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

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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

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 (Hope)

APRIL 2006
02 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
09 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
10 (Mon) 7:30 p.m
27 - 28 (Thurs - Fri)
29 - 30 (Sat - Sun)
Hanamatsuri
April Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
April Board Meeting
BCC Ministers' Meeting (Toronto)
BCC AGM (Toronto)


Special Services on March & April

Spring Higan & Shotsuki (March 5, 10:30am)
The Japanese Buddhist term “Higan” means “To reach Another Shore (Nirvana)”. This is a service conducted in spring and fall on or about equinox day. It is said that Spring & Fall Higan is a good time (neither hot nor cold) to visit our family graves and temples to show our respect and gratitude to our loved ones who have passed away, and Amida Buddha through listening the teaching. Please come and join us for this precious moment!

Hanamatsuri (April 2, 10:30am)
Hanamatsuri is literally “Flower Festival.” We celebrate Sakyamuni Buddha’s birthday by offering many flowers! During the service a flower shrine, known as Hanamido, is set up in front of the altar as a symbol of Lumbini Garden. We will offer flowers and pours sweet tea over the image of baby Buddha. We really expect you to bring your children and grandchildren to this special celebration! And don’t miss this opportunity to listen to the special Dharma talk for all your family members. The guest speaker is Brian Nagata Sensei from the USA.

“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).



“About Seikurou”

When the waters – the minds, goods and evil, of Bonbu which is foolish beings –
Have entered the vast ocean
Of Amida’s Vow of wisdom, they are immediately
Transformed into the mind of great compassion.
(from “Pure Land Hymns of the Right, Semblance and Last Dharma Age” Nr.40 by Shiran Shonin)

In Jodo Shinshu or Shin Buddhism, there are famous “Myoko-nin”s’ stories, which describe how they are devout Nembutsu followers which include ministers, lay people, men and women particularly during premodern times in Japan. Myokou-nin is literally “wonderful person”, means devout, sincere follower of Shin Buddhism.

Long time ago, about 330 years ago in Nara, Japan, there was a man named Seikurou. Seikurou was a Myokonin in Japan and as were his parents, he was a very devoted Nembutsu follower from the time he was young with Nembutsu, “Namo-Amidabutsu”. Seikurou was born in a poor farm family and his father died in his young age. Seikurou’s mother raised him on her own. Because of his family situation, he could not attend any school, Seikurou could not read and write. He, however, was very gentle and devoted to his mother and worked very hard more than others. Since he began to work as a servant in the town, he sent his earning to his mother. But it was not enough and his mother had to work very hard as a daily employment at farms at the same time. When the bell rang to indicate the end of the servants’ work, he returned to his mother’s home from his dormitory at his master’s house where he lived with all the other labors had supper there. Seikurou hurried back to home by walking a distance of eight kilometers of mountainous road which he did everyday. Then he chopped wood and drew water from the well for his mother, and then returned to his master’s house very late and had cold supper every night. His mother was really concerned about him; however Seikurou never stopped doing it…

His mother was always looking forward to visiting Hongwanji, the mother temple in Kyoto. But she was getting old and she said to Seikurou with a sad face, “I am so old and I have to quit my visit to Hongwanji…I cannot walk and get on the cart anymore.” Seikurou said to her, “Don’t say that! I will carry you on my back! You might feel uncomfortable. But please bear it!” And then he carried his mother on his back to Hongwanji temple, a distance of 80 kilometers from Nara to Kyoto every year. When his mother passed away, he hung his mother’s pillow from the ceiling. When someone asked him about that, he answered, “If I use her pillow and step on it, I feel very bad and Mottainai. Besides, if I hung it from the ceiling like this, I can see it always and it reminds me of my mother’s great obligation to me.”

When Seikurou was 33 years old, his wife passed away in her young age. She left a daughter. After the tragedy, he sought solace and seriously revolved to understand Buddhism more. And he always said, “Anyone who passed away before me is “Zen-chishiki, my Real Teacher” who is leading me to Buddha Dharma. Therefore the parting of my wife is so precious, in opening door to Buddha Dharma.”

Just one year before he died at his age of 72, when he went and attended a Buddhist service at the neighbor village, his house was robbed. The thief stole his all savings, though he was poor and didn’t have much money. When his neighbors heard about it, they said “I am very sorry to hear about that”; however Seikurou said with smile, “You know what? The person, who had to steel my money, must be very poor situation. If the person came to my house a couple of days before, I had more money. He should have come at that time. Now I am in such a state as the one who stole my money and basically there are no differences between the thief and myself. We are the same Bonbu, the foolish beings. We wish always have others’ possessions anyway. In such sense, we have the potentials of being a thief. But fortunately, now I do not steal other’s possession, because Amida’s compassion and pain make me not to allow me from doing that. I never regret losing my possessions, rather I feel grateful...”

So, we always think about how we can protect our possessions in many ways. Seikurou’s words might sound a little bit crazy? He might see there were not so big differences between evil and good, criminals and victims… In our society, we feel it is very important about good and evil. But we should recognize that we have both these potentials and it might really depend on our situations…It is said that human beings are Bonbu and Bonbu really need Amida’s compassion to reflect into our deep minds and our realities, what really we are…

In Gassho,
Masumi Kikuchi


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - Larry Ryan

It has been an interesting year for the temple. We have a new sensei, who has the knowledge and language skills to explain the intricacies of the Dharma. I think her energy and dynamism will be contagious. This contagion should help build a more dynamic and energetic temple and Sangha.

The temple just completed its 2006 AGM with the election of the board of directors. The directors are as follows:

President: Larry Ryan

1st Vice President: Kiyo Domai

2nd Vice President: Kuni Ikuta

Treasurer: Bud Sakamoto

Secretary: Itoko Akune

This year we hope to raise the temple’s profile in the greater community, through more involvement in public events and through the media. Should you have ideas or suggestions, feel free to contact myself or any of the board members.

Our temple is the oldest in Richmond, but not as well known as the others. Let us change this in 2006. We can be welcoming without abandoning our traditions. Invite others to our temple so they can enjoy our Japanese style Buddhism. We truly have a beautiful temple and tradition.


BCC UPDATE FEBRUARY 2006 FROM THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP

A friend of mine who was not Buddhist once told me enviously that Buddhism has a great concept of Nirvana. I don’t know what he meant, but doesn’t it sound good, Ni-r-va-na? According to my understanding, it has several meanings depending on the usage.

  1. At the age of 35 years Gautama Siddhartha discovered Buddha-nature deep in his mind; the source of gentleness, compassion, and peace-loving. This was his first experience of Nirvana. Since then, whenever he went into meditation, the Buddha-nature started to work in his thought, speech, and his action. So he was able to live as a living Buddha.

  2. Nirvana literally means to blow out. It means the state that all the contaminated delusions have been extinguished. Therefore, when Shakyamuni closed 80 years of human life on February 15th, we also say he attained Nirvana in its complete sense. In Jodo Shinshu tradition, when a person of Namoamidabutsu passes away, this person enters Nirvana and becomes a Buddha in the Pure Land thanks to the Compassionate Vow of Amida Buddha.

  3. Third meaning is very liberal and broad in the context that we all live in the universe of Nirvana. Especially in the Pure Land tradition Amida Buddha is the Buddha of infinite light and life. In another word, this Buddha exists wherever and whenever and it is synonym of Nirvana. All of us sentient beings live and die in the embrace of Amida Buddha.

Also important philosophy in Buddhism is that there is no such thing as hell. The Buddha advised us not to create a hell by our own actions.


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Few AGM Highlights:

  1. Our treasury will reimburse the Temple for the cost of Hondo drapes ($4,494) and also for the washing machine ($527) for the manse.

  2. $1,500 will be forwarded to the Temple to help with the 2005 utilities. $1,000 will be given to defray Keirokai expenses.

  3. 2005 Eshinni nikko service donations ($1,500) will be set aside to pay for any in-service training undertaken by Kikuchi Sensei.

  4. World Buddhist Women’s Convention’s registration fees will be paid for two of our Fujinkai executives who will be attending the event in Honolulu in September.

Kitchen update

  1. Stronger light bulbs were placed in the kitchen fixtures by the men during Wednesday Night bingo. The difference is noticeable. Thank you for doing this task for us.

  2. Both kitchen clocks decided to retire together in the past month. Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. T. Murao and Mrs. M. Kobayashi for your timely gifts of clocks, which work!

Niigata Kyoku Kyomusho has sent a thank you to acknowledge our donation to the earthquake disaster in Niigata. The funds were from the 2004 Eshinni Nikko service donations.

For your consideration:

As Fujinkai members, we can be a strong influence in passing on our Shin Buddhist tradition through example and discussion with younger family members. The world has changed significantly since our own youth and perhaps what has worked well for us may not seem relevant to our children and grandchildren. However, as it is truly more difficult to raise children in today’s complex and rapidly changing world, parents will benefit from the support of the otera structure and from listening to the teachings of Buddha.

Gratitude and compassion can be a wonderful guide through life, which brings great joy. We hope that the children who have passed through Dharma School have absorbed some of the context of Buddhist thought and will apply their learning in their adult lives. In a later article, I will expand on this on a personal level.

With optimism and an open heart, encourage those around you to come to the otera. Dharma School and Family Service welcomes everyone.


DHARMA SCHOOL NEWS – Genevieve Iwata

On April 2nd, we will be celebrating the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha. Our guest minister will be Brian Nagata sensei from California. Please come and join us in celebrating this joyous event.

We hope to have Kikuchi Sensei teach the children and any adults, how to play the shino-bue. It is a flute like instrument to be used to play Japanese music. We are hoping to eventually join in to play a piece or two with the choir and/or the taiko group. We hope children and adults will want to learn and play this instrument. The cost of an instrument is approximately $20.00. We are ordering the instruments from Japan and it should take a couple of months to arrive here. If you are interested in joining our group, please let us know.

We have adult sessions after services for all those that are interested learning about the history, teachings, etc. about Buddhism. Mr. Roy Akune will be heading up these sessions. You can ask him questions and bring up subjects that you would like to be covered in future sessions. He will teaching these sessions from March 19th, 2006. He is looking forward to this and the interaction with you.


SENIOR’S CLUB - Toshio Murao

The weather is getting mild but it seems we have to wait a bit longer for spring to come. The temple’s seniors’ club New Years party was held on January 22nd. It was really fun but unfortunately the number of participants this year declined. We regret not advertising enough…
We would like to express our many thanks to everyone who came to the party. Also, we would like to express our sincere thanks to those who performed for us. Tatsumi Dance Society, Okinawa Taiko Yuaikai, Taishogoto Kaedekai, Tonarigumi Uzushio Club and Tera Taiko …… Thank you very much!
Your continued support is appreciated.


PLEASE JOIN OUR CHOIR

Have fun with us! We will perform at Keirokai in March and will sing “Oboro Zukiyo” & “Arigatou”. If you are interested in our choir, please contact with Rev. Kikuchi or the temple office! We welcome beginners!

Practice: March 3 & other day (Please ask Rev. Kikuchi) 7:00pm-8:00pm @the temple

Performance: Keirokai, March 19, noon @the temple

Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


March 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

MS Word Version: March 2006 Newsletter

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