In his Dharma Talk, Dr. Michael Jaffe shared what he’s learned about Hawaii after moving his family to the islands a couple years ago. Dr. Jaffe has found that the aloha spirit is what makes Hawaii special and that it often parallels the spiritual principle of karma, or causation, where kind thoughts lead to kind words, which in turn lead to kind actions.
We were joined today by Cub Scouts of St. Anthony’s School Pack 223, who attended our Sunday Service and Dharma School. They read the story, Stone Soup, learned about interdependence, and took part in a fun physical challenge to untangle themselves through the use of good communication (and the help of some of the adults).
Today’s Dharma Talk was given by Rev. Sumikawa, who shared the principle of dependent arising. Dependent arising, or dependent origination, can refer to the cycle of rebirth in Buddhist teachings, as well as things depending on causes and conditions.
Today’s Dharma Talk was given by Keiji Kukino. Kuki gave a brief history of yesterday’s first ever Bon Dance Festival at Windward Mall and how it came to be. Kuki also shared how he came to the understanding through Shinran’s teachings that the remembrance services after a death are really for the living, as the deceased are already cared for.
After today’s service, we celebrated October birthdays and, following refreshments, we welcomed the return of our monthly inter-generational First Sunday activities. Today’s activity was a toilet paper pumpkin craft.
First Sunday Activity: Toilet Paper Pumpkins
Rev. Sumikawa’s Dharma Talk asked the question, “Are Shakyamuni & Shinran’s Teachings the Same?”
We often focus only on Shinran’s (the founder of Jodo Shinshu) teachings. We need to remember that the true founder of Buddhism is Shakyamuni. Although Shinran used terms such as Amida, Pure Land and Nembutsu, Shakyamuni never did. Terminology may be different, but the essence of the teachings are the same. They obtained the same awakening – Shakyamuni: Bodhi and Shinran – Shinjin. They both said that “life is suffering and we need to understand this.” Their universal message was the liberation from suffering.
Scholars agree: Shakyamuni & Shinran had the same teaching – one authentic awakening by experience. They attained it and taught it.
For our Fall Ohigan Service, we welcomed guest speaker Rev. Mariko Nishiyama, resident minister of Pearl City Hongwanji. Fall Ohigan marks the change of seasons and Rev. Nishiyama delivered a special Dharma Message in observance of the occasion.
We also tried a couple of new gathas today, accompanied by Rev. Sumikawa and Shirley Yanagisawa on ukulele.
September marks the end of summer. It’s an exciting time, as it means the start of a new school year for the kids and the beginning of new seasons for UH football and volleyball. Dennis Tashiro shared his thoughts in today’s Dharma Talk.
WBT Dharma School
As mentioned in this month’s newsletter, today marked the start of a new Dharma School year. Dharma School is held on the second Sunday of the month from September to July. Dharma School teachers Kathi & Annette taught today’s lesson on interdependence.
Dharma School participation is not limited to temple members and their families. We welcome any and all keiki interested in learning the Buddha’s teachings!
Today was our first Sunday service after our summer break in August. Our Dharma Talk was given by our resident minister, Rev. Bert Sumikawa. Rev. Sumikawa spoke about importance of perseverance as well as dukkah, commonly translated as suffering.
As announced in the September newsletter, our monthly First Sunday family activity is back by popular demand. Following this morning’s service, we folded large origami cranes for International Peace Day, which we will observe on September 22, 2019. The cranes will be distributed by our Dharma school students to neighborhood businesses in hopes they will display them as part of International Peace Day.
First Sunday Activity: Peace Day Origami Cranes
In our final Sunday Family Service before our summer break, Joy shared a Dharma Talk on the “JOY of Chanting and Music in Shin Buddhism.” Joy shared how chanting and music have an important role in Shin Buddhism, particularly when done as part of a group.
Joy shared a couple of gathas that we may be singing in future Family Services, including “Life in Harmony,” a new gatha composed by BJ Soriano that will be featured at the 16th World Buddhist Women’s Convention in San Francisco in September.
Today was also our Remembrance Day for those who passed in the month of July. There are no Family Services during the month of August. Our next Family Service will be on Sunday, September 1.
As we are in the Obon season, Kuki shared his memories of the late Dorothy Ono and her enormous financial contribution that helped to transform our aging temple into a modern facility that could benefit the larger community. Just prior to her death, she made a decision to leave a large portion of her estate to Kailua Hongwanji, which helped to fund the construction of a new temple structure.
Kuki shared the challenges that were overcome, including having to rezone the property, and the substantial effort that went into building the multipurpose building that we enjoy today. The fruits of that effort were enjoyed by the large crowd that joined us last week for our annual Bon Dance.
To Dorothy and all those who have made Windward Buddhist Temple what it is today, we say okagesamade!
We held our annual Obon and Hatsubon service to remember those who came before us. The Hatsubon service marks the first Obon Service for those who passed away in the last year. Obon and Hatsubon families were called up to offer incense while Rev. Sumikawa chanted a sutra. After the offering, Rev. Sumikawa gave a special Obon Dharma Talk, which can be viewed below.