Easy Guide to Temple Etiquette

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Onenju

Onenju

The Onenju, or Ojuzu as some people refer to them, were originally used as counting beads.  But in our Jodo Shinshu tradition, they are a symbol of the 108 bonno (blind passions) that influence our lives.  So the Onenju serves as a way to be mindful of these things as we put our hands together in Gassho (literal meaning is “palms pressed together”).

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Entering the Hondo

The Hondo is the main hall of the temple where services take place.  When we enter this room, we bow to be mindful that we are entering a place of peace and respect.  We try to leave our troubles outside and enter this room in a state of reflections and readiness to hear the teachings.   And we turn and face the altar and bow again before leaving to show mindfulness and appreciation.

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How To Oshoko (Offer Incense)

How To Oshoko (Offer Incense)

Offering incense is a symbol of purification.  When we offer incense, it is not a desire for something in return.  Many practices in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism are exercises in being mindful.  Here are the steps.