Today I choose to live with gratitude
For the love that fills my heart, the peace
That rest within my spirit and the voice
Of hope that says all things are possible.
Is it November already? Time sure flies when having fun! It is the beginning of the season of festivities that include family, friends, and food. Our hearts are light, stomachs are full, and our hearts tend to be softer and more compassionate.
. It is truly a time when we tend to connect with long time friends and family. It is a time of joining each other in sharing our appreciation for the many things that were given and shared with us. It is a time when family from afar gathers to be with each other and to rekindle the bond that has been stretched by time and miles. It is always a fine time for Namu Amida Butsu.
Yet do we ever stop and think? Do we ask ourselves what are we grateful for and what can I do more for others? We have been given so much in our lives; it is a good time to remember the “Golden Chain.” It is after all, a season of thanksgiving and gratitude. As we gather together and see the joy in each other’s eyes and hear the laughter of happiness, we can take the time to look at the products we produced. At times the bond of family may feel faint, but we recite Namu Amida Butsu in gratitude for the time we do have with each other.
We can take the time and share our gratefulness of being able to continue to share our life of Nembutsu, Buddha’s teachings and the lessons that we have been given. In our small contributions to family, friends, community, and Sangha, we can change a frown upside down to a smile of appreciation.
It was seen at our October Halloween potluck. So many Sangha members helped in sharing joy and happiness. Our tables were full and the company of friends and relationships were shared and enhanced. There were smiles, conversation and so much to eat. No one went home hungry and they only departed with smiles. Many family members came and we were able to reacquaint ourselves with them. I was especially happy because a member made my favorite Jell-O dessert. After this great feast, everyone helped to wash, clean, and put the social hall back to its original state. I wish to extend my gratitude and thankfulness to all. This was truly the Buddha Dharma in action.
We see and want to protect those who are weaker than ourselves and we feel their pain and want to help in any small way. It is Namu Amida Butsu and our teachings that we have listened to and shared. In any small way we try. We listened and understood the path that was shared with us. We share our Namu Amida Butsu with palms together in gratitude for the kindness and strengthening of the teachings. It is a sharing of peace and Namu Amida Butsu.
We are beginning the season of gratitude on the “right foot.” We shared and brought so much joy to each other. It is a good sight to be able to share with each other the teachings of the Buddha, Shinran Shonin and that of our loved ones. It is Namu Amida Butsu for all times.
Happy safe Thanksgiving, Itadakimasu and Namu Amida Butsu!!!
Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano