No Light Shines Brighter than Wisdom (September 11)

On Sunday, September 11 at 9:30 a.m., we welcome you to join us at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple as we begin a new Dharma School year!

Our theme for this year will be the Sanbutsuge (Verses in Praise of the Buddha), a section of the Sutra on the Buddha of Immeasurable Life, that we often chant during our services. This week Rev. Adams will share the story of the Sanbutsuge and how the Buddha’s wisdom is the light that guides us through the journey of life.

Your radiant countenance is majestic,
And your dignity is boundless.
Radiant splendor such as yours
Has no equal
.

Even the blazing light of
The sun, moon, and mani-jewels
Is completely hidden and obscured,
And looks like a mass of black ink-sticks
.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Sangha Social Hour
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Dharma Discussion

All ages are welcome to join in-person without prior registration. 

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

Parents and Children

In the month of May we observe our Gōtan-e Service celebrating the birth of Shinran Shonin, the founder of our Jodo Shinshu school of Buddhism.  During the Gōtan-e Service, we place a statue of Shinran Shonin as a young boy in the temple hall and recall the story of his childhood.    May is also the month in which we celebrate Mother’s Day and express the gratitude and appreciation we feel for the mothers in our lives.  As we observe these two holidays of Gōtan-e and Mother’s Day, the month of May provides us with precious occasions to reflect upon the karmic bond between parents and children.  The parental figures in our lives are not limited to our biological parents.  Grandparents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are other examples of those who can provide the care and guidance of a parent in our lives.

According to tradition, Shinran Shonin was separated from his mother at a young age and left home to receive ordination as a Buddhist monk at the age of nine.   While the time that Shinran spent living with his mother and father was brief, he had a profound sense of receiving parental love and care in his life. 

Continue reading “Parents and Children”

Women Become Buddhas (April 17)



The unequal treatment of women has been a problem in human society since ancient times. Sakyamuni Buddha addressed this problem when he taught Amida Buddha’s 35th Vow, which affirms the realization of Buddhahood by women. This week’s Dharma Talk will reflect on how the 35th Vow has inspired generations of Nembutsu followers to show great courage in seeking the Dharma and maintaining inclusive communities.

When I attain Buddhahood, the women throughout the countless and inconceivable Buddha‐worlds in the ten quarters, having heard my name, will rejoice in entrusting heart, awaken the mind aspiring for enlightenment, and wish to renounce the state of being discriminated against as a women. If, after the end of their lives, they should continue to suffer from discrimination against women, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

(H. Adams Translation)

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Mindful Meditation with Dr. April Chun
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Japanese Dharma Service

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

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。

Becoming Soft and Gentle in Body and Mind (April 3)

When we become set in our ways, it feels burdensome to disrupt our comfortable routine in order to care for others. Amida Buddha’s 33rd Vow affirms that the light of the Buddha’s wisdom softens the hard stubbornness of our minds and gives us the flexibility to be helpful toward others:

When I attain Buddhahood, the sentient beings throughout the countless and inconceivable Buddha‐worlds in the ten quarters, having received my light and having been touched by it, will become soft and gentle in body and mind, surpassing humans and devas in those qualities. Should it not be so, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with Juliet and Grace Bost (pre-recorded)
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

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

Amida Buddha Has Time for Everyone (January 30)

When we get caught up in the busyness of everyday life, it can feel like we don’t have time to be present for the people we care about.  Dharma Service is an opportunity to pause and enjoy a moment of mindfulness of Amida Buddha, whose 13th Vow expresses the Buddha’s commitment to be an enduring presence of compassion for all beings:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my life should be finite, limited even to a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of kalpas, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

*Kotis and nayutas are very large numbers. A kalpa is a very long period of time.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Social Hour: Share your thoughts and feelings about the big game!
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Japanese Language Service 日本語の法要

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

Dispelling the Darkness of Delusion (January 9)

The name of Amida Buddha means “Awakened One of Immeasurable Light.”  In this Sunday’s Dharma Talk, Rev. Adams will look to the 12th Vow of Amida Buddha, which expresses the Buddha’s commitment to shine the light of wisdom into our lives, dispelling the darkness of delusion:

If, when I attain Buddhahood, my light should be finite, not illuminating even a hundred thousand kotis of nayutas of Buddha‐lands, may I not attain the perfect enlightenment.

*kotis and nayutas are very large numbers

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Sofu Chanting (click here for chanting text)
9:00 a.m. Taiso exercise with Juliet and Grace Bost
9:30 a.m. Dharma Service
10:30 a.m. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service

To preserve the health and safety of our Sangha given the ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections in San Mateo County, this service will be held via Zoom only, without in-person Sangha attendees in the Hondo.

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

Sangha Speaker Juliet Bost “Reflecting on Wisdom, Joy, and Authenticity”

San Mateo Buddhist Women’s Association Corresponding Secretary and Young Buddhist Editorial member Juliet Bost shares a Dharma Talk on the topic of “Reflecting on Wisdom, Joy, and Authenticity”

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

Transcript

Continue reading “Sangha Speaker Juliet Bost “Reflecting on Wisdom, Joy, and Authenticity””

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 2)

We continue to explore the meaning of the Shōshinge and how it applies to our daily lives, focused on the verses:

Bodhisattva Dharmakara, in his causal stage,
Under the guidance of Lokesvararaja Buddha,

Searched into the origins of the Buddhas’ pure lands,
And the qualities of those lands and their men and devas;

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 2)”

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu ( Session 1)

In this first session in the Shōshinge Study Class Series, we explore the meaning of the Shōshinge and how it applies to our daily lives, beginning with the opening verse: I take refuge in the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life!
I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu ( Session 1)”

Dharma Discussion: Wisdom/Prajñā (August 23, 2020)

Click here to read about the Buddhist Virtue of Wisdom

Discussion Questions

  1. What is a difficult situation that Buddhist wisdom has enabled you to accept with peace of mind?
  2. What is a difficult situation that Buddhist wisdom has given you to courage to work to change?
Continue reading “Dharma Discussion: Wisdom/Prajñā (August 23, 2020)”