The Honored One

In the month of April we hold our Hanamatsuri Service celebrating the birth of Siddhartha Gautama 2,645 years ago in Lumbini, Nepal.  One who diligently progresses on the path to Buddhahood over the course of many lifetimes is called a bodhisattva.  The Sutra on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life (The Larger Sutra) provides the following description of a bodhisattva’s birth in the lifetime in which they will attain awakening:

Immediately after [the bodhisattva’s] birth from [his mother’s] right side, he walked seven steps. A brilliant light shone from his body, illuminating all the ten quarters, and countless Buddha-lands shook with six kinds of tremors. He then said, “I shall become the supremely honored one in the world.”

(The Three Pure Land Sutras: Volume II, pg. 5)

This description seems improbable from a modern scientific worldview, but these words are an expression of religious truth rather than scientific fact.  Scientific facts are based on empirical observations, such as what we can see with our eyes, hear with our ears, or measure with our hands.  From that perspective this life begins the moment we are born with this body and ends at the moment of death.  This way of viewing the world is limited by what can be measured.

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Hanamatsuri Buddha’s Birthday Service

April 10, 2022

Guest Speaker

Rev. Dr. Hoshu Matsubayashi

Buddhist Churches of America

Minister Emeritus





We warmly welcome you to join us in person at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple or from the safety and comfort of your own home via Zoom Meeting for our Hanamatsuri Service on Sunday, April 10, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. in celebration of Siddhartha Gautama’s Birthday.

If you would like to attend the service in person, please reply to this email or call (650) 342-2541 to reserve a seat. Proof of full Covid-19 vaccination is required. A maximum of 36 in-person attendees will be allowed in the Hondo, 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 、又はお電話(650) 342-2541でご連絡をお願いいたします。4月10日に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。


8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyōfu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Hula dance lesson with Stephanie Hagio Chin
9:30 a.m. Hanamatsuri Service with Dharma talk by Rev. Hoshu Matsubayashi
10:30 a.m. Japanese Dharma Talk 日本語法話 松林芳秀先生

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

ご参拝したい方はここにクリックして、”Live Broadcast of Services”に登録してください。

Hanamatsuri Buddha’s Birthday Service

April 11, 2021

Guest Speaker


Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson

Toronto Buddhist Church




EKŌ-Haus (Germany)

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Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Hanamatsuri Buddha’s Birthday Service via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.

8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with instructor Juliet Bost
9:30 a.m. Hanamatsuri Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Dr. Jeff Wilson
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 攝受弘宣先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Hironobu Shoju

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



ご参拝したい方はここにクリックして、”Live Broadcast of Services”に登録してください。

Buddha Loves You Little Shark

Raising children can be a challenge.  My wife and I have three sons, and there have been times when their behavior has been entertaining for others but exasperating for us as parents.  Our third son is still a baby, but before we know it, he will be crawling, then walking, then running, then talking and making animal sounds.  If he is anything like his big brothers, he will do all these things in the middle of Sunday service.  I once overheard a conversation between a temple member who attended service most Sundays and her daughter, who rarely came to the temple.  The temple-going mother said, “You should come to service more often.  It’s fun to see what mischief Sensei’s son is going to get into next.”  When she noticed me standing within earshot, she hastily added, “I mean you should come to service to hear Sensei’s Dharma talk.”

A few years ago, when one of our older sons was at the height of his “terrific twos,” he was thoroughly enjoying himself crawling around under the pews during the Hanamatsuri Service.  He was having so much fun playing cat-and-mouse with my wife, who was desperately trying to contain his antics, that he scurried off under the pews until he popped out from under the first row and stood grinning back at my wife from the floor right in front of the podium where our guest speaker was delivering the Hanamatsuri Dharma Talk.  The instant my wife moved to get up from her seat to retrieve him, he gleefully dove under the table upon which the Hanamido floral shrine sat at the front of the Hondo.  The table was completely covered from front to back with carefully arranged potted plants to evoke the luxuriant Lumbini’s Garden in which baby Siddhartha, the Buddha-to-be, was born.  The front of the table was covered with a large sheet of white paper, so no-one but me could see my son as he sat happily in an enclosed little space beneath the Hanamido.

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