A good life is when you assume
Nothing, do more, need less,
Smile often. Dream big. Laugh
A lot, and realize how blessed
Before leaving my home state, every holiday was spent with family. My mother did all the cooking at home and my father cooked at the café. However, at these dinners my father was absent, except on his day off. On this day we had a Japanese style holiday of sukiyaki, which he always cooked on the table. This was a treat for us, for we were all together as a family.
Even when I was away at graduate school in California, my brothers or sister would buy me a plane ticket. It was such a treat to spend holidays with them. There was always food and laughter. But what was important was being together and as a family. I do miss spending time with my nieces, nephews, and sister. This year my two brothers will not be with the family, however the memories of them will carry us through the season and year round. I put my palms together in Gassho to thank them for their compassion and love during my continuous journey of life.
When I think back on the many years of family get togethers, I am sad. However I have found a new family and they are called Sangha. We all have had different upbringing and experiences, however we have a common denominator and that is Nembutsu. It is in Namu Amida Butsu that we find peace and joy. It is also a time we all share on an adventure in searching our true self. We make each service a new expedition in our search and can be so thankful for each other’s support, understanding, and strength they share with all.
This Thanksgiving and any holiday, I have a new outlook on my journey. When I feel lonely, there is always someone there and I have my Namu Amida Butsu. It is my gratitude and thankfulness that their unselfish giving is always a part of my life. I share my Nembutsu for their compassion and for making me a part of a family. The Sangha members become my family and teacher. It is simply Namu Amida Butsu.
It is not only at holiday times that this compassion is shared; it is year round. It is not only during troubled times but a continuum of Namu Amida Butsu. My heart is always full and contentment is always in my heart. There are not enough words to express my thanks giving. It is through Namu Amida Butsu for the incessant journey of search and discovery.
Here is wishing you all a safe and hearty Thanksgiving and a nonstop search into Namu Amida Butsu.
Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano