K. Ken Fujimoto
Time for yet, another New Year’s greeting. With the pending Super Bowl coming to the area, I decided to go with Roman numerals this year.
As I re-read the article I wrote last year, there has been a lot of progress. The Girl Scout troop who had undertaken the task of cataloging our altar pieces have pretty much finished their project. There are still a few adjustments that need to be made in categorizing items, but they put together a beautiful file with photos and descriptions of the items that we have in our altars. It is a huge binder with great photos of the items that the girls took turns photographing. This is a project needed for insurance purposes and has been attempted a number of times by different people, but each time issues arose that prevented this project from having been completed. This time we can see the end of the tunnel due to the energy of the girls and the expertise and guidance of the leaders. We will have a hard copy and digital copies will be stored and given to our insurance agent.
These all show us how Buddhism is not just a teaching, but a description of how things are in our world. I mentioned the concept of Ji Ri- Ri Ta, benefiting the self and benefiting others, last year in explaining the dynamic of the Girl Scouts undertaking the cataloging project. That which was done to benefit the temple was, in itself, a benefit to each girl. The benefits gained by each girl, were a benefit to the temple. The temple gets a detailed inventory and cataloging of all of our altar pieces that will make it possible to properly insure our property. The girls are able to learn photography skills and receive credit for service to the temple. They also learned more about what we have in our temple and about some of the symbolism found in the different items. This further gives us a greater pool of members who know about the altar and our teaching.
At this time next year, we should have the full use of our annex again and we will have had a half year of adjusting to the new setting. As we always say, impermanence is a part of our world and we have to constantly adjust to what is. This means that there will probably be minor issues in adjusting to the new setting, but once the necessary adjustments are made, everyone should find things are an improvement over what had been.
Another area where people have come to see how Buddhism describes the world is through our Tuesday evening study classes. This may seem to be an obvious thing, to learn in a study class, but this year we have been having peer led discussions on different social issues. So far this term, we have covered immigration/refugee issues, death and dying and gun control. People have come to see that all of the issues are intertwined in ways we may not have considered at first. The truth of interdependence has been evident in much of what has been discussed. We cannot talk about one topic by itself. So many other factors come into play and they all come together. This deepening awareness will lead to a greater appreciation of what Buddhism is trying to communicate.
All of this will enable the temple community, our Sangha, to grow stronger and become more knowledgeable. This will allow us to provide even greater opportunities to learn and grow. Each of these provides the means for our temple and its components to come together in a state of harmony and oneness. Embracing the differences and uniqueness of the individuals, may we come together as a vital and dynamic temple.
May we all strive for a year of harmony and oneness within our differences and continue to learn and grow in all we do. Doing so should lead to a truly happy New Year, New Day and New Life.
On February 20, Saturday, we will be holding a public seminar with Rev. Mas Kodani, BCA Minister Emeritus as our speaker. He will be speaking on the Rites of Passage – Death. This seminar will be from 1:30 PM to 5:00 PM. Details will follow, but you can register by contacting the Betsuin Office. We are planning a dinner together with our guest after the seminar for those who may be interested. The details will depend on how much interest is expressed.
This seminar has been made possible through a donation made by Robert and Sue Lyon. Thank you to the Lyons!
© December 10, 2015