Minister’s October 2016 message
Do not confuse your path with your destination.
Just because it is stormy now, does not
Mean that you are not headed for sunshine.
After each service, I evaluate my howa or message. It is the drive back to SLO when I reflect on what I tried to communicate. If I can have just one person understand and to think and question what was transmitted, then my goal was achieved. If my goal is not accomplished, then I have to change something in the message or in the wording. This brings me to my next point.
We tend to get busy with children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren. We also have hobbies, friends, or other things to do. It was decided that services would be held twice a month, so you will see me more often now. The services will be on the first and third Sunday of the month at 10 AM. We are going to try this out for six months, and evaluate its effects. This extra service is for those who cannot attend the third Sunday. As always, Guadalupe’s Shotsuki Hoyo will be held at its regular scheduled time.
These Sundays will be a change for all of us, but hopefully we can adjust and welcome these changes. Change is difficult for everyone, no matter age, circumstance, or situation but it also makes us stronger and flexible. I have heard so many times, “I’m too old for change.” However when a loved one passes, we are sometimes forced to change our lifestyle and living conditions.
Many of you know that I lost my father when I was 13 years old. My mother had to become both parents. She had to change her way of thinking and had to declare her independence. She learned to run a business, write out checks, and pay bills. She had to learn about insurance, order supplies, and manage employees while raising four children. It was a time of change and adjustment for all of us.
As a young child, we also had to change our lifestyle and childhood. We had to take on more responsibilities and we had to learn about running a household. We had to cook, stay within a budget, and learn to make grocery list and shop for value. Of course, all this included cleaning the house and washing and ironing. But these changes helped, as we got older. These changes in life made us strong, determined, and grateful for what our parents did for us before.
Now it is my turn, sometimes as a parent, grief counselor, guidance counselor, and many other roles. There is sorrow for losing a parent but also gratitude for what they share with us. My parents’ teachings are what I use everyday to share with others.
Writing articles every month seems to come so quickly and yes, it can feel like a chore. However, it is an honor and privilege to try to transmit teachings of Amida Buddha and Shinran Shonin. This article gives me an opportunity to connect with people I do not know but who have an interest in Buddhism.
I share my Namu Amida Butsu in gratitude and appreciation to those who read and can learn just one lesson. It is out of their curiosity that they continue in search of meaning for them. In Buddhism, it is said there are 84,000 paths one can take and it can change us or help to made decisions on the path to follow. I say thank you and share my gratitude to those who find change difficult but who continue to search.
Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano