A life long search for the Dharma
I have been influenced by Buddhism since childhood. This began when I moved to Yokohama at age 7. My family was not religious, but I would go off on my own to see the local temples, Jizo statues, and take the train to visit the Daibutsu in Kamakura. I did not really know who the Buddha was or what he stood for, but those experiences touched me in a way I did not understand.
This interest did not leave me when we moved back to the states, and by high school became very influenced by Soto Zen. I spent one summer at an American Zen center, but ultimately it turned out to be a disappointment. The zazen practice was rigorous and pure, but I thought something was missing.
It felt sort of cold; there was not much heart. It felt as if some members were so immersed in the wisdom aspect that they felt they had to passively accept everything that they were or happened to them.
Basic self improvement, including the precepts, where hardly addressed. It left me confused since I knew that was not the teaching of Zen or Dogen Zenji. I ended up practicing on my own for many years.
Since then I stumbled upon a Sangha of a different tradition, Tibetan Vajrayana. Some of the concepts are still hard to adjust to, coming from a Zen background, but the Tibetan teachers are accessible and greatly emphasize love and compassion.
I still condsider zazen my primary practice, but I have found the Vajrayana rituals, ceremonies, and purification practices a powerful support. In the end, I have found, all traditions come back to the Four Noble Truths.
Since my heart still lies with Japan, I have become interested in Japanese Vajrayana such as Shingon and Tendai. Finding resources for these in English or centers in the States is far more difficult than finding Tibetan resources.
Does anyone know why that is? Does anyone know of any English resources for Japanese Vajrayana?
Peace and much thanks