Minister’s Message – September 2019

“Every morning we are born again

What we do today is what

Matters most.”

~Words of the Buddha

Everyday we make decisions. Some are minor and so are major. Whatever the choices, it can lead to different experiences and adventures. Each day is a new awakening of change. We can be so grateful that we have the ability to choose and think. We can put our palms together or just think Namu Amida Butsu. We are grateful and thankful that we can still experience change.

With every decision, there can be consequences or pure joy. When it is joy, everything is rosy. When the consequences bring about hardship, the feeling is of anger and possibly impatience. We do not want to give up that joy we have, but like all things, it is subject to change.

Although we want to have joy all the time, it does not always work out that way. Circumstances are not always the same or conditions change the situation, we learn to hear and trust in the teachings of the Buddha and Shinran Shonin. It may take some time but we do find the middle path of solutions to these changes. When we view these changes, it is simply an exchange or replacement of the situation or circumstance. It is merely a replacement of another stage in our lives.

We must experience changes in order for us to know the differences. If life was always “on an even keel,” how are we to learn to deal with change?  It is not written in stone that we cannot change our situations or circumstances. However, whatever the changes we make, we create another new set of consequences. It can be positive, neutral, or negative. If we give thought to these changes, it can be a new adventure or experience.

Change is difficult for many of us, yet we are always in a constant flux of change. We do not recognize the changes but we are always in a state of flux. As the adage says we, “go with the flow,” no matter where it takes us. It is like riding in the first car of a roller coaster. We go up and down and sometimes the car can swish us through loops. We scream, shut our eyes but eventually it comes to a halt. We are the same person that entered and exited the car, yet we have experienced a new thrill. That is life; it is filled with ups and downs, thrills and sometimes even scary moments. We only continue learning from these experiences. This is called living, making decisions and “riding the wave.”

We listen, truly hear, and learn from this ride we call life. We are human beings who live with change and sometimes life throws us lemons. Well, in that case, let us make lemonade or a lemon meringue pie with them. Life is of thrills, joy, and hardship but it is always filled with new adventures and filled with Namu Amida Butsu. We live and learn and enjoy what is our path of Nembutsu.

Gassho, Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano

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