The Buddha’s Final Meal

In the time of the Buddha, there was a blacksmith named Cunda.  Blacksmiths had low social status, but Cunda was hard-working and intelligent, and so he prospered and owned a beautiful mango grove.  On one occasion, the Buddha visited Cunda’s village and chose to stay in his mango grove.  At that time in India, the sons of wealthy and important families, like the Buddha’s Sakya clan, would not normally interact with common workers like blacksmiths, so Cunda was delighted that the Buddha would honor him by staying in his grove.

Cunda delighted in the Dharma taught by the Buddha and invited the Buddha and his Sangha to partake in a special meal at his home.  The Buddha indicated his acceptance of the invitation by remaining silent, so Cunda proceeded to prepare a scrumptious feast, including a variety of foods with good textures, well-cooked soft foods, and a dish made with a special kind of mushroom.

When the mushroom dish was served, the Buddha immediately claimed it for himself and instructed Cunda to serve the remaining dishes to the other monks.  After eating his fill of the mushroom dish, he told Cunda to bury what remained of it in the ground, saying, “This food can only be eaten by one who has mastered the Dharma and attained awakening.”

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Nirvana Day (February 12)

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.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Sangha Social Activity
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”.

Nītha the Scavenger (February 5)

In this Sunday’s Dharma Talk, Rev. Adams will share the story of Nītha, a scavenger who met the Buddha while collecting waste. Initially ashamed of his own lowly status, Nitha was welcomed by the Buddha to join the Sangha with respect and dignity.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial (Hondo Main Hall)
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion (Dharma Room)

We welcome you to join us in person!

To join us online via Zoom , CLICK HERE to sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Bodhi Day Service

Sunday, December 4, 2022

We warmly welcome you to join us in person at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple for our Bodhi Day Service on Sunday, December 4. Bodhi Day is our annual celebration of Sakyamuni Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment seated beneath the Bodhi Tree. It is a special occasion for us to reflect upon how the truth to which the Buddha awakened over 2,500 years ago in Bodhgaya, India continues offer precious guidance for our lives today.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shōya Raisan Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with instructor Juliet Bost
9:30 a.m. Bodhi Day Service
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion

To join us via Zoom for this Dharma Service CLICK HERE and sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Gathering of Joy

The Obon observances that we hold during the month of August originate in a teaching on the practice of giving (Dana) that Sakyamuni Buddha shared with his disciple Mahamaudgalyayana.   Following his mother’s departure from this world, Mahamaudgalyayana saw that she had fallen into the realm of the hungry ghosts, a world of hunger, thirst, and unsatisfied desire.  He immediately went to the Buddha and asked for guidance on how he could liberate his mother from that world of suffering.  The Buddha instructed him to present a gift of food, clothing, and other essential items to the monastic Sangha.  After offering the prescribed gift to the Sangha, Mahamaudgalyayana saw that his mother had been liberated from suffering and he was filled with joy.    

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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

御講師

松林芳秀先生

浄土真宗本願寺派北米開教区

名誉開教使

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.

2022年4月10日の9時30分から灌仏会(花祭)をお勤めします。

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。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。

尚、今まで通り、オンラインや電話を通しての春季彼岸会参拝も可能です。

Schedule
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。

Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day): Effortless Kindness

March 6, 2022

This Sunday’s service will include our celebration of the Japanese Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) holiday. Inspired by the many valuable contributions that girls make to our Sangha and community, Rev. Adams will share a Dharma talk about the meaning of Amida Buddha’s 20th Vow, which emphasizes cultivating the roots of virtue and concentrated Nembutsu practice:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings of the ten quarters, upon hearing my name, should place their thoughts on my land, cultivate the roots of virtue, and direct their merit with sincere mind desiring to be born in my land, and yet not ultimately attain birth, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning 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 online Dharma Services, 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”.

Do you want to go to the Pure Land?

        February is the month in which we observe our Nirvana Day Service at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple in commemoration of Sakyamuni Buddha’s realization of the great tranquility of parinirvana approximately 2,500 years ago at Kushinagar in northern India.  Having attained the wisdom of enlightenment, when his time in this world drew to a close Sakyamuni Buddha met the end of his human life with a peaceful mind as he passed into the state of final Nirvana.  When those who live in the nembutsu with deep entrusting in Amida Buddha reach the end of life in this world, they are immediately born in the Pure Land where they realize the same enlightenment that brought Sakyamuni Buddha enduring peace of mind.  That said, we would expect there to be many people eagerly looking forward to birth in the Pure Land.  Are you one of them?

In a recent conversation, a Sangha member raised an interesting question, “I understand that in the Jodo Shinshu teaching the goal is to be born in the Pure Land of Amida Buddha, but honestly speaking, I don’t have a feeling of wanting to be born in the Pure Land.  Should I be concerned about that?” 

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