Minister’s March 2018 Message

Following the teachings of the Buddha,

Discerning the Right Path,

I will share the True Dharma with all.

Excerpt of the Shin Buddhist Life Principles

It seems cooler now then during the winter months. Yet Spring is definitely around the corner; allergy season is upon us.  It is amazing how quickly changes can happen. One day the temperatures are in the 80’s then it plummets to the low to mid 50’s. It is the same with our lives; one minute we are in our youth and the next we are collecting social security benefits. We feel the same and we still have the vitality but unfortunately, our aches and pains are more frequent and may last longer. Shakyamuni Buddha said that change is inevitable. How true, we cannot do anything about it, so we learn to enjoy this ever-changing life.

Jodo Shinshu gives us the freedom to question this ever-changing life. It does not answer it for us, for it makes us to look within the self where the answers are. We try to live our lives fully, peacefully, and with freedom. How fortunate we are to have the teachings to help us to attain some sense of this realm. We live from season to season, but do we truly look at our lives with refreshed eyes and truly appreciate what is given to us? It matters not if we have achieved our goals, but to live our life with an open heart, compassion, and gained wisdom.

I have received many compliments on the hospitality and warmth shared by the Guadalupe Buddhist Church (Guad BC) sangha. There are no pretentious actions but a feeling of comfort and gentleness. Many visitors to our temple feel so “welcomed” when they come to our services. This is our teaching at work. We are following Shakyamuni Buddha and Shinran Shonin’s footsteps of acceptance of anyone who wants to hear and try to live the lessons shared with us.

We can find solace in the matter of the heart and mind that these strangers want to hear the teachings. We try not to discriminate or make judgment calls, yet there are times when we do. Yet we make them comfortable and to feel as though they are a part of the sangha. Guad BC has always welcomed those who have come through the door with smiles and firm handshakes.

It is with appreciation to all the members who continue to make Guad BC a place of refuge. It does not matter how small a membership is, it is how we treat others who are interested in Buddhism. Those in search may not find it in Jodo Shinshu, however we can feel comforted that we are their first step into finding themselves. We share our “food for thought,” so they may find a home for themselves and understand the truth.

It is with gratitude and thankfulness to Guad BC and its Sangha that I share my Namu Amida Butsu. Many of us are more mature than others, but we are passing down the lessons of life to the younger people. We are sharing the little wisdom we attained and they are using this wisdom to further themselves and to help the church to continue. They adapt these lessons to fit the time and change is inevitable. As it is said change can be good. We must learn to adapt and “go with the flow.”

I thank Guad BC and the many Sangha members whose compassion is shown each time we have service and to those new people who enter our doors. My Namu Amida Butsu, with true heart and mind.

Gassho, Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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