Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin 報恩講法要

January 14, 2024

Guest Speaker

Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara

御講師

桑原 浄信

Resident Minister

Berkeley Buddhist Temple

We invite you to join us in person or from the safety and comfort of your own home via Zoom Meeting for our for our annual Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin on Sunday, January 14, 2024 at 9:30 a.m.  

This service will also include the Installation of Officers for the temple Board of Trustees led by Temple President David Chin and the Buddhist Women’s Association led by Co-Presidents Grace Kanomata and Doris Murai.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyōfu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Mindfulness Meditation
9:30 a.m. Ho’onko Service
  English Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara

  Installation of Officers for the SMBT Board of Trustees 
  Installation of Officers for Buddhist Women’s Association
10:45 a.m. 日本語法話 桑原 浄信 
  Japanese Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara

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

自宅からご参拝され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。

Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 31)

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

We welcome you to join us in person or via Zoom Meeting on Wednesday, December 13 for this free Dharma Study Class.

6:00 p.m. Shōshinge Sōfu Chanting

Chanting Shōshinge embodies the heart of daily Nembutsu practice in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.  Join us to experience the settled the mind through focused breathing and meditative listening.

7:00 p.m. Reading and Discussion

This session will conclude our journey through the Shoshinge, which began in the Spring of 2020.  As we read this final section, we will reflect upon the significance of Shoshinge as a whole and consider the essential teachings that Shinran Shonin illuminates in his verses.

The mahasattvas and masters who spread the sutras
Save the countless beings of utter defilement and evil.
With the same mind, all people of the present, whether monk or lay,
Should rely wholly on the teachings of these venerable masters.

Continue reading “Shōshinge: Hymn of True Shinjin and the Nembutsu (Session 31)”

The Nembutsu Heard by Shinran Shonin

We hope to see you at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple on May 21, 2023 at 9:30 a.m. for our Gotan-e Service celebrating the 850th birthday of Shinran Shonin, the Buddhist teacher who we look to as the founder of our Jodo Shinshu tradition.  This year also marks the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Jodo Shinshu teaching. 

Shinran was born in Hino near Kyoto on May 21, 1173 during a time of great social turmoil in Japan when warlords battled for control of the country, severe famines caused widespread starvation, and epidemic disease took many lives.  As a young boy, Shinran surely encountered a great deal of suffering and sadness in the world around him.  At the age of nine, he became a Buddhist monk and sought refuge in the Dharma.  He arrived just before sunset on the day he was to be ordained at Shorenin Temple.  As night was beginning to fall, Jien, the head priest who would perform the ordination, told him to return the next day for the ceremony.  At that time, the young Shinran is said to have recited the following poem:

“For him who counts on tomorrow,
Like the fragile cherry blossom,
Tonight, unexpected winds may blow.”

Continue reading “The Nembutsu Heard by Shinran Shonin”

Ho’onko: the Annual Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin

 In the Jodo Shinshu School of Buddhism, it is customary to hold an annual Ho’onko 報恩講 (Pronounced HOE-OWN-KOH) Memorial Service in remembrance of Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), the Japanese Buddhist priest who we look to as the founder of our tradition.  The tradition of annual Ho’onko services was initiated by Shinran’s great-grandson Kakunyo during the 33rd Year Memorial Service for Shinran.  At the Nishi Hongwanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, the Hoonko observance is held each year from January 9th to 16th, culminating in an all-night Dharma marathon of talks by ministers from all over Japan.  This year, we will observe Ho’onko at the San Mateo Buddhist Temple on Sunday, January 22.  In temples of the Jodo Shinshu tradition, Ho’onko is considered to be the most important Buddhist service of the year.

If we conducted a survey of our Sangha members asking everyone which of our annual Buddhist services is most important, we wouldn’t be surprised to hear many responses along the lines of Hanamatsuri (Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday) or Obon (the grateful remembrance of departed loved ones that we hold every summer).  Of all the Buddhist services we observe throughout the year, why is Shinran’s Memorial Service traditionally given the most emphasis? 

Continue reading “Ho’onko: the Annual Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin”

Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin 報恩講法要

January 22, 2023

Guest Speaker

Rev. Takashi Miyaji

御講師

宮地 崇 師

Resident Minister

Southern Alameda County Buddhist Church

H.E. Kosho Ohtani Professor of Shin Buddhist Studies

Institute of Buddhist Studies

We invite you to join us in person or from the safety and comfort of your own home via Zoom Meeting for our for our annual Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 9:30 a.m.  

This service will also include the Installation of Officers for the temple Board of Trustees led by incoming Temple President David Chin and the Buddhist Women’s Association led by Co-Presidents Grace Kanomata and Doris Murai.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyōfu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Mindfulness Meditation
9:30 a.m. Ho’onko Service
  English Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Takashi Miyaji

  Installation of Officers for the SMBT Board of Trustees 
  Installation of Officers for Buddhist Women’s Association
10:45 a.m. 日本語法話 宮地 崇 師 
  Japanese Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Dr. Takashi Miyaji

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

自宅からご参拝され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。

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”

Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin 報恩講法要

January 16, 2022

Guest Speaker

Rev. Akinori Imai

御講師

今井亮徳師

Bishop Emeritus

Higashi Honganji North America and Hawaii Districts

Minister Emeritus

Berkeley Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, January 16, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.  Please do not come to the temple in person.

This service will also include the Installation of Officers for the temple Board of Trustees led by incoming Temple President David Chin and the Buddhist Women’s Association led by Co-Presidents Grace Kanomata and Doris Murai.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyōfu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Hula
9:30 a.m. Ho’onko Service
  English Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Akinori Imai

  Installation of Officers for the SMBT Board of Trustees 
  Installation of Officers for Buddhist Women’s Association
10:45 a.m. 日本語法話 今井亮徳師 
  Japanese Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Akinori Imai

To join us for this online 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、2022年1月16日の9時30分から報恩講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ここにクリックして、”Live Broadcast of Services”に登録してください。

The Path to the Pure Land: A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

7:00 p.m. via Zoom Meeting

Rev. Dr. Toshikazu Arai

Professor Emeritus

Soai University, Osaka

We invite you join us to hear Rev. Dr. Arai share insights from his recently published translation of Shinran’s record of teachings by his master Honen.  This superb translation makes Saihō-Shinan-shō available to English language readers for the first time.

CLICK HERE to purchase The Path to the Pure Land: A Translation of and Commentary on Shinran’s Saihō-Shinan-shō

To join us for this online Dharma Session, CLICK HERE and sign up for “Study Classes and Seminars”.

Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin 報恩講法要

January 10, 2021

Guest Speaker (English)

Rev. Patricia Kanaya Usuki

Minister Emeritus

San Fernando Valley Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

日本語の御講師

ワンドラ睦先生

オレンジ群仏教会

Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra

Orange County Buddhist Church

Under these extraordinary circumstances, we invite you to join us from the safety and comfort of your own home for an online Ho’onko Memorial Service for Shinran Shonin via the Zoom Meeting internet program on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.  Please do not come to the temple in person.

This service will also include the Installation of Officers for the temple Board of Trustees led by incoming Temple President David Chin and the Buddhist Women’s Association led by Co-Presidents Grace Kanomata and Doris Murai.

Schedule
8:30 a.m. Shoshinge Gyōfu Chanting
9:00 a.m. Taiso Morning Exercise with instructor Juliet Bost
9:30 a.m. Ho’onko Service
  English Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Patricia Kanaya Usuki

  Installation of Officers for the SMBT Board of Trustees 
  Installation of Officers for Buddhist Women’s Association
10:45 a.m. 日本語法話 ワンドラ睦先生 
  Japanese Language Dharma Talk by Rev. Dr. Mutsumi Wondra

To join us for this online 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、2021年1月10日の9時30分から報恩講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ここにクリックして、”Live Broadcast of Services”に登録してください。

Dharma Discussion: Dāna (July 12, 2020)

Reading and Discussion Questions

Passages referenced in the conversation

To realize shinjin oneself and to guide others to shinjin
Is among difficult things yet even more difficult.
To awaken beings everywhere to great compassion
Is truly to respond in gratitude to the Buddha’s benevolence.

Kyōgyōshinshō, Chapter on Shinjin, Section 94

Continue reading “Dharma Discussion: Dāna (July 12, 2020)”