K. Ken Fujimoto
#1 – Apparently, I hit the wrong key last month and ended up recycling a recent article. Sorry about the mistake, but my mind must have been in Canada with the BWA group attending the World Conference in Calgary. I hope I did not cause you too much confusion.
#2 – A minor awakening that I was able to realize during the Canada trip made me realize how minor things reveal the differences in countries and cultures. Not having to cross oceans and being able to be speak the language there makes it easy to forget that Canada is a foreign country. However, minor differences that you do not expect to encounter, often hits you with that reality. I had such an experience in a totally unexpected place, a donut shop.
I was encouraged to try Tim Horton’s, a chain of donut shops throughout Canada started by a former NHL player. The donuts were said to very good and reasonable. Seeing one near our hotel I decided to go and get some for my wife and myself and another couple. Realizing that there were 34 of us on the trip, getting 3 dozen donut holes would be just enough for everyone, including the tour guide and the driver, on the bus to have a taste.
I asked for 3 dozen donut holes and the sales person looked at me oddly and asked, “You want 36 donut holes?” I thought this was odd, but I answered in the affirmative. Only after he brought them out did I realize why he was so quizzical. In Canada, they use the metric system so they sell donuts and donut holes individually or in blocks of 10! They had boxes for 10, 20 or 50 and not in dozens that we are used to here. Just because we are used to donuts, donut holes and other pastries being sold in dozens, it does not mean that everyone has to do it this way.
This made me realize that just because something may seem similar, it does not have to be the same as we expect. This is true for many things in life and not just donuts in Canada.
#3 – We will be beginning our Homyo or Buddhist Name class in July. We will begin on July 26, and meet for about an hour each session. The classes will be available to both English and Japanese speaking groups. We may need to separate depending on numbers, but if the size is workable, we will try to do it jointly. The focus will be on the Kyosho (教章) The Essentials of Jodo Shinshu – My Path. Those who complete the classes will be eligible to receive their Buddhist Name at a ceremony to be officiated by Bishop Kodo Umezu in November.
The tentative dates for the classes are July 26, August 2, 16, 23, and September 6, from 11:15 AM (or after the 10:00 AM family service). There will be interview sessions arranged individually to select a Buddhist Name for each of the qualifying participants.
There will be a fee of $45 for each participant to cover administrative fees and commemorative gifts. Registration forms will be available later in the month.
Receiving your Homyo is symbolic of one’s commitment to live as a disciple of the Buddha and strive to attain the life of awakening. Everyone is encouraged to do this and not just wait until death.
#4 – We will be hosting the BCA Summer Ministers Seminar and Meeting here in San Jose in August. As part of this, we will be having a Mini-Dharmathon here on August 10, Monday, at 7:30PM. This event will be open to all.
We will have a couple of BCA ministers speaking who people in the area rarely get the opportunity to hear and Rev. Haruaki Shirakawa from Japan who will be our main speaker for the seminar. Rev. Shirakawa is the head of the Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, the major seminary for ministers in our Hongwanji tradition. He will be speaking in Japanese on Jodo Shinshu and Awakening. As a sect of Buddhism, awakening is important from the beginning. The term, Buddha, means awakened one and how our tradition fits into this context will be his main topic.
© June 21, 2015
K. Ken Fujimoto