Sangha Voices: Juliet Bost

Sangha Voices is a collection of profiles and perspectives featuring our temple members. In this installment, Juliet Bost (San Mateo Buddhist Women’s Association Corresponding Secretary and Young Buddhist Editorial member) speaks about their experience growing up participating in temple activities and connection to the Dharma.

Juliet Bost

My name is Juliet Bost and I use they/them/theirs pronouns. My family moved to San Mateo from New Jersey in 2013 and first attended Palo Alto Buddhist Temple before transitioning to the San Mateo Buddhist Temple in 2015. Going to temple was a “return” to Jodo Shinshu for my family, a tradition from my grandfather’s family that we wanted to uphold.

Continue reading “Sangha Voices: Juliet Bost”

Sangha Voices: David Chin

Sangha Voices is a collection of profiles and perspectives featuring our temple members. For our very first profile, David Chin, the current temple president, shares how he came to be involved with San Mateo Buddhist Temple.

David Chin

My name is David Chin and I have been going to the San Mateo Buddhist Temple since 1991. I have been here through the more traditional route of attending Dharma School as a young kid. My parents and I had just moved over from New York to start elementary school here in San Mateo. My Mom and her grandparents are from here and my grandma was still teaching Dharma School at the time. Everything about the temple was still new too me and I did not really understand even reciting Namu Amida Bustu. Being so young and shy, I barely spoke out loud when saying the nembutsu. I basically whispered it under my breath during class and when ever I had to go up for oshoko.

Of course, eventually I got more comfortable around the temple and now think of it as my second home. It is hard to say what impact a place or community has on you when it has essentially always been there in your life. Being part of a larger community is something I only realized the value of later during high school and college by really becoming friends with people that did not have the same in their own lives. Being Buddhist and being part of this temple is an integral part of my identity and likely how I approach life. I imagine I would be a quite different person if we had stayed back in New York and I never became part of a Sangha.

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.

Continue reading “Memories of San Mateo Buddhist Temple’s First Obon”


Panelists: Miyuki Friedman, Toshinori Saiki, and Akira Uramoto

Japanese Language Session: the Food and the Dharma

The Food and the Sangha at SMBT Bazaar

Panelists: Grace Kanomata, Donald Lee, and Carrie Yoshimoto

Everyone’s favorite topic! Discover the history of some of our favorite SMBT bazaar food items.

The Buddhas Little Children at SMBT Bazaar

Panelists: Wesley Mukai, Hishi Oto, Roy Suruki, and Yuko Suruki

Hear a conversation about the significance of the bazaar and the temple in the lives of children.

Creating the Space at SMBT Bazaar

Panelists: Rodger Fujinaga, Victor Iwamura, Suzy Lee, and William Tsukida

Learn more about what goes into preparing for bazaar and efforts to carry on cherished traditions.

The History of SMBT Bazaar

Panelists: Ritsuko Furuya, Michiko Mukai and Ruth Wada

Hear memories of the early days of the SMBT bazaar and temple life from long-serving members.

Living as a Buddhist in a Christian Society

Voices of the Nembutsu Echoing in America, No. 5

From Hongwanji Journal, No. 3366, Thursday, February 20, 2020

(Translation by H. Adams)

Michael Ishikawa (age 57) is a third generation Japanese American.  Apart from the two days a week when he receives dialysis treatments, he begins each morning by chanting Shoshinge at the obutsudan Buddha shrine in his home in San Mateo, California.  On Sundays, he also attends services at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple.

              He says, “Shoshinge is the most important chanting practice for me.  I find the opening lines ‘I take refuge in the Tathagata of Immeasurable Life! / I entrust myself to the Buddha of Inconceivable Light!’ to be deeply meaningful.  To me, these words contain Shinran Shonin’s feeling of gratitude toward Amida Tathagata.  I deeply appreciate the heart of Shinran Shonin who expresses his gratitude to Amida Tathagata at the start of the Shoshinge.”

              Born to Christian parents, Mr. Ishikawa was baptized as a young child.  He attended church until the age of sixteen but did not feel at home with the Christian teachings. 

Continue reading “Living as a Buddhist in a Christian Society”