When we meet, we will smile

Each year during our Obon and Hatsubon Service, I am reminded of the power of the Buddhadharma to provide guidance and support for us as we navigate our feelings of grief.  As school for my sons usually begins a few days after our San Mateo Buddhist Temple Obon Observance, I have come to associate our Obon with the end of summer.  Opening the freezer at the temple to put away the Obon service manju for an occasion when we can all enjoy them together, I noticed three large bags of frozen hamburgers.  I was suddenly reminded of the delicious hamburgers grilled at the temple picnic and all the experiences that we did not get to have this summer: bazaar—which marks the start of summer in my mind, the annual BWA service at the Japanese Cemetery in Colma, followed by brunch with BWA members at Denny’s in South San Francisco, a family trip to Japan, our summer Terakoya day camp, spam musubi at Obon Odori practices, and chanting together with a Hondo full of attendees at our Obon and Hatsubon service. 

Continue reading “When we meet, we will smile”

Memories of San Mateo Buddhist Temple’s First Obon

By Susan (Kawakita) Kwong

Hearing my mom reminisce of how she and a handful of her friends started Obon at San Mateo Buddhist Temple, it quickly caught my attention and found it my mission to contact her friends and listen to their stories. Wish I had known years earlier since I was only able to obtain a few people’s memories. Was quite interesting and wanted to share this story since our Obon is around the corner. Thank you, Mrs. Wada, Mrs. Hashimoto, and mom for reminiscing about San Mateo Buddhist Temple’s first Obon.

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New Directions: Obon Dharma Talk by Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge

Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge, Resident Minister of the Buddhist Church of Oakland joined us on August 9, 2020 to share an Obon and Hatsubon Dharma Talk with the title New Directions: From round and round and upside down to going and returning

Eyes that See the Needs of Others

For the August 2, 2020 Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service, Rev. Adams reflects on the story of Mahamaudgalyayana from the Ullambana Sutra and the remarkable powers attained by those who realize true awakening.

Obon and Hatsubon Service

August 9, 2020

Guest Speaker (English)

Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge

Buddhist Church of Oakland

Learn more about Rev. Bridge

日本語の御講師

桑原淨信先生

浄土真宗本願寺派バークレー仏教会

桑原先生のご紹介

Obon music video by Rev. Bridge

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Obon & Hatsubon Memorial Service via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, August 9, 2020 at 9:30 a.m. during which we will remember our loved ones who have crossed over to the Other Shore.  Please do not come to the temple in person.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with instructor Juliet Bost
9:30 a.m. Obon and Hatsubon Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 桑原淨信先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara

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

現在感染が拡大している新型コロナウイルス感染を防ぐため、サンマテオ仏教会本堂内に集まることはできませんが、オンラインや電話を通して盂蘭盆会及び初盆法要を行います。

そこで、2020年8月9日の9時30分から初盆法要をインターネットと電話でライブ中継をする予定です。自宅からご参拝されたい方は次の手順でご参加下さい。

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。

(SMBT Obon lanterns photo by Aiko Chikaba)

The Lantern of Wisdom

I always leave one high-efficiency LED light on in the hallway and open the door just a crack when I go to bed.  At some point in middle school, I stopped sleeping with my Snoopy nightlight, and for many years, I tried to make my room as dark as possible before going to bed.  Even a little bit of light in the room would make it hard for me to get to sleep.  That habit changed suddenly for me one night almost ten years ago, shortly after my wife and I moved to Oxnard, California, where I had received my first assignment as a minister in the Buddhist Churches of America.  We were settling into life in California and getting used to living in a spacious single-family home after having spent a couple of years in a tiny downtown Kyoto apartment.  Our entire Kyoto apartment would have fit inside the kitchen of our Oxnard house.

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Shared Ancestors

As summer vacation draws to a close we prepare to welcome the Autumn Equinox with our Ohigan Service on Sunday, September 23. Looking back on the lively season of temple activities that we enjoy between our bazaar in late June and our Obon in mid-August, I fondly recall the week of our Summer Terakoya Buddhist summer camp, when the sound of joyful children’s voices could be heard all day long at the temple.

This year our theme for Terakoya was Buddhist Holidays from around the world that commemorate important events in the life of Sakyamuni Buddha.
Continue reading “Shared Ancestors”