Minister’s Message – April 2020
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When we say Namu Amida Butsu,
The countless Buddhas throughout the ten quarters,
Surrounding us a hundredfold, a thousandfold,
Rejoice in and protect us.
~Shinran Shonin (Jodo Wasan 110)
We are faced with a most stressful situation and it concerns our health. The corona virus is weighing on all our minds. We have to be especially careful about contact with others and watching for symptoms. In many ways, it is making us afraid and paranoid. However, it is at this time when the Nembutsu can bring comfort and strength. Our Namu Amida Butsu can provide us the space to calm our nerves and settle our minds.
The Four Noble Truths states that life is difficult and we are faced with yet another difficult situation. We have had to endure many hardships in our lives and we have survived. It has been a struggle, yet we survived. This may be the time when we “re-hear” the teachings of the Buddha. We are reminded of the Eightfold Path, Six Paramitas and The Golden Chain.
These teachings can lead us in the right direction. Our “Right Mindfulness” is to cherish a good mind, for all that we do and think is from the mind. This is a time of “letting go of our ego” and focus on our family and others who are weaker than our selves. We protect those who cannot or do not have anyone to protect them. It is a time to practice dana of generosity and helpfulness.
Hoarding has become a severe problem. People are buying up toilet paper, paper towels, can soups, pasta, to name a few. These people are living by their greed and selfishness. We can lend those in need, until they can supply their goods. As Buddhists, we are kind, gentle and thoughtful. Our kindness is always for others.
Nembutsu and the Buddha’s teaching will guide us. We use our wisdom and insights and use it wisely. We will persevere during this time, if we stop and think and not panic. We are strong and we will endure. Our entrusting in Namu Amida Butsu can calm us and to learn patience.
By knowing the symptoms and using our brains, we can make the right decisions. If you are ill, call your health provider and they can give you guidance. If you are not feeling safe, stay indoors. This would be a good time to review the Buddha’s teaching.
We do not know how long it will take the scientists and researchers to find a cure, yet we will endure. It is Namu Amida Butsu to guide and direct us in making those decisions that is best for family, our friends and us. The virus is not transmitted through cell phones or telephone wires. We can reach out and keep in contact with each other. It is our Namu Amida Butsu that will be our test of strength, peace of mind, and perseverance.
Please stay healthy and safe. My cell phone is always on. If you do not have the number, it is (805) 550-9225. I will be keeping in touch with you.
Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano