For today’s Dharma Talk, Dennis discussed symbolism in both everyday situations, such as emojis, and in national icons, such as the Statue of Liberty. Did you notice that the Statue of Liberty is taking a step forward?
One of today’s First Sunday’s activities had to do with Indra’s net, and Dennis shared the symbolism around the interconnected jewels that we attached to the image of the world as we entered the temple. Our second activity was a Valentine’s Day craft, which both the kids and the adults enjoyed.
Celebrating February Birthdays
First Sunday Activities
Rev. Sumikawa welcomed the new year in our first family service in 2019. It is the year of the pig, the twelfth of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac cycle. It is a year to reflect on the previous 11 years and period of joy and relaxation. He also shared Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii’s theme for 2019, “Embrace Change: Transformation (Walk in Peace).”
We celebrated January birthdays today. One member, Patsy, is celebrating her 95th birthday. Happy birthday!
After refreshments, which included ozoni, we held our monthly First Sunday activity. This month, we made botamochi (ohagi), a Japanese sweet made with glutinous rice, rice and sweet azuki paste.
Rev. Sumikawa gave today’s Dharma Talk. He shared that the appeal of Buddhism is that we are able to apply many Christian or other belief systems principles to our own. There are many similarities and differences in each other’s approach in words.
We celebrated December birthdays today. Happy birthday Betty and Margaret!
After service, there was a very special guest. Santa (and his 100% recyclable beard) visited with the kids and adults and gave everyone a bag of holiday treats.
Our “First Sunday” craft activity was decorating ornaments with glitter. Each ornament was unique based on the colors that were mixed.
Today’s Dharma Talk was given by Dr. Michael Jaffe. Mike’s talk was about the trials and tribulations of a man in his 50s. He identified the different stages of his life with that of The Buddha. He is using the Teachings to help him understand and cope with his current phase in life.
Joy kicked off her Dharma Talk about interconnectedness by leading the congregation in the Baby Shark Dance, the YouTube phenomenon with over 1.7 billion views. She closed with the question, “Can you imagine if Buddhism spread like Baby Shark did?”
For our First Sunday family activities, we made paper-strip pumpkins and mixed up a batch of colorful slime.
Today’s Dharma Message was given by Prudence, who shared a story about a gumyocho, a two-headed bird.
One head was named Karuda and the other Upakaruda. The heads had differing desires, which often caused conflicts between Karuda and Upakaruda.
One day, Karuda feasted until he could eat no more, while Upakaruda slept. When Upakaruda woke, he found he couldn’t enjoy the food since their stomach was stuffed from Karuda’s feasting.
Feeling resentful, Upakaruda ate poisonous fruits, hoping to punish Karuda. As expected, when Karuda woke, the poison kicked in and he died. Of course, because they shared the same body, the poison that killed Karuda soon after killed Upakaruda.
Before dying, Upakaruda realized the interconnectedness of his life and Karuda’s. By harming one, they both suffered.
After the service, we celebrated August and September birthdays. After refreshments, we had our First Sunday activity (postponed from earlier in the month due to our 50th Anniversary celebration), assembling paper plate doves to hang on our Peace Day tree.
Bob Nishita's Dharma message for today's First Sunday Family Service was about judgement. We often judge others based on how we see things from our point of view. When you point at someone, three fingers are pointing right back at you.
Bob also talked to us about being different. All of us are different and that's a good thing. Can you imagine if all of us were the same? We'd be arguing and agreeing with ourselves!
After celebrating July birthdays and refreshments, today's First Sunday family activity was making shaving cream and glue ice cream cones.
Dr. Michael Jaffe gave today's Dharma Talk, "The Science of Happiness." He shared photos of the people of Bhutan, which measures the level of happiness of its people. Happiness is a core philosophy of the Buddhist nation, which measures and tracks its Gross National Happiness.
We celebrated June birthday and, after today's service, we decorated hand-shaped cards for Father's Day as our First Sunday craft activity.
Today’s Dharma message was given by Rev. Bert Sumikawa. His message was regarding Mother’s Day.
Rev. Sumikawa said there are a number of Sutras that express reverence towards one’s mother and about the mother-child relationships. He drew memories of his own relationship with his mother. While he was young, she seemed strict and would occasionally scold him. But, she would do things that he would later realize she did those things because of her love for him.
He recalled that he was participating in a 5th grade May Day program and he needed to wear a white shirt which he didn’t have. He didn’t tell told his mother until the night before. Although she scolded him for telling her so late, she bought material and supplies that night and he woke up the next morning and found a brand new shirt for him. She reminded him again to not wait until the last minute to tell her he needed something.
After the service, we celebrated birthdays for the month of May. Because there was no service last Sunday, we did the First Sunday Activities today – Mother’s Day flowers and yarn leis.