Minister’s July 2017 Message

Let us cease from wrath, and refrain from angry looks.

Nor let us be resentful when others differ from us.

For all beings have hearts, and each heart has its own learning.

Their right is our wrong, and our right is their wrong.

We are not unquestionably sages, nor are they questionably fools.

We are both simply ordinary beings. How can anyone lay down a rule

by which to distinguish right from wrong? For we are all, one with another,

wise and foolish, like a ring which has no end.

~Shotoku Daishi

Guadalupe Buddhist Church continues to share comfort and safety with many generations. It has given shelter and shared the Buddha Dharma to those wishing to hear and understand the teachings. Although after the war, many of those who returned were discriminated against, Guadalupe Buddhist Church has never excluded anyone who wanted to learn and hear the Buddha Dharma. However, in order to continue as a church, we must have fundraisers in conjunction with special observances. The church continues to survive but the question is for how much longer will it continue?

Generations have put their blood, sweat, and tears in keeping the church alive. The remaining families continue with their concern and love of this place. That is where the Sangha can repay those who have passed and who continue to treasure this church. If we truly examine the history and see the hard work that has gone into this church, maybe we can repay our gratitude to those who have given so much without expectations. They have instilled in us that

This year is no exception. Our church is facing a very troubled time. Our “people power” are aging and we are faced with a shortage of help for our Obon. Although our church’s membership is small, it is amazing that we can still organize these events. Our Dharma is of understanding and love for others.

I am surprised and thankful for the otoki after the monthly memorial service. What seems like a simple luncheon actually develops into a feast. The kind gesture of everyone who brings side dishes, desserts, who clean up afterwards and wash dishes, is so heartwarming. Everyone pitches in with unselfless giving and the workload is lessened for everyone. However, the call for a different help is being asked for.

We are attempting to put on another Obon festival. We are having trouble in finding people to help. However, there is trouble brewing before we even have Obon. I realize we have different personalities and we tend to not share our gratitude as much as we should. How about taking that resentment and bitterness and putting them behind us? The energy we spend in bitterness and anger is a waste of time and energy. We must try to work together so that we can continue to benefit in friendship and hearing the Dharma. How about releasing our ego and anger that one holds and use that energy for the good of the Sangha?

Even though we are limited in physical mobility and find it difficult to stand, we do have chairs. We ask the Sangha, their children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends and their relatives to come out and volunteer their time. Join us in dancing, socialization, and being a part of a community that enhances compassion for others and to share our Nembutsu in gratitude and thankfulness in our true hearing of the teachings.

Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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