Parents’ Day Dharma Service: Born into a Noble Family (May 8)

As we gather on Mother’s Day to celebrate our annual Parents’ Day Dharma Service, Rev. Adams will share a traditional Buddhist story about a mother whose sensitivity and kindness toward animals teaches her family to live with genuine empathy. Amida Buddha’s 43rd Vow expresses the Buddha’s wish for all beings to be born into a family whose nobility comes not from their social status, but from the virtues they express in their actions, words, and thoughts:

When I attain Buddhahood, the bodhisattvas in other lands, having heard my name, will be reborn into noble families after the end of their lives. Should it not be so, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Hula Lesson with Stephanie Hagio Chin
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion

If you would like to attend the service in person, please email smbt@sanmateobuddhisttemple.org or call (650) 342-2541 to reserve a seat. Full Covid-19 vaccination is required. A maximum of 36 in-person attendees will be seated in the Hondo, so please contact us at your earliest convenience if you wish to attend.

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Everyone Clothed in Fine Robes (May 1)

The robes worn by Buddhist monks were traditionally stitched together from discarded rags and dyed to a uniform color using inexpensive dyes, such as saffron in India and charcoal in Japan.    Inspired by Amida Buddha’s 38th Vow, this Sunday’s Dharma Talk will revisit stories of Nembutsu practicers in India, China, Japan, and the United States whose Buddhist garments expressed their commitment to the Dharma path:

When I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land will acquire garments as soon as such a desire arises in their minds, and they will naturally be clothed in fine robes as commended and prescribed by the Buddhas. If they should need sewing, bleaching, dyeing or washing, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

If you would like to attend the service in person, please email smbt@sanmateobuddhisttemple.org or call (650) 342-2541 to reserve a seat. Full Covid-19 vaccination is required. A maximum of 36 in-person attendees will be seated in the Hondo, so please contact us at your earliest convenience if you wish to attend.

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Women Become Buddhas (April 17)



The unequal treatment of women has been a problem in human society since ancient times. Sakyamuni Buddha addressed this problem when he taught Amida Buddha’s 35th Vow, which affirms the realization of Buddhahood by women. This week’s Dharma Talk will reflect on how the 35th Vow has inspired generations of Nembutsu followers to show great courage in seeking the Dharma and maintaining inclusive communities.

When I attain Buddhahood, the women throughout the countless and inconceivable Buddha‐worlds in the ten quarters, having heard my name, will rejoice in entrusting heart, awaken the mind aspiring for enlightenment, and wish to renounce the state of being discriminated against as a women. If, after the end of their lives, they should continue to suffer from discrimination against women, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

(H. Adams Translation)

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Mindful Meditation with Dr. April Chun
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Japanese Dharma Service

To join us online for this Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

If you would like to attend the service in person, please email smbt@sanmateobuddhisttemple.org or call (650) 342-2541 to reserve a seat. Full Covid-19 vaccination is required. A maximum of 36 in-person attendees will be allowed, so please contact us at your earliest convenience if you wish to attend.
Please do not come to the temple without registering in advance.

本堂で御参拝する方は事前登録が必要ですので、メールsmbt@sanmateobuddhisttemple.org 、又はお電話(650) 342-2541でご連絡をお願いいたします。本堂でのお参りに参拝ご希望の方は新型コロナウイルスのワクチン接種を完了された方に限り36名まで枠がありますので、お早めにご連絡をお願いいたします。
尚、今まで通り、オンラインや電話を通しての永代経法要参拝も可能です。

Becoming Soft and Gentle in Body and Mind (April 3)

When we become set in our ways, it feels burdensome to disrupt our comfortable routine in order to care for others. Amida Buddha’s 33rd Vow affirms that the light of the Buddha’s wisdom softens the hard stubbornness of our minds and gives us the flexibility to be helpful toward others:

When I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings throughout the countless and inconceivable Buddha‐worlds in the ten quarters, having received my light and having been touched by it, will become soft and gentle in body and mind, surpassing humans and devas in those qualities. Should it not be so, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with Juliet and Grace Bost (pre-recorded)
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

The Way to a Peaceful World (February 27)

In this world of continuing conflict, the compassionate vows of Amida Buddha guide us to a live with kindness and understanding for others.  The 19th Vow affirms that those who practice goodness will be welcomed into the world of peace and bliss:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters, while awakening the mind aspiring for enlightenment and performing meritorious acts, should desire to be born in my land with sincere aspiration, and yet should I not appear before them at the moment of death surrounded by a host of sages, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Social Hour: Share your favorite Winter Olympic memory
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Japanese Language Service 日本語の法要

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Nirvana Day – The Essential Message of Sakyamuni Buddha’s Lifetime (February 13)

Nirvana Day is our annual remembrance of the day that Sakyamuni Buddha drew his final breath in this world and attained parinirvana, passing into the lasting peace of tranquility.

This Sunday, we will reflect upon how Sakyamuni Buddha’s lifelong dedication to guiding all beings to liberation from suffering was fulfillled when he imparted teaching of Amida Buddha’s 18th Vow:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters who, with sincere and entrusting heart, aspire to be born in my land and say my name even ten times, should not be born there, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment. Excluded are those who commit the five grave offenses* and those who slander the right Dharma.

*five grave offenses: 1) intentionally killing one’s father; 2) intentionally killing one’s mother; 3) intentionally killing an arhat (enlightened disciple of the Buddha); 4) disrupting the harmony of the sangha through one’s inverted views; and 5) maliciously causing blood to flow from the body of the Buddha.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Hula Lesson with Stephanie Hagio Chin
9:30 a.m. Nirvana Day Service
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

“Namo Amida Butsu” Heard Throughout the World (February 6)

Rev. Hogen Fujimoto

The words “Namo Amida Butsu” are the voice of the Buddha calling us to take refuge in his awakening, wherever we may be, whatever we may be doing. Through his work in prison chaplaincy, Rev. Hogen Fujimoto brought the comfort and guidance of the Nembutsu into the lives of inmates who were seeking to direct their lives toward wisdom and compassion.

This Sunday, Rev. Adams will share the inspiration he’s received Rev. Fujimoto’s memoir Out of the Mud Grows the Lotus, and how Rev. Fujimoto’s work in the prisons reflects the 17th Vow of Amida Buddha, which affirms the Buddha’s commitment that his voice of wisdom will reach all those who seek the path to awakening:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the countless Buddhas throughout the worlds in the ten quarters should not all glorify and praise my name, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso Exercise with Juliet and Grace Bost
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Amida Buddha Has Time for Everyone (January 30)

When we get caught up in the busyness of everyday life, it can feel like we don’t have time to be present for the people we care about.  Dharma Service is an opportunity to pause and enjoy a moment of mindfulness of Amida Buddha, whose 13th Vow expresses the Buddha’s commitment to be an enduring presence of compassion for all beings:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life should be finite, limited even to a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

*Kotis and nayutas are very large numbers. A kalpa is a very long period of time.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Social Hour: Share your thoughts and feelings about the big game!
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Japanese Language Service 日本語の法要

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Dispelling the Darkness of Delusion (January 9)

The name of Amida Buddha means “Awakened One of Immeasurable Light.”  In this Sunday’s Dharma Talk, Rev. Adams will look to the 12th Vow of Amida Buddha, which expresses the Buddha’s commitment to shine the light of wisdom into our lives, dispelling the darkness of delusion:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be finite, not illuminating even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

*kotis and nayutas are very large numbers

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso exercise with Juliet and Grace Bost
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

To preserve the health and safety of our Sangha given the ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections in San Mateo County, this service will be held via Zoom only, without in-person Sangha attendees in the Hondo.

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

9:00 a.m. SPECIAL START TIME Joint Service with Twin Cities Buddhist Association (December 19)

On December 19, we will have a special online Joint Dharma Service with Twin Cities Buddhist Association Sangha. Please note the changed start time to accommodate the difference in time Zones.

As we approach the end of another extraordinary year, Rev. Adams will join the service via Zoom from his childhood home in Buffalo, Minnesota to share a reflection on how we can find a settled mind in the midst of all the holiday excitement.

The 11th Vow of Amida Buddha:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the humans and devas in my land should not dwell in the stage of the truly settled and necessarily attain nirvana, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Mindful Mediation with David Crampton
9:00 a.m. Dharma Service
10:00 a.m. Dharma Discussion

To join us for this online Dharma Service, CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Featured Image: Bison and Seppman’s Mill by Dale Bohlke