the health and safety of our Dharma friends, the English Dharma class has been suspended until further notice.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding and kindness.

When you read your assignments and practice Three Acts of Goodness (do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts), and if you protect the environment and have respect for all lives you shall be able to turn peril into safety.


Fo Guang Shan , Hawaii

This page contains links to resources for students in an informal, not-for-credit Introduction to Buddhist Studies class being held off-campus. However, these resources may be used by anyone studying or teaching Buddhism.
The not-for-credit class currently meets at the Fo Guang Shan Hawai`i Temple at 222 Queen Street in downtown Honolulu. For more information about the class or the temple you are cordially invited to call 808-545-1183.

Current Schedule

Please click here to view the tentative early 2020 schedule for the class.

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The following is being made available out of concern regarding the current rapid spreading of the (COVID-19) Coronavirus.

A Prayer to Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva for Safety from the Wuhan Coronavirus Outbreak

This is a prayer composed by Venerable Master Hsing Yun, Founder of Fo Guang Shan. The first page provides the Chinese-language version. The second and third pages provide the English-language version.

In addition, here is a link to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website regarding COVID-19:

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Powerpoint Presentations

A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 1 (as of March 20, 2017) - Topics: The Four Noble Truths, Śākyamuni Buddha, a brief introduction to Mindfulness (Smṛti), and Counting Breaths Meditation.
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 2 (as of April 27, 2017) - Topics: The Eightfold Path, the Six Perfections, and the Five Precepts
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 3 (draft as of May 27, 2017) - Topic: Dependent Origination
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 4 (latest draft- June 24, 2017) - Topic: The Eightfold Path, a Deeper Look, part 1
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 5 - Topic: Right Effort and Right Mindfulness, a Deeper Look
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 6 - Topic: Right Concentration, a Deeper Look
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 7 - Topic: Pāramitā (Six Perfections) (late November 25, 2017)
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 8 - Topic: The Four Brahmā Vihāra
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 9 - Topic: The Bodhisattva Path, Part I
A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 10 - Topic: The Bodhisattva Path, Part II: Motivation for Entering the Bodhisattva Path
Brief presentation on the Skandha - May 26, 2018, draft

A few basics of Buddhism and how to integrate them into our daily lives - Session 11 - Topic: The Bodhisattva Path, Part II: Commitment—The Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva

The following Microsoft Word file is a translation of Chapter 40 of the Avatamsaka Sutra: Prajna_translation_Avatamsaka_Sutra_chapter_40.docx

For those of you who requested information about karma, here is the material we had originally planned to discuss in this week's session (but the agenda was changed): The Core Teachings, Chapter 5: Karma (a Microsoft Word file)

Earlier Powerpoint Presentations

"The Buddha Speaks the Amitabha Sutra" Powerpoint
Proposal regarding translation team for English-language Dharma class

This is a Powerpoint that was presented at Fo Guan Shan Hawaii when an English-language Dharma class was proposed. Run the presentation to see the beard grow!


Heart Sutra chant for English-language Dharma class - Includes: Homage to Sakyamuni Buddha, the Heart Sutra, the Triple Refuge, and Dedication of Merit. (Typos have been fixed in this version.)
Amitabha Buddha service (large .pdf file) Note: This is a .pdf of the chants used in the Amitabha Buddha service at Fo Guan Shan Hawai`i—including the Sutra itself—in Chinese, in romanization of the Chinese, and in English translation. This is being made available for those who wish to participate in the chanting of this service at the FGSH temple and wish to practice at home.
The Heart Sutra - includes English, Chinese characters, and Pinyin transliterations. Taken from a .pdf of the chant book for the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra
The Ten Great Vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva

Links to Other Websites with Resources

Translations of Sutras Available Online

Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai: Society for the Promotion of Buddhism--Digital Downloads

These translation of Mahāyāna Buddhist Sutras are part of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai translation project. As the English-language BDK website explains:
"The Tripitaka being translated by the BDK English Tripitaka Project is the Chinese Tripitaka, which was published over several years in Japan in the early part of the 20th century: The Taisho Shinshu Daizokyo. It is generally known as the Taisho Edition, and contains 2,920 works (3,053 including variant versions), 11,970 fascicles and 80,645 pages."

Access to Insight: Readings in Theravada Buddhism.

This site has translations of a number of Theravada (early Buddhist) texts. For example, the site includes a translation of the Brahmajāla Sutta: The All-embracing Net of Views. The translator in this case is Bhikkhu Bodhi, a well-known Theravada Buddhist monk/scholar. This text includes an admonition from the Buddha about fortune-telling of many types, referring to them as "such wrong means of livelihood, ... such debased arts."

There is also on this website a wonderful little sutta (sūtra) that seems highly relevant in these contentious times, despite the name: Dutthatthaka Sutta

The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment (Yuanjue jing) translated by Charles Muller.
Discourse on Happiness. Called the Mahāmaṅgala Sutta, this is the translation from Plum Village, a monastery founded by Thich Nhat Hanh. Scroll down just a bit to see the translation. The Pāli version can be found on various websites.


Venerable Tzu Chuang and Robert Smitheram Ph.D., translator. FaXiang : A Buddhist Practitioners Encyclopedia

This is a product of the Fo Guang Shan International Translation Center. Venerable Tzu Chuang is a Buddhist monk.

Between Ignorance and Enlightenment
These are a series of entries in a column written by Ven. Hsing Yun. There are over a thousand entries, generally only 1 or 2 pages long. This is found on the website called: FoGuangPedia.
Eight Verses for Training the Mind by Geshe Langri Tangpa (1054-1123).

This version also has commentary by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Dr. Robert Thurman, a well-known Buddhist scholar, identifies the wisdom of Verse 5 as the most difficult to put into practice.

Verse 5
When others, out of jealousy,
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.

Another version of the story of "Little Roadside" on two different websites:

Cūlapanthaka Thera from the "Pali Kanon" site

Cūlapanthaka Thera from the "What Buddha Said" site

And a slightly different story of "Little Roadside," calling him "Little Wayman."

Buddhist Legends. Book II. Heedfulness, Appamāda Vagga. II. 3. Little Wayman from the website.

Edgerton, Franklin. Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary [Note: This is an easily searchable web version that does not include Edgerton's description Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit grammar. Searching Google or Yahoo you can find .pdf versions of the full document.]

Mahāyāna sūtras are often described as being written in Sanskrit. Actually, many scholars refer to the language of Northern Buddhist texts as "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit." Although, as time went by, more standard Sanskrit was used, the primary language used in the texts, according to Edgerton, contains many words and grammatical elements of Middle Indic dialects. In choosing which words to include in his dictionary, Edgerton noted in his introduction: "In principle, I have excluded from my grammar and dictionary all forms which are standard Sanskrit with the same meanings." Thus this dictionary is only helpful in understanding those words that are not standard Sanskrit. For standard Sanskrit terminology we need to consult a dictionary of standard Sanskrit, such as that of Sir Monier Monier-Williams.

In addition, Edgerton's dictionary was published in 1953. Much scholarship has occurred since that date.

The entries in Edgerton's dictionary are in Sanskrit-alphabetical order rather than English-alphabetical order. So, here is a scan from a page of A Sanskrit-English Dictionary of Sir Monier Monior-Williams giving the The Dictionary Order of the Nagari Letters. That will help you locate terms in Edgerton's dictionary.

Life is the network, not the self

This is an article by George Haskell, a biologist, discussing biological observations about life existing as a network. Although Buddhism is not mentioned, the observations fit well with the Buddhist ideas of interconnectedness and dependent origination.

Sample quote: "The fundamental unit of biology is therefore not the 'self,' but the network. A maple tree is a plurality, its individuality a temporary manifestation of relationship."

Draft of Invitation to Dharma Class

An Invitation

You are cordially invited to a Dharma class to be given in Chinese and English at Fo Guang Shan Hawai`i.

Topic: xxxx

Date: xxx xx xxxx

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.

Location: 222 Queen St, Honolulu