Heading to the Western Shore

Prior to coming to the San Mateo Buddhist Temple, I served for three and half years at the Oxnard Buddhist Temple and the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara.  One day, a Dharma friend in Santa Barbara called me to say that a church member by the name of Mr. Baba was in the hospital and would be cheered by a visit from me.  Mr. Baba was 95 years old, and while born in the United States, had spent much of his childhood in Japan.  He would attend every service I led at the Buddhist Church of Santa Barbara smartly dressed in a suit and tie.  He was a man of few words who listened to the Dharma with deep attention.

At that time, our eldest son had just turned one year old, so I was still getting used to life as a parent and feeling a little frazzled.  When I stepped into Mr. Baba’s hospital room, there were various medical devices beeping and clicking at his bedside.  He immediately greeted me, saying, “Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit me.”  I asked him how he was feeling, and he responded warmly, “So-so, but I’m still here.  How is your wife and your baby boy?”

The visit lasted about thirty minutes.  As I recalled our conversation on the drive home, I felt a little sheepish when it struck me that we had spent more time talking about my family than how Mr. Baba was doing.  He seemed much more interested in the people around him than his own health problems.   

A few days later, I received a call from Mr. Baba’s daughter informing me that he had crossed over to the Other Shore.  He may have been aware that the time for his birth in the Pure Land was drawing near at the time when I visited him in the hospital.  As one who had deeply heard the teaching of Amida Buddha’s compassionate vow, Mr. Baba was free from all worry, knowing that his birth in the realm of peace and bliss was settled.

Few people are able to enjoy good health to the age of 95 the way that Mr. Baba had.  Looking at the world around us, we are reminded that we may cross over to the Other Shore at any moment.  This truth is expressed in the following words from Rennyo Shonin’s “Letter on White Ashes”:

Who in this world today can maintain a human form for even a hundred years? There is no knowing whether I will die first or others, whether death will occur today or tomorrow. We depart one after another more quickly than the dewdrops on the roots or the tips of the blades of grasses. So it is said. Hence, we may have radiant faces in the morning, but by evening we may turn into white ashes.

In this month of March, we observe our Spring Ohigan Service.  Ohigan means “Other Shore,” and is observed on the equinox when the sun sets directly in the west.  This is a time to reflect our journey from this world of suffering, across the ocean of birth-and-death, to arrive at the Other Shore of awakening.  Our journey to the world of awakening does not begin at the moment of death.  Each day of our lives is a precious opportunity to direct our minds to the Pure Land of wisdom and compassion.

A person like Mr. Baba who deeply hears the truth of the Buddha’s teachings lives each moment of their lives with their mind directed toward Amida Buddha’s land in the west.  Cherishing each encounter with fellow travelers on this shore as he approached his own birth in the Pure Land, he proceeded to the west with a settled mind in the Nembutsu.

Namo Amida Butsu

Spring Ohigan Equinox Service

March 17, 2024

Guest Speaker

Rev. Blake Honda

Ministerial Candidate

Institute of Buddhist Studies


We warmly welcome you to join us in person at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple or via Zoom Meeting for our Spring Ohigan Equinox Service on Sunday, March 17, 2024 at 9:30 a.m.

2024年3月17日の9時30分から春季彼岸会をお勤めします。

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (Click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Mindfulness Mediation
9:30 a.m. Spring Ohigan Equinox Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Blake Honda
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 アダムス・ヘンリー先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Henry Adams (本堂 Hondo)
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion with Rev. Blake Honda (Sangha Room)

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

オンラインで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。

Autumn Ohigan Equinox Service

September 24, 2023

Guest Speaker

Rev. Etsuko Mikame

San Jose Buddhist Church Betsuin

御講師

三瓶悦子先生

サンノゼ別院

We warmly welcome you to join us in person at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple or via Zoom Meeting for our Autumn Ohigan Equinox Service on Sunday, September 24, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

2023年9月24日の9時30分から秋季彼岸会をお勤めします。

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (Click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Online Tour of BCA Art Exhibit
9:30 a.m. Autumn Ohigan Equinox Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Etsuko Mikame
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 三瓶悦子先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Etsuko Mikame (本堂 Hondo)
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion (Sangha Room)

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

オンラインで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。

Spring Ohigan Equinox Service

March 19, 2023

Guest Speaker

Rev. Ken Yamada

Editor

Shinshu Center of America

We warmly welcome you to join us in person at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple or via Zoom Meeting for our Spring Ohigan Equinox Service on Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.

2022年9月25日の9時30分から秋季彼岸会をお勤めします。

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (Click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Sangha Social Hour
9:30 a.m. Autumn Ohigan Equinox Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Ken Yamada
10:30 a.m.

  • Dharma Discussion with Rev. Ken Yamada
  • 日本語法話 アダムス・ヘンリー先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Henry Adams

All ages are welcome to join without prior registration.

本堂でお参りされる方は事前要約は必要ありません。

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

オンラインで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。

Caring and Being Cared For

As the summer comes to an end and we prepare to welcome the change of seasons with our Autumn Ohigan Equinox Service, we turn our minds to the working of great compassion as we consider the causes and conditions that have sustained our lives up to this point and look to the light of wisdom to clarify our path forward to a life of peace and bliss. 

Over this past summer, my family and I had a chance to visit my grandmother at the assisted living in Iowa where she is now living.  She was alert and energetic during our visit and kindly shared stories that I had never heard before of her life growing up as a city girl in Kansas City, Missouri, and then adjusting to life on a farm in rural Iowa after she married my grandfather.

Continue reading “Caring and Being Cared For”

Autumn Ohigan Equinox Service

September 25, 2022

Guest Speaker

Rev. Kodo Umezu

Bishop Emeritus

Buddhist Churches of America

御講師

梅津広道先生

前北米開教区開教総長

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 Autumn Ohigan Equinox Service on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

2022年9月25日の9時30分から秋季彼岸会をお勤めします。

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting (Click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Sangha Social Hour
9:30 a.m. Autumn Ohigan Equinox Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Kodo Umezu
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 梅津広道先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Kodo Umezu

All ages are welcome to join without prior registration.

本堂でお参りされる方は事前要約は必要ありません。

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

オンラインで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。

Spring Ohigan (Equinox) Service

March 27, 2022

We invite you to join us for our Spring Ohigan Service on Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Social Hour
9:30 a.m. Spring Ohigan Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 Japanese Language Dharma Message

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。

You may also join us via Zoom for this Dharma Service. To receive the link, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Live Broadcast of Services”.

Autumn Ohigan (Equinox) Service

September 19, 2021

Guest Speaker (English)

Rev. Landon Yamaoka

Minister’s Assistant

Palo Alto Buddhist Temple

日本語の御講師

原真理先生

Rev. Shinri Hara

浄土宗ハワイ開教区

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Autumn Ohigan Service via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, September 21, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.  Please do not come to the temple in person.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Morning Exercise Program
9:30 a.m. Autumn Ohigan Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Landon Yamaoka
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 原真理先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Shinri Hara

To join us for this online Autumn Ohigan 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秋季彼岸会を行います。

そこで、2020年9月21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。

Spring Ohigan (Equinox) Service

March 21, 2021

Guest Speaker

(English)

Rev. CJ Dunford

Buddhist Temple of Marin

Check out Rev. Dunfords’s messages on the Buddhist Temple of Marin YouTube Channel

日本語の御講師

大内祐真先生

トロント仏教会

Toronto Buddhist Church

大内先生のご紹介

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Spring Ohigan Service via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyofu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with instructor Juliet Bost
9:30 a.m. Spring Ohigan Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. CJ Dunford
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 大内祐真先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Yoshimichi Ouchi

To join us for this online Spring Ohigan 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春季彼岸会を行います。

そこで、2021年3月21日の9時30分から春季彼岸会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。

Autumn Ohigan (Equinox) Service

September 20, 2020

Guest Speaker (English)

Rev. Diana Thompson

Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple

Check out Rev. Thompson’s messages on the Tri-State Denver Buddhist Temple Website

日本語の御講師

林斉昭先生

恵光寺(ワシントンDC)

Ekōji Buddhist Temple

林先生のご紹介

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Autumn Ohigan Service via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, September 20, 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. Autumn Ohigan Dharma Service with English Language Message by Rev. Diana Thompson
10:30 a.m. 日本語法話 林斉昭先生 Japanese Language Dharma Message by Rev. Nari Hayashi

To join us for this online Autumn Ohigan 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秋季彼岸会を行います。

そこで、2020年9月20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。