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Shin Buddhism Online Course with Dr. Ken. Tanaka

Starts February 13th, 2022. (Hosted by the Vancouver Buddhist Temple)

From the Lecturer: In this once a month ten-part course, I hope to build on the original Ocean book to present a deeper and fuller dimension of this tradition. This course offers a “birds eye view” through the lens of the story of the “Sailor and the Ocean.” This approach makes it easier to understand the uniqueness of Shin Buddhism, which many find difficult to grasp when it is described as “a form of Buddhism in which a person is saved merely by reciting the Name.” 

    This course is for those who want to learn more about 1) Shinran (the founder of Shin Buddhism), 2) the deeper meaning of Amida, Pure Land, Shinjin, Nembutsu, practice, social engagement, and other main teachings, and 3) tips to deal more effectively with the ups and downs of ordinary lives: family, work, school, and human relations. It is also meant for those who 1) experience the challenges and difficulties of living, 2) have become more aware of their personal imperfections, and 3) are in a sincere search for greater meaning and fulfillment in their lives. 

    If you are interested, please join others with similar aspirations as we share our stories and support each other in our struggles and hopes in order that “we may all attain perfect peace”! 

Main Topics to be Covered

                                      Meaning in Our Lives                        Parable of the Sailor           Shinran’s Life

1.     February 13   (1)        Being born a human being              Boarding the Ship               Born in Kyoto

2.     March 13      (2)         Experiencing difficulties                 Falling Off the Ship            Losses and anxiety 

3.     April 10       (3)           Striving on the Buddhist path         Swimming by Striving        Training as a monk   

4.     May 8         (4)           Limits of “self-power”                    Gasping for Air                    Hitting a “wall”          

5.     June 12       (5)           Shinjin realization 1                        Letting Go                            Meeting Honen           

6.     July 10                        Shinjin realization 2                        Floating                                Learning from Honen

7.     September 11   (6)      Assurance and confidence              Swimming with Ease            Family & Exile         

8.     October 9                    Gratitude and vitality                      Swimming with Ease            Family & Exile           

9.     November 13             Being of benefit to Others               Working for Others                Propagation

10.   December 11  (7)       Birth in the Pure Land                     Reaching the Island              Passing            

                                          Returning to Oneness                     Returning to the Ocean          “Returning”       

Dates:    2nd Sunday (not Saturday) of each month in 2022 (except for January and August)

                                    2/13, 3/13, 4/10, 5/8, 6/12, 7/10, 9/11, 10/9, 11/13, 12/11

                        Each class will be recorded to enable those who are absent to watch later.

Time:               5pm – 6:30 (Pacific Time)  

Talk 1 (5:00-5:35)

Q&A1 (5:35-5:45)

Talk 2  (5:45-6:20)

Q&A2 (6:20-6:30)

“Happy Hour” (from 6:40 – 7:30 or so): Participation is optional and will not be recorded

Course Tuition:                   $50 – $100 for the entire course (to be donated)

(The range in the tuition is meant to accommodate your ability or willingness to pay. You are asked to donate the tuition payment to your favorite Buddhist organization or to a charity or organization not necessarily affiliated with Buddhism. You are encouraged to mention to the recipient that the donation is made in lieu of the tuition payment for this course. The Lecturer does not accept any payment.). Donations to the Vancouver Buddhist Temple can be made by etransfer to or through PayPal on the website or through Canada Helps

Conditions for the Participants

1) You are asked to show your face during the class in the spirit of openness and oneness of an interactive class. If you must hide your face during class, please inform the Lecturer prior to the class.

2) The classes will be recorded and be made available only to those registered for this class and the “over-flow” class during 2022. Starting in 2023, the recorded classes may be made available to the public. (Note: an “over-flow” class = class to be set up to accommodate those could not be included in the primary class.) 

Registration:           Please register after you have read and agreed to the “Conditions for the Participants” stipulated above.  

Please register here:

If you do not receive an automatic confirmation within 24 hours, there is a good chance that you inputted your email number incorrectly. So, please try again or email the Lecturer at:

Reference Books:  You are not required to purchase them. The first three will be made available to you free of charge, and the 4th book (by J. Ducor) is optional.

1) Takamaro Shigaraki. Tran. by David Matsumoto. Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path – A Life of Awakening. Wisdom Publications, 2013. (pdf version of selected pages will be made available free of charge to those who register for the course.)

2)  Kenneth Tanaka. Ocean: An Introduction to Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism in America. WisdomOcean Publications, 2017. (digital text is available free of charge at:

3)  Kenneth Tanaka. Jewels: An Introduction to American Buddhism for Youth, Scouts and the Young at Heart. BDK America, 2020. (pdf can be downloaded free of charge; printed book is available in the U.S. for $6.00 (including shipping) at:

4) Jérôme Ducor. Shinran and Pure Land Buddhism. Jodo Shinshu International Office, 2021.  (This can be purchased at Buddhist Churches of America Bookstore $20:

Inquiries:              Please contact the Lecturer, Kenneth Tanaka, directly at:  chacotanaka@darlene

Please visit Vancouver Buddhist Temple for more information: