The Sangha Treasure

I hope this message finds you well, and that you are receiving comfort and clarity from the boundless wisdom and compassion of Amida Buddha in these stressful times.  As my good friend Rev. Harry Gyokyo Bridge of the Buddhist Church of Oakland reminded me in a recent e-mail, “Don’t forget to say the Nembutsu.”  Even if our minds drift from Amida Buddha, Amida Buddha never forgets us.

In keeping with the guidance for preventing the further spread of Covid-19 infections provided by the San Mateo County Health Department, the San Mateo Buddhist Temple plans to remain closed for in-person activities throughout the month of April.

The April Shotsuki Memorial will be postponed to a later date.

The Hanamatsuri Celebration of the Buddha’s Birthday will be conducted via live internet broadcast as scheduled on the morning of Sunday, April 19 at 9:30 a.m.

We are working to provide regular opportunities for our community to take comfort in the Sangha and find guidance in the Buddhadharma as we face the many challenges presented by this coronavirus outbreak.  One simple thing you can do is pick up the telephone and call your friends and relatives to check in. 

While we are not able to gather in person, there are now many opportunities to take part in temple activities by telephone and through online programs.  If you are comfortable using communication technology, please consider supporting your less technologically-inclined friends and family members, so they can maintain this vital link to the Sangha.

If you prefer to participate by telephone, simply call us at (650) 342-2541, and we will add you to a list for telephone updates.  We are also developing a set of e-mail distribution lists to provide you with the specific information you seek, without overwhelming your inbox in this time when we are relying heavily on our e-mail accounts to maintain essential lines of communication.  You will only receive messages regarding the categories you select when you subscribe.  You may unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time.  Subscribe to the lists.

You may also e-mail me at with your preferences and I will add you to the lists of your choice.

You may choose updates from the following categories:

Live Broadcast of Services: Services will continue to be broadcast live over the internet every Sunday.  You may also call in to listen to the service over the phone.  Details for how to view or call in to that week’s service will be provided each week.

Dharma School: We are working on plans for Dharma School Activities that your family can participate in from home.  As a parent of two school-age children myself, I recognize that our Dharma School families are scrambling to balance working from home, attending to our children, and implementing the distance learning programs that our heroic school educators have managed to create on very short notice.  Nevertheless, in the midst of this hectic and stressful time, there are opportunities for gratitude as families are reunited in the home in a way that is increasingly rare these days.

Study Classes and Seminars: Our Sunday Adult Discussion program is continuing using internet and telephone conferencing.  I’ll be surveying interested Sangha members to identify the best days and times for additional Dharma conversations and study activities, as we adjust our schedules to implement social distancing.

Community Service (ex. Support for Homebound Elders)

While we work to identify needs for community support in areas such as shopping for groceries or picking up prescriptions from the pharmacy, we can begin by reaching out by phone to our fellow Sangha members to provide social and emotional support, which is so vital as we navigate these stressful times in a state of social distancing.

The psychological and emotional impact of extended isolation is hard on everyone, particularly our elders.  Regular intellectual stimulation is key to maintaining wellness, and for many in our community, the temple is their primary provider of those precious interactions.  While we are not able to gather in person at the moment, a simple phone conversation can do wonders for maintaining spiritual and emotional vitality.  We are recruiting volunteers to call up our Sangha friends on the phone to check in and have a friendly conversation.

日本語の法話: Japanese Language Services and Dharma Talks will be broadcast by telephone and online.

General Announcements: We will provide updates and announcements regarding temple events such as Shotsuki Hoyo Memorial, Memorial Day Cemetery Services and Bazaar.

Feel free to call Rev. Henry at (650) 342-2541 anytime if you have questions, concerns, or would just like to chat.

Namo Amida Butsu