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

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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS


FEBRUARY 2006
05 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
12 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
13 (Mon) 7:30 p.m
19 (Sat) 2:00 p.m.
February Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
Nehan-ye (Nirvana Day)
February Board Meeting
Fujinkai Dana Day

MARCH 2006
05 (Sun) 10:30 a.m

13 (Mon) 7:30 p.m
19 (Sun) 12:00 noon
25 (Sat) 10:00 a.m.
March Memorial Service
(Shotsuki)/Spring Ohigan
March Board Meeting
Keirokai
BCJSBCF Meeting


Nirvana Day

“Nirvana day “is the day for remembering the death of Shakyamuni Buddha at the age of eighty. It is said that Shakyamuni Buddha told his disciples quietly like following… Ananda, do not grieve, nor lament. Have I not always told you that all things dear and pleasant are subject to change, loss, and instability? How (else) could it be here? … Through this service, please listen to the Buddhist teaching and think about “What is impermanence of life?”

“KEIROKAI” will be held at the temple on Sunday, March 19th, 2006 at noon. We would respectfully like to invite those who are 70 years old and over. So, please let us know if you know somebody who is going to turn 70 this year. We would ask that those attending to provide their full name as well as Mr. or Mrs.

** Please R.S.V.P. 604-277-2323 (office) by March 10th (Friday).



“LIFE OF A MOTHER OCTOPUS”

The Great Sage Sakyamuni teaches
That Amida’s land is easy to reach
And calls the sentient being who doubts the Pure Land path
A person lacking eyes of mind, lacking ears of mind.
(Hymns to Amida Based on Various Sutras Nr. 90 by Shinran Shonin)

Since I came here to Steveston on November 28th, I am getting used to be here with the support of so many nice members. Thank you for your warm welcome, kindness and patience!

During the year of 2005, many movies were made and one of the popular movies might be “March of the Penguins”. I heard this is very simple documentary film about emperor penguins in the South Pole. As this phenomenon shows us particular thing, we sometimes might be inspired or moved by such documentary films or TV programs which describe about animal, vegetable or mineral of nature. And we might think how great and how mysterious “Life” is…

One day, I watched a NHK’s short documentary program about “Life of an Octopus”. In the program, octopuses were called “Ninja of Sea”, because they hide very well by changing their body colors and texture depending on their backgrounds such as sands, rocks and corals. That really amazed me. And the program taught me about “Life of A Mother Octopus”…

The “Mother Octopus” spawned her eggs into rock-shelter and then she stuck on the rocks to hide and protect her eggs from enemies. During this time, she could not eat anything and she didn’t move at all. As you imagine, she was getting weaker and weaker day by day. After several days, she almost seemed dead; however, she endured all pains and sufferings and held her body against the current of the sea just to protect her eggs. She finally died and her teary remain was flowed into the darkness of the sea. At the same time, countless “Baby Octopuses” came out from the rock-shelter and swam into the world of the great sea with their hopes and joys of new life.

Unconsciously, I shed a tear by the compassionate sight of the “Mother Octopus”. Meanwhile, I felt very ashamed, when I reflected myself how I am so unlike her… During her life, the “Mother Octopus” never sought any applause from others. She was born into this world one day, matured, became a mother and protected her babies with her life just “as a matter-of-course”. And she ended her life for new lives just “as a matter-of-course”…

We, human beings might forget to live like her, “as a matter-of-course”, which is “following the laws of nature”. Maybe we are struggling by going against “the law of nature”, and create “sufferings” by ourselves in our minds. Such direction seems like going towards “the darkness” and this seems the opposite path of the octopus, which goes towards “the light “, that is selfless and non-ego.

Shinran Shonin stared into his mind deeply during his lifetime. And he found “the darkness in his mind” that all human beings bear from birth to death. Sometime, I hear that humans are the superior beings amongst all animals. In Buddhism, however, we say all sentient beings have equal preciousness and we cannot compare each other. When we think about the “Life of A Mother Octopus”, we might recognize that she is much closer to Buddha than us.

It is said that “Pure Land” which has “non-discrimination”, is the world beyond our bipolarities such as “Good and Evil”, “Love and Hate” and even “Life and Death” which we created by ourselves and divided from our view points. “Namo-Amidabutsu” is manifestation of Amida Buddha’s salvation working to let us know “the reality of life”.

Let’s read carefully again the Hymn which I wrote at the top…
“A person lacking eyes of mind, lacking ears of mind” describes about us.
“A person” is the human beings. Shinran Shonin cautioned that it is very difficult for us to see and mindfully listen to “Amida’s working and message” even though it is “Easy to reach!”
We, human beings seem to have strong ego, like “Me! Me! Me!”

Through recitation of the Nembutsu, “Namo-Amidabutsu”, we should humbly learn “the reality of Life” from all living beings in nature which surrender completely their “Life and Death” to other power just “as a matter-of-course”…

Gassho,
Masumi Kikuchi


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - Larry Ryan

I’ve been reading and viewing a lot lately on television and the printed media about the rise of Buddhism in the western world. The central theme seems that it is one of the few teaching that stresses tolerance and compassion. Others, specifically fundamentalists, state that their faith is the only true faith and that others should embrace their faith or religion. We often say the same thing; the difference is that we say that it is the only true faith for us. Our faith is welcoming with no effort made to convert others. Buddhists seem to have an innate respect for the beliefs of others. Though we might not agree with the actions or words of others, we usually reply that whatever has been said is interesting. We hold that we are liable for our actions. We cannot beg forgiveness from a higher power. If we broke it, we must fix it. There is no freedom without responsibility.

By the time you read this, Canadians will have gone to polls to elect a new government. Let us hope that the elected politicians keep their promises and respect those of different political, religious and cultural views.

Just a brief note that there are a number of 75th anniversary and Ochigo photos available to those who didn’t get one, please contact the office. Membership dues for 2006, please submit if you have not done so, thank you.

The temple has made a number of Montoshikisho available for use by Uketsuke and board members at temple functions such as Shotsuki. This will allow for easy identification. Interested visitors will know whom to contact for assistance and information. The Montoshikisho will be kept in the bingo supply room.

Should you make a special donation or memorial donation and it is not reported in the newsletter, please contact me, or Bud Sakamoto as soon as possible, so that it may be printed in the next newsletter.

This year we will endeavor to have more of the newsletter as well as other documents translated into Japanese.

I thank you all for your support over the last year.


BCC UPDATE JANUARY 2006 FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

Happy New Year to you all the friends of Dharma across Canada. As I write this letter, 744th Hoonko Service is being observed in Kyoto from Jan 9th till 16th. I would like to join with you in giving our thoughts to the life of Shinran Shonin (1173-1262) and express our sincere appreciation to him for showing us the way of Nembutsu, which is the calling of Amida Buddha and at the same time our response of appreciation for the Boundless Compassion. Although we are imperfect and ordinary human beings, we are assured to attain Nirvana in the Pure Land, which gives us constant hope and strength until the day we close our lives. Let us walk and work together each and every day and make it a wonderful new year.

Mrs. Hide Kagetsu, one of the few surviving pioneers in Vancouver, passed away on Dec 5th, 2005 at the age of 100 years.

Rev. Yutetsu Kawamura who was also pioneer minister passed away on Dec 18th at the age of 97 years. He served in Raymond, Alberta and Maple Ridge, B.C. before the war and Picture Butte in Alberta and Hawaii before retiring in Raymond. He received Order of Canada in 1984, Order of Japan in 1986, Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, as well as Hongwanji Ingo (posthumous honourable title). I had the honour to assist Izumi Sensei at the memorial service in Raymond on Dec 23rd, 2005.

Mr. Kenzo Teramura, who passed away in August, 2005 at the age of 80 in Winnipeg, is to be presented with Ingo in his honour from Buddhist Churches of Canada.


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

2006 SBT Fujinkai AGM was held on Sunday, January 15th. 32 ladies attended this gathering for discussion and establishment of the three tobans or working groups. The minutes of this meeting and the upcoming transfer meeting on Saturday, January 28th at 2 p.m. will be forwarded to each member in February. The treasury report will also be included with an income tax receipt for any donations received in 2005 from Fujinkai members. Income tax receipts for non-members will be included in either the temple newsletter or mailed.

The AGM was a delight as there was full cooperation from everyone. The tobans and the “floater” group were quickly filled with volunteers. The response was encouraging… more ladies in each toban means the work is more equally distributed. Thank you for your dedication. Also to the “retiring” ladies…we deeply appreciate your hard work over the years and will still depend on you for your support, advice and possibly an occasional stint at food prep. The ladies of Toban 3 also have to be acknowledged for their skills in running Fujinkai affairs over the past four months. You did a great job!

Fabric and Soft Goods Drive. Our initial goal of 75 bags have been met with an influx of bags and boxes coming in the past 2 weeks. We will still accept any more donations. In 2005, Bishop Fujikawa’s articles have stressed the environment. We are doing our part in recycling clothing, bedding and etc. and saving stamps for BCCWF.

Dana Day, February 19th at 2:00 p.m. The donations received are forwarded to BCCWF every year. At the past 2005 BCCWF AGM, decision was made to continue to donate to the Jodo Shinshu Hospital in Kenya and also to the Japan Women’s Federation’s project to restore Lady Eshinni sama’s historical monument.


DHARMA SCHOOL NEWS – Genevieve Iwata

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Best wishes go out to you for the New Year.

On February 12th, we will be having a pot luck lunch. Please join us for this social occasion. We always have good food and enjoy the socializing. It would be a good time to bring your children/grandchildren and friends.

We will be donating $100.00 to the Variety Club Telethon. We hope they will be breaking another record for pledges.

Please get involved with our Dharma group. We will accept any thoughts to improving our services.

If any of you wish to learn more about Buddhism, Mr. Roy Akune will conduct group discussions and answer any questions, after the services. You can meet and enjoy coffee/tea during the discussions. There is some thought to have these get togethers on a Saturday evening. We can always use your input on these ideas.


LET’S JOIN OUR CHOIR

We will restart our SBT Choir Club from February. Please join us in singing beautiful Buddhist songs and also Japanese songs. Of course, beginners are welcome! Every 1st and 3rd Friday at 7:00pm in the Temple.


February 3rd & 17th
March 3rd & 17th
Please come out & have fun!

Please contact with Rev. Kikuchi, if you have any question. (Office Tel: 604-277-2323)

Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


February 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

MS Word Version: February 2006 Newsletter

Newsletter Archives

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