Temple Tales


Howdydoo! Welcome to the static, visible home of the TEMPLE TALES Newsletter and Podcast!


The Temple Tales newsletter is available by subscription (it's FREE!). Click here to sign up.
  • The Temple Tales Newsletter is around 1500 words (like three typed, single-space pages) or less, with illustrations, and contains links to audio versions (usually around ten minutes, and seldom over fifteen.) It's delivered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (evenings in East Asia, mornings in America).
  • Now, here's something special: ONLY the emailed newsletter--not the blog, nor the podcasts--will end with a few "thought questions" to help you integrate the lessons in each edition into your own life, addressing the question, "How can this benefit YOU?" There also will be a "secret group" on Facebook--available ONLY to newsletter subscribers--to discuss those questions.
  • Newsletter subscribers may also receive occasional "extras," short ebooks or similar publications (that will also be for sale here at TheTempleGuy.org).
To hear a podcast, click the links below. The "Show Notes" will actually be just a blog version of the newsletter. In addition to the podcatchers listed below (archive.org, iTunes, Google Podcasts, and Spotify), Podcasts may also available separately on your favorite "podcatcher."

Topics for each issue/episode include:
  • Temples and/or the Figures found in them (Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, etc.) [I've been to a LOT of them--like well over 600 in Japan and China alone!]
  • Historical Figures, especially famous Japanese and Chinese monks;
  • Buddhist and other folk stories from Japan and China;
  • The Buddha's teachings (Dharma) and the background and contents of Buddhist scriptures (Sutras)
  • Scenes from the Buddha's life
  • Reviews of Buddhist books and films
  • PLUS, occasionally, I'll cover similar topics but instead of focusing on temples, I'll zoom in on the Spanish missions and Native sites of California, Baja California, and the American Southwest--all part of my travels and longtime interests.
So head for TempleTales.Substack.com and PUT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THAT BOX! (if you haven't already) OR, alternately, send it to me at thetempleguy [at] gmail [dot] com, and I'll hook you up. (It'll be kept safe, I promise! And you can unsubscribe at any time just by asking.)

In true, bloggy, annoying fashion, the most recent episode is listed first in the posts below.




Episodes:

Ep. 030: Another Snowy Day at Nariai-ji (4/3/2020) Let's visit one of the Three Most Scenic Spots in Japan, and a wintry mountaintop: just another snowy day at Nariai-ji in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 029: The Big Bathing Baby Buddha of Wuxi (4/1/2020) Come along as my wife and I help induct a brand-new Buddhist abbot, and visit "Heaven" in a Buddhist theme park.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 028: The Two Vehicles: Theravada and Mahayana (3/30/2020) Let's take a look at the two main branches of Buddhism: the Theravada of South Asia, and the Mahayana of East and North Asia.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 027: Heng and Ha, the Fiercesome Temple Guardians (3/27/2020) Meet the two colossal guardians in the Mountain Gate of Chinese temples, known as Heng and Ha! (And their Japanese cousins, the Ni-O.)
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 026: Kofuns, the "Pyramids" of Japan (3/25/2020) Egypt has the pyramids, but those aren't the world's only burial mounds. In Japan, they're called kofun, meaning simply "ancient tombs," and we'll visit a few on this episode of Temple Tales!
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 025: California's Mission San Antonio de Padua (3/23/2020) Let's take a trip to California's grassy foothills and the old Spanish mission of San Antonio de Padua--and find out what it has to do with the progenitor of America's ninth-richest family.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 024: Japan's Seven Lucky Gods (3/20/2020) An introduction to the Shichi Fukujin, Japan's super-popular "Lucky Gods"
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 023: China's Eight Immortals (3/18/2020) Come meet the group of colorful characters known as The Eight Immortals, some of China’s coolest and funnest "fairies."
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 022: The Six (and More!) Perfections (3/16/2020) Let's take a quick look at Mahayana Buddhism's Six Perfections (and more), and meet an elephant with six tusks!
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 021: The Refuge Rock of the Sixth Zen Patriarch (3/13/2020) Master Huineng is touted as the Sixth Patriarch of the Zen (Chan) tradition. Let's take a quick look at this fascinating character, and visit the place where his enemies nearly roasted him--literally!
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 020: The Great Buddha at Kamakura (3/11/2020) Let's pay a quick visit to the Great Buddha at Kamakura, who--despite typhoons, earthquakes, and tsunamis--sits on serenely to this day!
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 019: Ancient Churches in the City of Holy Faith (3/9/2020) Come visit some of the amazing old churches in Santa Fe, New Mexico--one of my favorite cities in the world! (Well, at least that I've been to.)
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 018: The Shrine of the Shogun (3/6/2020) Come visit a quiet corner hidden away in the very heart of Tokyo's version of "Central Park" where the spirit of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Shogun, is enshrined.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 017: The Monk and the Monkey King (3/4/2020) Learn about one of the most popular stories in East Asia, about a journey toward the West--that is, India--to get some Buddhist scriptures.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 016: The Five Precepts and the Reduction of Suffering (3/2/2020) How the Buddhist moral code can lead to less suffering--life's Problem Number One
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 015: The Mummified Masters of Nine Flower Mountain (2/28/2020) Not all mummies are in Egypt! Come see some mummified monks in Chinese temples.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 014: The Deep Wisdom of Hakuin Zenji (2/26/2020) Visit the seat of one of Japan's greatest Zen Masters along the Old Tokaido Highway
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 013: The Oldest Church in the Philippines (2/24/2020) San Agustin Church in Manila was founded in 1571, but the current edifice dates "only" to 1607(!) Learn more about this intriguing place.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 012: On the Banks of the River of Souls (2/21/2020) Sai-no-Kawara, the River of Souls, haunted by the spirits of children who had died too soon...
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 011: "Are You a Buddhist?" (2/19/20) What makes a Buddhist a Buddhist? And, is the Temple Guy one?
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 010: Devadatta, the Buddha's Evil Cousin (2/17/2020) Meet the "odd man out" in the Buddha's family--who became the enemy of the sangha
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 009: The Grottoes at the Dragon Gate (2/14/2020) Come along as Lila and I visit the spectacular Longmen Grottoes in Henan, China
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 008: The Execution Ground (2/12/2020) Strolling through the site of over 100,000 Edo-era executions
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 007: The Missions of Baja California (2/10/2020) Traveling the King's Highway in Mexico
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 006: At a Mountain Hermitage (2/7/2020) Meeting a Master and debating with a monk
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 005: The Faces of Compassion (2/5/2020) The secret behind the faces on two statues at a temple in Saitama, Japan
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 004: Death by Parable (2/3/2020) The Buddha's foundational teachings about Old Age, Illness, and Death, told as stories based on In the Buddha's Words by Bhikku Bodhi
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 003: The Laughing Buddha and the Scowling General (1/31/2020) Why does everyone think the Buddha was a fat guy? No way!
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 002: Let's Visit a Chinese Buddhist Temple! (1/29/2020) A brisk walk through a Chinese Buddhist temple, an overview of things to come
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 001: Gong Hei Fat Choy! (1/27/2020) - "All about" (well, not ALL about) Chinese new Year.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Ep. 000: Who the <BLEEP!> is The Temple Guy? (1/26/2020) - Introducing yours truly, and justifying how I dare call myself "The Temple Guy."
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]

Introduction: Take My Newsletter - Please! (1/19/2020) - A few words describing the newsletter/podcast and its contents.
Newsletter - Podcasts: [Archive.org] - [iTunes] - [Google] - [Spotify]


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