Today I choose to live in gratitude
For the love that fills my heart,
The peace that rests within my
Sprit, and the voice of Nembutsu
That says all things are possible
Volunteerism is as old as the hills. During the time of disasters and wars, there have been people who chipped in to help others, even though they too were hurt, scared, and hungry. It is a natural instinct to aid others; maybe it is a feeling of accomplishment or sharing compassion.
In July, we are anticipating an event that is an annual observance. Yes, it is our Obon Festival. We still continue to have Shotsuki Hoyo (monthly memorial service) followed by a fabulous otoki. However, it does take time and effort to organize the after-service meal. The Sangha hears the Dharma and enjoys the friendship and, of course, the meal. Yet we always seem to find excuses for not helping. We understand that time is precious but so is touching the hearts of others.
It is our present actions and compassion that we will be remembered for. We know we are all aging and we all have our aches and pains. This is where we can teach our younger generation how to make our famous dishes or what selfless giving of time and effort is. The Buddhist teachings are a part of us and it is time to share our wisdom and compassion.
We do not have paid staff at Guadalupe. They are volunteers. They put the newsletter together and mail it out. We have a volunteer who collects the osaisen envelopes and prints the name in the newsletter. This is not an easy task because there is other info that goes into the newsletter. If and when mistakes are made, we forgive for we all make errors.
Think about this, It is the same people who does hana toban, organize otoki and organizes Keiro Kai luncheon. They also organize and prepare for Hanamatsuri, they get the flowers and decorate the hanamido and shop for the great Hanamatsuri luncheon. Do you wonder where they get their energy? In fact they are also Keiro Kai age.
We do have the younger generation pitching in and organizing. The crafts sold at Obon is generally made by a person who is still working, taking care of aging parent, and teaching. The head of Obon lives and works in Santa Barbara with the probation department, yet she organizes the committees, orders the supplies, gets the media on the bandwagon, and she finds people to volunteer.
We are all busy but if we want to continue hearing the Dharma and to be able to call the church our own, we must put aside our egos, excuses, aches and pains, and work for the betterment of all sentient beings.
We are the teachers who will direct and guide the younger people. Our actions show others our commitment to the working of Nembutsu. We are able to be thankful for what we have and showing gratitude is through our doing. If you can help in any way. Namu Amida Butsu. We promise there will be chairs for those who cannot stand for very long and you do not have to stay for a long