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.

My grandmother never imagined that she would wind up being a farmer’s wife.  My grandfather had moved to Kansas City to attend aircraft maintenance school and was working as a mechanic for Trans World Airlines when they met.  My grandfather was the only son in the family, and his sisters weren’t married yet, so it was up to him to take over the farm that had been in his mother’s side of the family since they settled in Iowa from Norway at the turn of the twentieth century. 

My grandmother shared that life on the farm was not easy compared to life in the city.  When they first arrived on the farm, my grandmother was so busy helping with chores that she was working outside more than in the house.  As they settled in, it was up to my grandmother to feed all the helpers who worked on the farm.  She had to keep expanding the gardens to grow enough vegetables to feed all the workers.  At one point, she was even planting vegetables on the edge of the farm field.  Everyone who came in from the fields and the barns was hungry, so just a few dishes at the end of the table would not be sufficient.  She had to have additional items prepared out on the porch.

My mother is the oldest of seven, with three younger brothers followed by three younger sisters, so parenting was also an important responsibility for my grandmother.  She shared how the children were given livestock to raise on their own, which they could then sell for their spending money.  The family bedrooms were upstairs in the old farmhouse.  A single walkway passed from the bathroom on one end of the house, through the children’s bedrooms, to my grandparent’s bedroom at the other end.  As children, my uncles would occasionally keep the family up making noise when they were supposed to be asleep.  The following morning my grandparents would not feel bad about the noise they made before dawn as they were getting ready to go out for the morning chores.

Listening to my grandmother’s stories, I felt a deep sense of gratitude for the dedication and perseverance that she offered with an open heart, so that I am able to live this life today. 

My grandmother cared for many people over the years.  In recent years, my mother and her siblings are taking an increasingly active role in providing for my grandmother’s needs.  In the midst of constant change and unexpected turns, the care we give to others and the care that we receive is where the deep and abiding meaning of our lives is to be found.

Were it not for the efforts and dedication of my grandmother to raise my mother and care for the family, my life today would not be possible.  Likewise, were it not for the compassionate vow of Amida Buddha, how would it be possible for me to awaken to the life of peace and bliss?  As Shinran writes:

Were it not for the ship of Amida’s Vow,
How could I cross the ocean of painful existence?

(Collected Works of Shinran, 422)

Namo Amida Butsu

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。