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

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

NOVEMBER 2006
05 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
11 - 12 (Sat - Sun)
13 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
18 (Sat) 10:00 a.m.
19 (Sun) 2:00 p.m.
23 (Thurs) 11:00 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.
November Memorial Service (Shotsuki)
BCJSBCF Convention
November Board Meeting
Fujinkai Craft Fair
Eshinni-ko & Fujinkai Memorial
Shoshinge Chanting Workshop

DECEMBER 2006
02 (Sat) 6:00 p.m.
03 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
09 (Sat) 9:00 a.m.
10 (Sun) 10:30 a.m.
10 (Sun) 6:00 p.m.
11 (Mon) 7:30 p.m.
17 (Sun) 9:00 a.m.
31 (Sun) 11:00 p.m.
Otaiya Potluck Dinner
Ho-onko & December Memorial Shotsuki
Mochitsuki
Bodhi Day (Jodo-e) & Potluck Lunch
Bonenkai
December Board Meeting
Temple Clean-Up
New Year’s Eve, Year End (Joya-e)


“White Path - The River of Fire and the River of Water (Niga Byakudou)”

For this issue, I will share a story, “White Path” by Master Shantao; in Japanese we call Zendo-daishi. Master Shantao is one of the Seven Masters in the Shin Buddhist tradition. You can find his portrait in the naijin area of our temple. You can see 7 monks in the scroll which is located on the left side in the altar. They are called “Shichi Koso”, which means “the Seven Masters”. “Shichi Koso” is the seven great teachers most revered by Shinran Shonin. Two are Indians, three are Chinese, and two are Japanese. Master Shantao is a Chinese and the 5th of the seven masters.

Let’s go to the story, “White Path”!

Once there was a traveler. The traveler is running for his life from beasts and bandits that are chasing him from behind. He runs into a river that blocks his way. The river is a strange river. It is a river of fire and water. The river flowing to the north is a rough, raging river of water. To the south the river is nothing but raging fire, with flames leaping high into the air. Between the two rivers of fire and water lies a narrow, white path. The path looks very dangerous, as to the north, waves splash over the path, and to the south, flames from the river of fire leap out over the path.

The traveler is completely stuck and is desperate. I cannot stay here, because the beasts and bandits will catch me and kill me. I cannot swim across the river of water, nor even enter the river of fire. If I stay here I die. If I go forward I will die. What a helpless, desperate situation I am in!

But then the traveler hears a voice from somewhere behind him, urging him, saying, "O traveler, just resolve to follow this path forward! You will certainly not encounter the grief of death. But if you stay where you are, you will surely die." And then he hears another voice, this time for the other shore of the river, pleading to him saying, "O traveler, with mind that is single, with right-mindedness, come at once! I will protect you. Have no fear of plunging to grief in the water or fire."

With those encouraging words, the traveler slowly moves forward on the treacherous, narrow path. From behind the beasts and bandits tempt him to turn back, saying that they do not wish to bring him harm. But the traveler proceeds and reaches the other shore, to be greeted by a good friend, which is Amida Buddha.

Master Shantao, in his writing, explains the symbolism of this parable.

The river of water represents the world of greed. The river of fire represents anger. Man walks a fine line between these two emotions that can destroy his good life. A life that succumbs to anger only knows hatred and animosity. A life that succumbs to greed only knows the gratification of oneself, and never thinks of others. The other shore represents the world of truth, or enlightenment, and this shore represents the secular world, the world of samsara that we all live in.

The bandits represent teachings that are of the secular nature, such as how to get rich, how to be influential and powerful, etc. The beasts represent the passions of man, whose ties bind man to the secular world. These are causes of our sufferings and interrupt us to listen to the Amida’s voice.

The voice from behind represents Shakyamuni Buddha, who encourages the traveler to turn and move towards enlightenment.

The calling voice from the other shore represents Amida Buddha, the timeless, eternal Buddha of wisdom and compassion.

And who then is the traveler? The traveler is each one of us. It is you and I.

Like the traveler who is running for the throes of the beasts and bandits, our life as a sentient being will come to an end, and nothing in the secular world will carry us across to the other shore.

But when we listen to the urging of Shakyamuni Buddha, and the calling voice of Amida Buddha, we will turn the direction of our life towards the narrow white path and proceed forward on the journey to truth, to enlightenment. This parable is very famous and Shinran Shonin quotes this in his work, “Kyogyo Shinsho”. If you are interested in the Shinran’s commentary about this parable in “Kyogyo Shinsho”, please ask me. I will share it with you... Gassho, Masumi Kikuchi

Gassho, Rev. Masumi Kikuchi


BCC UPDATE NOVEMBER 2006 - Socho Orai Fujikawa

November is the last month of Fall and harvest season and traditionally the month of Buddhist conventions in British Columbia and Alberta. When it comes to Buddhist Convention, there are three Ps in order to make it successful: Planning, Preparation, and Participation. According to my past experiences, the convention committee is formed by the host chapter as soon as the previous one is over. In the initial planning you choose the date, theme, guest speakers and so on. The choice of the speakers is especially important. Then the committee meets at least once a month to tackle the registration, workshop, accommodation, publicity, finance, transportation, banquet, and entertainment.

However, even with the good planning, the committee cannot influence participation. When you hear about a large busload of people coming, you are very happy. If a snowstorm is predicted, you will be anxious and may have a headache until the first day of the convention. Traveling to a convention, I recall that our bus had windshield wiper problems with the heavy snow as we went through a mountain pass. It took hours to reach our destination.

May you all enjoy good weather and conventions and learn the essence of the Nembutsu, that is, the Boundless Compassion of Amida Buddha.


SHOSHINGE CHANTING WORKSHOP

Shoshinge is a principal sutra (gatha) written by our founder, Shinran Shonin. As a follower of Jodo Shin Buddhism, to chant Shoshinge properly is very important. Please take this opportunity to come and join us at the workshop on Thursday, November 23rd at 11:00 a.m. & 7:30 p.m.


We invite members of the Steveston Buddhist Temple to put their names forward to serve on the Board for 2007. If you are submitting the name of someone else, please make sure that you have their permission to do so. We need new people with fresh ideas and energy. In Gassho Larry Ryan.


FUJINKAI NEWS

Thanks to everyone for their efforts and donations in making the Fall Food Bazaar a success in many ways. As with all events, there are improvements, which should be made, and all constructive suggestions are welcomed. This is becoming more of a joint effort between Bukkyokai and Fujinkai with the men participating fully in the making of chow mein, udon prep and teriyaki chicken. We may have to make more aprons and possibly hold another Food Safe class.

After the September semi annual meeting more discussion has occurred. The election by ballot will be continued as we hope to be able to draw in newer members. Please consider being part of a toban or helping out more in the kitchen.

Some changes: our January AGM will be held at 2 pm, Sunday, January 14th, rather than 11:30 am. 2007 Dana Day will be held on the fourth Sunday, February 25th, rather than on the third Sunday. Sensei is preparing the 2007 Temple schedule and these are the changes which will affect Fujinkai.


Dharma School would appreciate any educational toys, games and puzzles to refresh and invigorate its equipment. These should be in fairly new condition. Please contact Genevieve Iwata, Dharma School supervisor (604) 572-7240 or Misaye Hamaura (604) 590-6187.


DHARMA SCHOOL REPORT - Genevieve Iwata

We would like to welcome Shoji and Taro Whittier to our Dharma school. They live in Maple Ridge and come to Dharma school as often as they are able to.

We are looking forward to hosting the BCJSBCF Convention. Dharma school is in charge of the Saturday breakfast and lunch.

Don't forget about our annual Bodhi Day on December 10th. We will have a potluck lunch. We will also be collecting non-perishable foods for the Food Bank.


BEST WISHES TO EVERYONE FROM THE SENIORS CLUB

On our day trip on October 10th, we have 53 participants including Kikuchi Sensei. Thank you to all of the participants who joined us. The weather was beautiful. It was really fun to share a pleasant day with each one of you. We sincerely appreciate you for your continued presence and support. We couldn't do all that we do without each and every one of you behind us. In Gassho.

Special thanks to Mr. Toshio Murao, Mrs. Kimiyo Murao and Mrs. Chiyoko Morizawa

Thank you for the new cushion covers (also for washing them) in the Hondo for us. We will be more comfortable and relaxed with all of these bright new colours, especially before the convention.


NIKKEI FISHERMEN IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

On Sunday, November 5th, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. at the Steveston Buddhist Temple, there will be a book launching and short presentation on the history of Nikkei fishermen on the B.C. coast. It will be followed by a viewing of the biographies and photographs submitted by the families of fishermen.

Please contact anyone on the Nikkei Fishermen Committee, listed below to indicate your attendance so that members will be able to adequately prepare for the gathering. The book which includes the history, biographies and photographs of Nikkei fishermen can be pre-ordered at that time. Members of the Nikkei Fishermen committee will be present to answer questions and assist with the orders.

Mas/Stan Fukawa (604) 421 0490
Kotaro Hayashi (604) 244 7357
Shig Kamachi (604) 521 3854
Frank Kanno (604) 432 6131
Paul Kariya (604) 888 2708
Tak Miyazaki (604) 277 4672
George Murakami (604) 583 3855
Toshio Murao (604) 277 2362
Richard Nomura (604) 946 9900
Dan Nomura (604) 220 8040
Terry Sakai (604) 277 5735
Ken Takahashi (604) 275 9678
Jim Tanaka (604) 274 1684
Henry Tanaka (604) 524 9897

Refreshment will be served. Admission is free. There will be plenty of photos for viewing. Everyone is welcome.


CHOIR PRACTICE

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

November 10th

Our choir will perform at the BCJSBCF Convention’s banquet on November 11th.



November 2006 Newsletter (Nihon-go)

November 2006 Newsletter PDF

Newsletter Archives

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