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

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

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

MAY 2006
07 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
08 (Mon) 7:30 p.m
14 (Sun) 10:30 a.m
19 - 22 (Fri-Mon)
28 (Sun) 11:00 a.m
29 (Mon) 7:00 p.m.
May Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
May Board Meeting
Gotan-e & Infant Presentation Ceremony
BCJSBCF Retreat (Manning Park)
Spring Food Fair & Open House
Bon Odori Practice Begins

JUNE 2006
03 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.
04 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
10 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.
12 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
25 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.
Garage Sale
June Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
Dharma Workshop lecture by Rev. Miyakawa
June Board Meeting
Temple Clean Up


SPECIAL SERVICE IN MAY

Gotan-e & Infant Presentation Service (Hatsu-mairi) May 14, 10:30 am
Gotan-e is the celebration of Shinran Shonin’s birth. At Nishi Hongwanji, our mother temple in Kyoto, in addition to special services, various events such as Gagaku music, Noh theatre play, and tea ceremony, are held. At our temple, we have “Infant Presentation Service (Hatsu-mairi)” during the Gotan-e Service. Parents formally present their child to the Buddha and Sangha for the first time on this occasion. (Please see the following information.)

Invitation to Infant Presentation Service (Hatsu-mairi)

Do you have a baby or know of a baby who was born in the last two of three years? If you do or if you know someone else who does, please ask them if they would like to attend our Infant Presentation Service at the Steveston Buddhist Temple on Sunday, May 14th at 10:30 a.m.


STEVESTON BUDDHIST TEMPLE OPEN HOUSE

Sunday May 28th, 2006

Lecture by Rev. Kikuchi at Hondo
(11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. & 1:30 p.m.)

Tour in Hondo
(In between 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.)

Please come and visit our beautiful temple. Please bring your friends and family members.
Refreshments will be served.


2006 BCC Youth Tour to Japan

The 2006 Hongwanji Cultural Youth Exchange in Japan will take place in the middle of July to the beginning of August. (The tour date will be updated and announced soon.) Hongwanji will generously subsidize almost half of the each participant’s cost. This is an excellent opportunity for youths from Brazil, Canada, Hawaii and the USA to gather in Kyoto and explore the historical and cultural heritage of our Jodo Shinshu tradition. Rev. Aoki of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple will be the leader for this year’s tour. The tour is eligible to youth between the ages of 15 and 25.

If you have any interest or questions, please contact Rev. Kikuchi at (604) 277-2323.



I’M SORRY, MOM…

When I was at Toronto Buddhist Church, sometimes one of the temple members took my pictures and gave me copies saying, “Please send these pictures to your mother in Japan. She must worry about you. You should think about your parents as much as possible. I know because I lost my mother when I was small.” His eyes filled with tears when he said these words to me. When I heard his kind words, I was reminded of the famous Japanese poems written by a mother and her son. The poems are entitled "Sorry to be born...”

My dear mom, from Yachan…
I’m sorry Mom, I’m sorry Mom
I’m sorry because I was born
I say to my Mom’s thin neck
As she carries me on her back.

“If I wasn’t born…
You would not have gray hair
You would not feel sorrow
To have to carry grown-up me on your back.

If I wasn’t born, you would not cry
Because of the cold stares of people
saying, “What a pitiful child”

If I was not born, if I was not born.


My dear son, from your Mom…
Please forgive me my son,
Please forgive me my son

Please forgive this mother
When I heard you were born as a
“Cerebral Palsy” baby,
I cried saying, “I’m sorry…”
I cried my heart out.

When I carry you,
You who cannot walk for long, on my back,
As your mother, I feel you might want to walk.
When you ask me, “Am I heavy?”
I feel the pain in your heart.

Thank you my son, Thank you my son
I keep living with a very close watch on you.

With your painful desperate efforts
And your smile treating others kindly,
You keep living
With such a gentle smile.
My dear cerebral palsy’s son,
I keep living, as long as you are here


My dear mom, from Yachan…
Thank you Mom, thank you Mom.

I keep living, as long as you exist.

Mom, you taught me
How important it is to live
With a gentle mind in this state of cerebral palsy.
It is beautiful to live with sorrow.

Mom, you taught me to live in such a way
I keep living, as long as you are here.


These three poems were written by Yachan and his mother in 1975. He was born in 1960 with cerebral palsy. Because of his condition, he passed away when he was just fifteen years old. At that time, there was strong discrimination against handicapped people in society. Yachan could not talk. He could not move his hands and feet. He fought against his handicap for fifteen years. However, despite his disabilities, he left many beautiful poems in his life. These poems were written by Yachan’s teacher through a very exhaustive process. Yachan communicated to his teacher by blinking eyes and moving his tongue to express himself.

When I left Japan to come to Canada as an overseas minister for Hongwanji, the hardest part was saying farewell to my family and friends. Early in the morning of September 20, 2002, my father helped carry my suitcase down to the car. Since it was so heavy, he wrenched his back and was unable to see me off at the airport. Instead of my father, my mother drove me to the Osaka airport.

When we got to the security checkpoint, I said to my mother “I am going now. Good-bye. Take care!”, and she suddenly started crying. She said to me, “You can come back home anytime! Don’t forget you have your family and home! I am always waiting for you, Masumi!” I almost cried too, however I couldn't, because I didn't want her to worry even more. When I turned back to see her, she was waving her hands, full of tears, until I disappeared out of sight. Once I could no longer see her, I could not help but cry. After disagreeing with my parents for thirteen years, they finally consented for me to become an overseas minister and encouraged me by saying, "Do your best to support the people in Canada!" When I feel lonely and tired in Canada, I always remember my mother and father. I thank them more than when I was in Japan. When I phone my parents, they always say, “We worry about you.” I feel very guilty that they worry about me because of the distance, yet at the same time I am grateful for their concern.

In Japanese, we sometimes call Amida Buddha, “Oya-sama”, which means “My dear parent”. This Oya-sama is always calling out to us saying, “I am always closely watching you! I am waiting for you to come home anytime!” Amida’s Pure Land is said to be “our true home” and the Nembutsu, the recitation of Namo Amida Butsu, is said to be the calling voice of Amida Buddha and our loved ones. Sometimes in the news I hear about parents hurting their children or children hurting their parents both physically and mentally. Sometimes people even sue their own parents, acting without any obligation and gratitude.

In an age where we are rapidly losing our sense of obligation and gratitude to our parents, the moving poems written by Yachan and his mother, show us how important and precious role compassion plays in the relationship between parent and child. How impressive it is that, when Yachan saw his mother’s back of the neck, as he was being borne on her back, he felt guilt because she always cared for him, yet, at the same time he was full of gratitude for her constant compassion.

When we hear Amida Buddha and our loved ones’ compassion saying, “Wherever you are, I will never abandon you”, we may not feel worthy of such great concern, yet we are truly grateful for this unconditional love. In Japanese Buddhism, we often say, “Ikasareru”, it means, “I am kept alive by others help”, instead of “I am living by my own power” As Buddhists, we have to remember the gratitude for our existences, “We are living by countless lives’ supports.”

To attend the memorial services is one of the great opportunities to repay our obligation to our loved ones and at the same time, it’s also a great opportunity to receive an education on how we can live in the state of true happiness. I hope our wonderful temple can exist to the future generations in Steveston in order to pass on this rich sense of Buddhism to the young people. And to keep our significant traditions, please ask your family and friends to join our services which our loved one have prepared for us.

In Gassho,
Masumi Kikuchi


BCC UPDATE APRIL 2006 - Socho Orai Fujikawa

April is the month of Hanamatsuri, or Buddha Day, for all the Buddhists to commemorate the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha.

I recall the project of Dharma School Committee of Toronto Buddhist Temple, which created mural paintings in the white space of basement wall with Dharma School children involved. The committee wisely chose three pictures from the life history of the Buddha; his Birth, his Enlightenment, and his death of Nirvana. I thought it was a very good project that could be visually effective in the mind of people for a long time.

Come to think about the three paintings, we were all born into human beings and sooner or later we will all have to close our lives without exception. So the highlight in the course of human life must be Enlightenment. Have you awaken yourself? Have you experienced Satori? Did you encounter with the Nembutsu? Have you received Shinjin shown by Shinran Shonin?

May you all keep the questions in mind when you go to the temple to celebrate Hanamatsuri, so that you can truly say Happy Hanamatsuri to celebrate your birth and nirvana.

early childhood. Today we miss such genuine pioneers of Nembutsu as Jujiro Ohashi. Nanmandabutsu


MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT - Larry Ryan

Canadians have enjoyed the long weekend that Easter brings. At the same time we Buddhists celebrated Hanamatsuri, the Jews Passover and the Sikhs also celebrated the birth of their founder.

What a wonderful way to usher in spring.

I heard a radio interview with an American Christian who was visiting the Holy Land during Easter. He said that he was excited to be there but that he didn’t feel worthy.

How different from the Buddhist position. When we visit a holy site or temple, we consider ourselves to be ever so fortunate. We have a feeling of belonging. I know from first hand experience that when I visited Hongwanji temple that I felt honoured to be there and to be part of the Jodo Shinshu tradition. Though I was the only hakujin at morning service I was made to feel a part of the whole.

During the upcoming Spring Food Fair we will also he holding a Temple Open House. Kikuchi Sensei will be taking groups in to the Hondo to explain the Naijin as well as discussing our tradition. I would encourage our members to tell their friends about the Open House. We have a beautiful temple and wonderful Buddhist tradition. Let us share this tradition with the greater community.


FUJINKAI NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Clothing and soft goods drive has ended. Within one week, Developmental Disabilities Association sent us a cheque for $200 for the 100 bags, along with a letter of thanks for “helping to provide services for children and adults with developmental disabilities”. Thank you to everyone for your contributions over the past 6 months.

Taiko Club and Temple Garage Sale, June 3 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jake Suzuki has given numerous household items to the Fujinkai to be sold at our Food Fair Baiten and Garage sale. We appreciate your thoughtfulness, Jake. Tables can be rented for $13 each. For applications form, please contact Hiroko at (604) 277-6521 after May 15 or phone the Temple at (604) 277-2323.

Dana Day proceeds. Throughout the year, Fujinkai members give faithfully to several causes. As treasurer for several years, I am impressed by the consistent and reliable response from our ladies. Last year the funds were sent to Jodo Shinshu Hospital and Clinic in Kenya and to Japan for the restoration of the Eshinni-nikko monument.

Visitations with flowers were made to over 21 individuals in nursing and retirement homes. We have received several cards of appreciation for the visit and the flowers.

Spring Food Fair, Sunday, May 28th, from 11 am to 2 pm. Chicken teriyaki, chow mein & rice $6.00; curried shrimp & rice $4.00; california roll $3.00. Tickets now available from your district representative. Please respond pleasantly to them when they contact you. To the district reps, please make a strong effort to contact everyone. The task of preparing enough food is much easier when we have a large number of presold tickets. Donations of plants for sale at the Spring Food Fair, are welcome.


STEVESTON BUDDHIST TEMPLE CHOIR

Please join our choir. Come out and have fun in singing beautiful Buddhist and Japanese songs. Practices every 1st and 3rd (or 4th) Friday of the month at 7:00pm, meet in the Temple.

May 5th & 26th
June 2nd & 16th

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


LIBRARY NEWS - Hiroko Yoshihara

Instructions for borrowing books: Loan period is for one month. When you take out a book on the 23rd of a month, please return the following month on the 23rd. Take out the card in the book pocket, which is near the front, and print your name and current date. Place the card in the turquoise box. Note the date to be returned on the “date due” slip which is pasted on the book pocket. When you return the book, please take out the card in the turquoise box and place back in the book.

New books which have been purchased by the Dharma School treasury and added to the Temple Library:

Buddhism : A Concise Introduction by Huston Smith and Philip Novak. A meaningful chapter on the Pure Land tradition is included. Spine label: 294.3 SMI

Cocktails by Masao Kodani. “A collection of terms, bits of information and historical facts”. Spine label: 495 KOD

Dharma : My Guiding Light, No. 4 by Yasuo Izumi. Fourth in the series of Sensei’s Dharma talks. Spine label: 294.37 IZU

Dharma Chatter by Masao Kodani. Articles from the Senshin Buddhist Temple newsletter. Spine label: 294.37 KOD

Rites of Passage : Death by Arthur Takemoto and Masao Kodani. Explanation of Buddhist funeral rituals. Spine label: 294.34 TAK

River of Fire, River of Water by Taitetsu Unno. “An introduction to the Pure Land tradition of Shin Buddhism. Spine label: 294.3926 UNN

Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-ha by Masao Kodani and Russell Hamada. Spine label: 294.3926 KOD


DHARMA SCHOOL REPORT – Genevieve Iwata

Dharma Service will be as usual on May 21st (Victoria Day weekend). On Sunday May 28th, the temple will be holding the Spring Food Fair and Open House, therefore, there will be no service held on that day.

On June 10th, we will be hosting a Dharma Workshop from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Rev. Miyakawa from the Okanagan temples will be the guest lecturer. He will give three consecutive lectures on the History of Indian, Chinese and Japanese Buddhism with a focus on Pure Land Buddhism. We will be ordering in an obento lunch at a no-host cost of $10.00. People will need to pre-register because the obento will be ordered several days ahead. This will be a very interesting workshop. Please let Chizuru or Genevieve know if you will be attending.

Sensei Miyakawa is going to swim a marathon on May 8th at the Canada Games Pool in Kamloops. He will be balancing a water bottle on his forehead while swimming a backstroke, non-stop. Sensei is hoping that he can inspire strength and courage to patients and families afflicted with cancer (including his own), and also raise money for the Canadian Cancer Society. The estimated time for the swim is three hours. Unfortunately, at this time, Sensei Miyakawa is in Japan because his younger brother has passed away from brain cancer. If possible, please fill out a pledge sheet at the temple, and support Sensei on this worthy cause. The Canadian Cancer Society will issue tax deductible receipts for all donations $20 and more. Thank you. - Jeanne Ryan


Flowers for the Nokotsudo Memorial Garden welcome.


EVERYONE NEEDS TO HAVE A DREAM - John Rennie

I watched a movie on NHK today called “Sakura”, which was based on the true story of a poor bus conductor in Japan who had a dream. He felt that he was in a dead end job and that his life was meaningless until one day he had a dream. His dream was to plant cherry trees along the road that his bus traveled on. He wanted to do this for the sake of his passengers and for the people who lived along the road for their enjoyment. He planted over 2000 trees over a 10 year period from Nagoya on the east coast of Japan all the way over to Wajima on the west side of Japan. He did so at his own expense and he had to overcome many obstacles. Both his employer and his family were against him in the beginning. He contracted cancer while he was fulfilling his dream and spent many agonizing hours in and out of hospitals. However, no matter how bad it got for him when he thought of his cherry trees he was invigorated anew and wouldn’t give up. When his cancer finally claimed him, his last words on his deathbed were of his cherry trees and of his dream.

I have a dream for our Temple and our Sangha.
I dream of a place where the Dharma and the Nembutsu are put into action not only on Sunday, but also, throughout the week.
Through bus trips, exercise classes, dances, sports, games, hobbies, seminars and movie nights.

I dream of a place where the Dharma and the Nembutsu are put into action not just for ourselves but also for the community as a whole.
Through a daycare, tutoring, language classes, counselling, fund raising, and cultural events.

I dream of a place where the Dharma and the Nembutsu are practiced in a Hondo filled with children, parents and grandparents not just on special days but every Sunday.

What is your dream?



May 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

MS Word Version: May 2006 Newsletter

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