The Buddhist Chirches of America is a Jodo Shinshu or “Shin” Buddhist organization that has been in the US for 100+ years so naturally they have abundant supplies for Jodo Shinshu Buddhists, but I think the idea of a starter kit for only $5 is particularly clever.
For $5 you get:
- An image of Amitabha Buddha: the Buddha of Infinite Light.
- A basic rosary.
- A chant containing the Juseige Buddhist chant, which is a popular liturgy in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.
That’s quite a deal in my opinion. Often when people are new to Buddhism and not sure where to start, they might feel compelled to buy expensive meditation cushions, imported rosaries and try to learn long, complicated chants, or pay exorbitant fees for seminars. I personally believe this makes Buddhism less accessible and more intimidating for some people. I would rather see people start at home, build up confidence and then reach out to communities when they are ready to learn more.
I hope to see more things like the Starter Kit in the future. 🙂
1 Disclaimer, I am a certified minister’s assistant with the BCA, with an intention of getting ordained someday.