Are you ready???

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As the summer comes to a close and the kids head back to school, it can mean only one thing….Sunday School is next. The first Dharma school service will be September 13th and will also be our annual Organization day. This is always a fun day as everyone comes back with energy, well most of the kids do, all ready for a new Dharma school year. Everyone is exchanging summer vacation stories and some even start planning for next year already. For me, it’s nice to see all the familiar faces and a hondo full of families.
For those families that have kids in middle/high school, hold on to your hats, as time really begins to fly!! My son is a Sr in high school and don’t know where the time went. In a year, he’ll be off to college and if he’s anything like me, we’ll be lucky to see him at the major holidays. Knowing this, it’s funny how little things become more important or have more meaning. For example, when we took our annual ‘first day of school’ picture, someone pointed out this will the ‘last’ first day of school picture for Mitchell (as I don’t think he’ll let me take a picture of him on the first day of college) This hit me after they left and we started looking at all the ‘first day’ pictures and watched our kids grow up in a series of 11 pictures. It’s all about change and there’s nothing we can do about it. This ‘law’ affects our lives in good and bad situations but that’s why we’re Buddhist’s, because we recognize and realize we need to live every day to the fullest because we don’t know what’s going to happen next and if we did, what fun would that be.
For you movie goers out there, “Straight outta Compton” is a must see. When I was in college, a friend of mine said, you gotta hear this new group called NWA. While I liked R&B, I dabbled in rap but not much. The beat was fresh (For the hip/hop folks out there, I actually said and was the first time I used the word ‘Dope’ as an adjective ) but I remember saying, ‘man, these guys are mad or are trying to a message out.’ I can’t remember if he made a tape or CD for me but I listened to these guys a lot. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the group, the press portrayed them as Anti-Police and gangsters but in reality, they were expressing their feelings and rage because of the racism they endured(but a couple of them were gangsters too). After reading up on them, it reminded me of the post WWII stories my dad would tell me. For no reason at all, they would get hassled by the cops just because they were hanging out by the Church or after a dance. I think this was one of the first times I realized that you shouldn’t believe everything in the papers or news and you need to do your research. As the Movie premiere date was approaching, we tried to go together but things didn’t work out but as we were talking, he said ‘the first time we listened to this group, it looked like a new world opened up for me.” I thought he was teasing me and I didn’t think about that much until after I saw the movie and realized it did. It taught me to always look at things from another person’s view before passing judgment and a Dope song can have a message too…kinda like this article 
Thanks for reading.
In Gassho,
Todd Tsudama, your Board President