Minister’s December 2017 Message

Try to be a rainbow in Someone’s cloud.

Maya Angelou

In times of stressful situations or when “life hands you lemons,” vacations are good for the body and mind. Therefore I have finally decided to take some time off. However this vacation was out of urgency. When a family member goes into the hospital or becomes ill, we do what we have to. If we cannot go to them, we sit and worry, calling the family constantly. Luckily I was able to take the time off and go to see him. All the time it is Namu Amida Butsu.

However during the time before leaving for Colorado, I had many things to finish up. One always likes to leave the house neat and clean, linen changed, and everything in good shape when one returns. Well, in all honesty I did some of it. I cleaned out the refrigerator of old food, empty all trash and garbage, washed and changed my linens, and did a little straightening up. Oh yes, I had to decide what to pack also.

It was difficult for me in writing this article here in Colorado. However, after vacuuming, mopping the kitchen and bathrooms, emptying the dishwasher, and making sure my brother had his lunch, my thoughts actually became clearer. Yes, I am “mokkuing but all was done out of love for him and it is my Namu Amida Butsu in thankfulness that he is doing and feeling better. I can now sit at my brother’s computer and write this article. But as a matter of fact if I wrote this article when I was supposed to, I could be shopping, that is my fault. It is just one of those responsibilities that is a continuum in the life of a minister.

The plane trip was not as pleasant as other times. I sat next to a very tall and strapping young man. He kept making comments to himself about the snow on the mountain tops and the view he was seeing from the window. His legs were a bit too long for the space provided and they kept falling into my space. I finally started a conversation with him. He was on his way to Florida to visit his brother. But it was not the trip that caused all the worry, but my mind. I kept worrying about this article and how well my brother was doing. As soon as I retrieved my luggage, I went straight to the hospital. My brother was surprised, yet glad to see me.

We do what has to be done. However it is always my Nembutsu that helps to keep me sane and my temper under control. Before leaving California and even now, when I recite Namu Amida Butsu, It brings a joy and peace to my mind and body. I fret over the article every time I have to write one and these simple seven syllables assure me that no matter what may happen, I can find calm in a hectic day.

Unfortunately we sometimes wait too long to find our truth of Nembutsu. It is in the here and now that we awaken or realize the meaning of our Namu Amida Butsu. I often question why we wait to awaken to our Nembutsu but that is human nature. We should remember that Nembutsu is with us wherever we go and whenever we want peace and tranquility. It gives us comfort.

Nembutsu can provide us with a quieting mind, to help discover what may be causing our pain and suffering. However it is the individual who must find their meaning. Nembutsu will have different meaning for us depending on situations, relationships or problems we may be plagued with. But Nembutsu is always in the heart and mind. We only have to “tap” into the source. We awaken to the teachings to guide us, we rely on our Nembutsu for calm and peace and we entrust in Buddha for direction.

It is the holiday season. Let us renew our promise to find the truth of our selves and to Nembutsu. Stay healthy, wise, and with compassion. Happy Holiday!

Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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