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From Like A Dream, Like a Fantasy: The Zen Writings and Translations of Nyogen Senzaki, with an introduction by Eido Shimano Roshi, published this fall by PeaceWorks Publications.
Buddha’s Birthday Celebration
April 11, 1948
The name of Buddha is quite common among Americans and a statue of Buddha is kept in many American homes. Is it not strange to say, however, that very few Americans know who Buddha really was? And most Americans do not know what Buddhism is and what it has to do with this modern civilization of ours. Some say Buddha is a Japanese god. Some say Buddhism is and ancient teaching of India and that it has nothing to do with the current of thought in our age. They are all wrong. Buddha is neither a Japanese god nor an Indian god. We Buddhists do not worship anything. Buddhism is a teaching of enlightenment, an intellectual religion which will bring us all from delusions to realization, from suffering to peace, from the imprisonment of passions and desires to the freedom of utmost wisdom and loving-kindness. Is it not the most reliable religion of this age of free thinking and practicality?