Aug/ Sept 2023 Monthly Newsletter

August and September 2023

Sept 03 10:00 Service
11:00 Buddhism Class
12:00 Board Meeting

Sept 17 10:00 Shotsuki Service
11:00 Otoki
12:00 Obon Wrap-Up Meeting

Judy Saki, (on-line) In Memory of George Saki (June)
Gladys Kitagawa, In Memory of Tadayuki Kitagawa
Sets Tomooka, In Memory of Toyokuma Tomooka
Alice Lewis, Helen Eiko Konishi
Gabe/Patsy Hoyos, In Memory of Norman Risao Miyake
Joan Henretta, Sunday Service
Lee/Frances Humphrey, Sunday Service
Keith Lyon, Sunday Service
Hugh Maenaga, Sunday Service
Alice Maxon, Sunday Service
Tomiko Miyamoto, Special
Jim Risinger, Sunday Service
Ventura JACL, Use of the Social Hall
Jeaanne Henmi, Postage
Frank Monji, Special (also donated JA literature)
Kirk Morri, In Memory of Amy Morri and Hachijiro Maenaga
Anonymous, Special
Joan Henretta, Special
Anonymous, Special
Joyce Dendo, Special
Betty Furukawa, Hatsubon of Tets Furukawa
Holly Hope, In Memory of Dane White Sun
Lee/Frances Humphrey, Special
Yosh Kuno, In Memory of Shoji Kuno
Trisha Lipscomb, Special
Keith Lyon, Special
Dan Iriyama, Shotsuki
Hugh Maenaga, In Memory of Amy Morri
Hugh Maenaga, In Memory of Hachijiro Maenaga
Dena Massoudi, Special
Alice Maxon, Special

Wataru Minami, Shotsuki
Tomiko Miyamoto, Special
Sumi Schumacher, Special
Esther Trejo, In Memory of Yoshiko Shiroma (Hatsubon) and Shigeko Shiroma
Alice Utsunomiya, Special
Nori Hokedo, Special
Stan/Florence Furukawa, Hatsubon of Tets Furukawa
Sumi Schumacher donated Sunday Service flowers. Thank you.
2023 Dues – Christine Sibley (new member). Welcome and thank you!

Harry Masatani, Hatsubon of Kim Masatani
Kirk Morri, In Memory of Father, Kunio Morri
Kirk Morri, In Memory of Chisato Maenaga
Pati Futaba, In Memory of Father, Rev. Hakushi Futaba (July Shotsuki) (PayPal)
Joyce Dendo, Special
Joan Kitajima Henretta, In Memory of Yoshio Kitajima
Lee/Frances Humphrey, Special
Keith Lyon, Special
Hugh Maenaga, In Memory of Chisato Maenaga
Hugh Maenaga, In Memory of Kunio Morri
Hugh Maenaga, Shotsuki
Dena Massoudi, Special
Alice Maxon, Special
Wataru Minami, Shotsuki
Dixie Tomooka, In Memory of Yoshito Tomooka
Carolyn Tomooka, In Memory of Yoshito Tomooka
Gary Tomooka, In Memory of Yoshito Tomooka
Laura Tomooka, In Memory of Yoshito Tomooka
Alice Utsunomiya, Shotsuki
Keith Lyon, Special
Sumi Schumacher, Shotsuki
Karen Kurokawa, In Memory of Bette and Paul Kurokawa
Angela Banes, In Memory of Robert Cardona (use of temple)
OBON – Wonderful and successful Obon Festival. Namu Amida Butsu.
WINNERS – OBON RAFFLE 2023: 1,500.00 Keith Lyon, Lompoc
500.00 Doreen Simmons
300.00 Loren Henmi
100.00 Michael Furukawa, Santa Maria
100.00 Masako Nakano, Guadalupe
100.00 Teddy Waki, Santa Maria
100.00 Rob Himoto
100.00 Donna Mehlschau Santa Maria
100.00 Lee Ann Nakagawa
100.00 Megan Chand

Obon is a highlight of the year for myself, all the activity and people working and interacting, people
coming back to town, back home, people giving so much of themselves, people sharing their time,
knowledge, and wonderful attitudes. Did I mention the people? It is in the people at this time that I
see Buddhism. While the temple is good, very good, the people, the sangha, are great. Thank you
for being you.

This year, the Obon was particularly challenging with the change of venue and the fact the venue was
so different from the Vet’s Center. Our Obon Manager, Esther, responded to the changes and worked
so hard with the volunteers and the volunteers worked so hard to pull off an amazing day. Change is
difficult but everyone responded with smiles and sweat.
I am particularly appreciative to our extended family as I had planned to be sweating with you all,
however a slip blew out my knee and I had to enjoy Obon staring at the ceiling. I thank all the people
stepping up and filling in for me. Rev. Nakano’s message of impermanence rang in my mind,
everything changes, even if you don’t want it to. A Dharma message while staring at the ceiling.
Enough of my gimpiness, a big personal thanks to Esther and all her wonderful volunteers for a job
well done.

“My eyes being hindered by blind passions,
I cannot perceive the light that grasps me;
Yet the great compassion, without tiring,
Illumines me always.”
~Shinrain Shonin (Koso Wasan 95)

Oh yes, it is that season again. Many temples/churches are observing Hatsubon and Obon. These specific
dates are very important to us. We observe Hatsubon for those who have passed from this earthly realm from the previous July to the present July. It is a time of remembrance of their hard-work, sacrifices and yes, of their commitment in raising the family, to the community and to the temple/church. When we lose these people we are awakened to the principle of our impermanence. It is a time of sharing our thanks to our departed loved ones for their devotion and commitment to those whom they cherished and loved. We share our Namu Amida Butsu in honoring those who have passed during the year.
Our history stems from the many first generation Japanese (those who came from Japan, issei) who
worked in the mines or on the railways. They were farmers and some even took up the trade of being
fishermen. It was a tough time and back breaking work. Yet, these jobs put food on the table, a roof over the family’s head and clothes on their backs. However, we forget that the first issei women were “picture brides”. They came on steamer boats to cross the ocean on promises made by their future husbands. They not only suffered on the boat, but when they arrived. They lived a rough life, living in a strange land and married to an image from a photo. These issei have made us who we are and directed our life in Nembutsu. They saw a future for Jodo Shinshu without thought of gender, age, diversity or wealth. It is our Namu Amida Butsu with true heart and mind.
Our Obon is our way of sharing thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation to these pioneers who may have
been an ancestor. We enjoy the festivities of Obon and the dances and we have so much fun. We tend to
forget the issei’s ingenuity, stamina and determination, so that we can continue with this special observance. We share Namu Amida Butsu with true thankfulness, gratitude and appreciation for their wisdom and
compassion and forethought for the generations to come.
After a day of hard work, Obon dance is a refreshing break. However we cannot forget our history and the
working of Nembutsu. Our dances portray the various works these issei did, to provide. Some dances are
remembrances of Japan, lost loves and how we take so much for granted. We dance by putting the self “into the shoes” of our ancestors. While we dance we forget how good we look or dance, and we dance in showing our true self. We dance to release the true self from this outer shell
people see. We let go of the ego and dance with thoughts of our departed loved ones and show how truly foolish we all are. We are foolish no matter if we dance or watch, so might as well dance among other foolish beings. So dust off the ol’ dancing shoes, forget about the mistakes we will make while dancing and present the true self, “just as we are”. It is time to “let our hair down”, show our gratitude to our ancestors and truly be our
foolish self. I will be dancing.
Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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