THE LIGHT OF THE BUDDHA
Steveston Buddhist Temple
4360 Garry Street Richmond, B.C. V7E 2V2
August 2006

Every Sunday
10:30 am - Dharma Service
11:30 am - Sangha Gathering

AUGUST 2006
06 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
13 (Sun) 7:30 p.m.
14 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
19 - 20 (Sat - Sun)
20 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
August Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
BCJSBCF Convention Planning Meeting at temple
August Board Meeting
Vancouver Island Obon Tour (Rev. Aoki, Tour Minister)
Dharma Service

SEPTEMBER 2006
1 - 3 (Fri - Sun)
10 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
11 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
17 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
23 (Sat) 10:30 a.m.
13th World Women's Buddhist Convention in Hawaii
Memorial Service (Shotsuki) and Eitaikyo
September Board Meeting
Fall Ohigan Service
BCJSBCF Meeting (at Hope)

** Ryukoku Sogo Gakuen High School English Study – July 21(Fri) – August 10(Thur)

Please note that the dates for the Vancouver Island Obon Tour have been changed from Aug 12/13 to Aug 19/20. Also, the pot luck for Sensei Sasaki is cancelled.


Eitaikyo (Perpetual Memorial Service)

The Perpetual Memorial Service, or EITAIKYO, is a memorial service to pay tribute to predecessors and this is a great opportunity that we can show our gratitude to all the deceased members of the temple, who dedicated themselves for us and contributed to the growth of this temple’s sangha.

Fortunately, we are able to have Rev. Esho Sasaki as a guest speaker from Kyoto.

Reverend Esho Sasaki is a professor of Kyoto Women’s University which Reverend Kikuchi graduated. And Reverend Sasaki is a director of International Association of Buddhist Culture (IABC) IABC, which was founded in Kyoto in 1980 to promote Shin Buddhism throughout the world. IABC publishes many English Translations of Shin Buddhism and hold the Conference of Jodo Shinshu in Europe and North America.

Summer Shoshinge Chanting

Rev. Kikuchi is planning the Shoshinge Chanting during the summer schedule. Please join her in Seiza sitting on the floor and chanting Shoshinge. Sunday, July 30, August 13 & 20, from 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. (Due to Rev. Kikuchi’s absence, no chanting on September 3)


The 33rd Vow - Tender Heart-

If, when I attain Buddhahood, sentient beings in the immeasurable and inconceivable Buddha-lands of the ten quarters, who have been touched by my light, should not feel peace and happiness in their bodies and minds surpassing those of humans and devas, may I not attain perfect Enlightenment.
(From the Larger Sutra, 33rd Vow)

On this month’s issue, I am writing about the 33rd vow of the Amida’s 48 vows. As you know, Shin Buddhism teaches us, “To Listen to the teaching about the Primal Vow.” The Primal vow is the 18th vow. Though 18th vow is the most important vow, I won’t mention it here but will mention it on other occasion…

When I stay home and find time, I usually read books, and one of my favourite Buddhist book is written by Mr. Mitsuo Aida. He is a very famous calligrapher and poet in Japan. He was born in Ashikaga, Tochigi, in 1925. After encountering a Zen master, he began to create his calligraphies using Buddhist philosophy. Even though he passed away at the age of 67 years in 1991, his works are still very famous and recently a museum was built in his honour in Tokyo. Even now there are countless numbers of people who are healed and encouraged by his works. The following is one of my favourite poems: "The heart that appreciates beauty, is itself a beautiful thing."

However, I believe understanding the original Japanese calligraphy would give a greater impact and be much more moving. In his book, Mr. Aida explains about the “Tender Heart” in the following passage.

Long ago, Master Dogen the founder of Soto Zen School, said the one thing that he received from his hard Buddhist practices and studies in China was the “Tender Heart”.
The “Tender Heart” is a soft heart.
It is a sincere heart, which does not get hung up on anything.
It is a heart that thinks without hesitation, “how beautiful”, when one sees a beautiful flower.
It is a heart that can accept the preciousness of each life,
That sees the value of the cucumber as a cucumber, or the value of the eggplant as an eggplant.
It is a forgiving heart that can see goodness, even in those one fights with.
When something is funny, you should laugh from the bottom of your heart.
When you feel sad, you should cry with your whole body.
Because your heart is tender, you can laugh sincerely. Because your heart is tender, you can cry sincerely.
Having a tender heart means having a youthful spirit.
Let’s have a “Tender Heart” in order to keep a youthful spirit forever…

Reflecting on these words, it is very difficult for us to accept things without questioning. Instead of accepting the beauty of nature as it is, we try to control and manipulate it to suit our egos. I think sometimes that when I was a child, I had a more pure and tender heart than I do now. In Buddhism, it is often said that a child’s heart is closer to the Buddha’s heart. It could be said that when we become older and more experienced, we lose our ability to appreciate the essence of life, the beauty of nature as it is. We become more calculating and cynical towards the universe around us.

It is said in Buddhism that we are moved by seeing beauty in the true essence of life, transcending ego-centered viewpoints. Seeing the preciousness of life in all sentient beings sounds easy, but actually it is very difficult to do. By entrusting oneself to Amida Buddha, it is said that our eyes are opened to a reality without borders, a world that has no ‘I’ and no ‘you’, a world in which we are able to feel empathy for all other lives. The 33rd vow of 48 vows in the Larger Sutra is named “the Vow of encountering Amida’s light, making our bodies and minds gentler”. In the vow it tells us that if you encounter Amida’s inconceivable light, you are released from your suffering because your self-centered mind and heart are softened little by little.

The wind, the flower, and the puddle, all radiate the beauty of the universal life, the life expressed in the words Namo Amidabutsu.

In Gassho,
Masumi Kikuchi


President’s Message – Larry Ryan

Here we are half way through the summer. It’s been quite busy with the combined temple picnic, Ryukoku Gakkuin Students, July 1st and Obon.

Continued maintenance and improvements to the temple and the Manse. The gardening crew is now taking on the Manse grounds with a view to making them as attractive as those of the temple. This involves the cutting down and removal of dead trees, redefining garden areas and borders, as well as the laying of patio slabs. The area along the parking lot fence is continuing to bloom. Thanks again to all those who have donated plants to the enlightened garden. This truly adds a great deal of colour to the backdrop of asphalt and chain link fencing.

While we are enjoying a rather warm summer, things are much hotter in the Middle East. Makes you wonder. If both sides actually lived their religions, perhaps there would be no fighting. There seems to be a complete lack of understanding and compassion.

Doctor David Suzuki hosted a program the other night regarding Tibetan medicine. The training is quite extensive. The practitioners must know their herbs and anatomy. The most important thing was Buddhist practice and compassion for the patient. The Tibetans view medicine and Buddhism as inseparable. The western world is just now beginning to understand this link.


BCC Update July 2006 from the Office of Bishop

May this letter of Update find you in good health and spirit enjoying the summer in the Light of Boundless Compassion of Amida Buddha. July is the month of Obon, one of the biggest services, when we pay tribute to our loved ones who have guided us to the path of Nembutsu, the teaching of Namoamidabutsu. One of the features of Obon is the Obon Dance which is the dance of Joy, both physically and spiritually, after listening to Buddha Dharma and sharing food with each other. I wonder if we can expand this unique cultural tradition and dance more often than once a year.

Personally I just came back from Montreal after very joyous celebration of the 60th Anniversary of Montreal Hongwanji Buddhist Temple together with Grant Ikuta Sensei and guest minister Masumi Kikuchi Sensei. The temple was started in 1946 with the pioneers under the guidance of Rev. Kenryu Tsuji, who was the first Nisei minister in Canada. Although it is losing members every year, it was the first Buddhist Temple in the province of Quebec and the most eastern Hongwanji Temple in Canada, therefore we hope the present members would do their best to continue their activities until the new generation takes over. With the request of the temple I presented the Certificate of Hokyoushi (Minister’s Aid) to Mr. Shig Kojima who has been conducting Sunday services whenever their Minister is not available.

The sad news is that Raymond Hongwanji Buddhist Temple which was the oldest Buddhist Temple in Alberta has been recently sold and vacated, because of the difficulties to maintain by the present members. The present members will eventually join with the nearest Temples in southern Alberta.

Collection of Dharma Talk: OZUSHI

An old gentleman came to see me in my office in 1991. “Sensei, what do you call this in Japan?” asked he and showed me a small black box wrapped with a piece of cloth in the old yellowish plastic bag. It was a round-shaped box called OZUSHI, a portable Buddha’s shrine. As I saw one of the hinges broken, I carefully held it with both hands, opened the door, and paid respect first with gassho. Inside of this OZUSHI I found three items; myogo (sacred name of Amida Buddha), Nenju (a string of meditation beads), and a good luck charm with the writing of 1905.

According to him, his grandparents gave it to his mother when she had left her home in Hiroshima as a picture-bride in 1905. She married with one of the pioneer immigrants in Canada and spent several years of happy family life. But the family business went bankrupt and to make the matter worse, her husband took ill in bed.

With small children the mother had to work to make a living. She started to work as a housemaid with a Canadian family who was very kind and generous to her and family. As a result, she couldn’t refuse going to Christian Church with the Canadian family occasionally and soon she was baptized.

This old gentleman told me that his mother didn’t understand Christianity at all, but she simply felt obligated to her employer and stayed as a Christian until she passed away. In the meantime she had kept this OZUSHI in the deep corner of the drawer which was the precious gift from her parents. This gentleman who was in his early eighties was born in Canada, but raised and educated in Japan by his grandparents. Therefore he has been a Buddhist himself, but as he was very loyal to his mother, he didn’t come to a Buddhist Temple for many years. After his mother passed away, he has officially became a member of Hongwanji Buddhist Temple and been able to cherish this OZUSHI every day. Namoamidabutsu

In gassho,
Socho Orai Fujikawa

Coming events:
June 15 - 29
July 21 - Aug 20
Sept 1 - 3
Sept 12 - 13
Oct 14
Oct 21/22
Oct 28/29
Nov 11/12
May 27
Hongwanji Youth Tour led by Aoki Sensei
Ryukoku Summer School in Steveston
13th World Buddhist Women’s Convention
BCC Ministerial Association Seminar in Calgary
BCC Board Meeting at Headquarters
Jodo Shinshu Center Dedication in Berkley
Kamloops Buddhist Temple 60th Anniversary
Alberta and BC Buddhist Convention
Kelowna Buddhist Temple 75th Anniversary

Acknowledgement of the Donations to BCC
General Fund: George & Toshi Kodama, Toronto, Kazue Teramura, Manitoba, Jack Nagai, Coaldale,
Ministers’ Retirement Fund: Toronto Buddhist Church, Mari Cameron, Vernon,
Sustaining Fund: Nariyuki Ishiyama, Hiroshima, Mak Ikuta, Vancouver, Caroline Shepherd, Toronto, Mari Cameron, Vernon


TAIKO DRUMMING WORKSHOP – Doug Masuhara

Steveston Tera Taiko will be having a public taiko drumming workshop in late August or early September at the Temple. It will be open to adults and children (age 8 and above). It will be for 3 hours and will cost $15 - $20. There will be family rates available for groups of 3 or more people.

If you are interested in trying taiko drumming, then this is your chance. Please tell your family members and friends to sign up.

To register or ask questions, please call Doug Masuhara at 604-278-7264. Please leave a message if no one is in.


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Bus trip, June 20. 33 lucky members and spouses enjoyed the outing with stops at Vancouver Aquarium and Park Royal Market Place. Many stopped for lunch at Milestones Restaurant while others browsed in the shops. Ambleside and Dundarave were leisurely toured by bus. As customary, the final stop was at the Edgewater Casino at the Plaza of Nations where donations were made. The weather was perfect and everyone had an enjoyable day. Thank you to Misaye for working out the details and making a preview trip in advance.

Used stamp collection for Save the Children Fund. The stamps saved by Fujinkai members and friends were taken over last month to the contact person who happens to live in my neighbourhood and proved to be an old acquaintance from over 25 years ago. She appreciated receiving a collection of Japanese stamps last year and was able to separate these in order to get more money. This year’s collection from Steveston made $50 for the Save the Children. Please make a strong effort to achieve even more in the coming year!

Portuguese cookie recipe from Setsuko Yamashita. Copies of these are pinned up on the bulletin board located outside the kitchen. Several ladies requested the recipe after Mrs. Yamashita brought the cookies for coffee break during the preparation for Food Fair.

Kamloops cookbooks. New shipment has arrived and copies are in the display cabinet in the lobby. Cost is $14.



CHOIR PRACTICE

September 15 & 29, Friday 19:00-20:00
There will be no choir practice
For the month of August.
We will perform at the BCJSBCF’s Banquet on November 11!
Please join us!


Dharma Report – Genevieve Iwata

We hope everyone is having an enjoyable and safe summer. September 10th will be the monthly Shotsuki and Eitaikyo Service. Sensei Sasaki will be the guest minister. Regular Dharma services will start on September 17th at 10:30 a.m. This September 17th service will be the fall ohigan service along with our regular Dharma service.

SEPTEMBER - DESIGNATED MEMBERSHIP MONTH

Please welcome 11 new members who have joined this year .

Kiyoshi Hamanishi
Toshiko Quan
Sari Fujikawa
Ken Tsuzuki
Shizuka Tsuzuki
Kimiko Ishida
Guy Okada
Rumi Fujishima Okada
David Kumamoto
Susan Matsunaga
Osamu Matsunaga

May you all participate in temple activities and services to enrich your spiritual life and also to meet our members. Thank you for joining the sangha.

Humbly requesting Board members as well as all members to please ask your friends , relatives and your children to please join the otera so our Buddhist tradition will carry on . We feel grateful to our ancestors for bringing Namu Amida Butsu to this wonderful country Canada.

2006 annual dues are $ 70.00 per person.

Submitted by Mitts Sakai - membership chairman


Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


August 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

MS Word Version: Aug 2006 Newsletter

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