Reedley Buddhist Church
2035 15th Street - P.O. Box 24
Reedley, CA  93654                        
Phone: (559) 638-2146

 

Email Church President, Kathy Nishinaka:   knish_1@comcast.net
Email Webmaster:  jk108@sbcglobal.net

Ministers:  Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban Fresno Betsuin
                 Rev. Alan Sakamoto, Fresno Bestuin  

 

About Us


The Reedley Buddhist Church was established in 1936 with the Rev. Rijun Katsueda becoming the first resident minister. After World War II and the relocation of the Japanese residents, the church was rebuilt in 1952-53 and the Rev. Gibun Kimura became the third minister. In 1961, the Sunday School classrooms, conference room, office, and restrooms were started and completed in 1962. A boyhood statue of Shinran Shonin was donated by Mr. Seichi Hirose of Japan and placed in the U-shaped garden. The entire project was completed and dedicated on April 15, 1967. Rev. George Shibata, our retired resident minister, began his association with the Reedley Buddhist Church in 1975 and completed 37 years in December, 2011. Rev. Hidehito Sakamoto was appointed as resident minister in March, 2012 until December, 2013.  At the present time, without a resident minister, Reedley is under the supervision of Rinban Kakei Nakagawa and Rev. Alan Sakamoto of the Fresno Betsuin Temple.

The church renovated the conference room and added a new kitchen facility in 2004. They added a new wrought iron fence surrounding the property in 2006, updated the hondo in 2007, and completed a storage building next to the small kitchen in 2008. The social hall bathrooms received an update in 2010 and in 2011 the grounds between the hall and the Japanese School building were graded and decomposed granite was added. 

The membership is approximately 137 members. The Buddhist Women's Association, the Reedley Dharma School, and the Jr. Young Buddhist Association remain active and support all activities sponsored by the church.

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Announcement:

FUNERAL BOOKLET:  An updated Reedley Buddhist Church funeral booklet has been revised.  You can download a copy by following this link.  RBC Funeral Booklet.

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Hanamatsuri 2015

Rev. Kubose was the guest minister for the 2015 Hanamatsuri Service.

 

                 

                               Our beautiful hanamido          

 

           Activities for May, 2015
 

2  Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)            7:25 am
     Hirata Family Memorial Service                                    11:00 am

3   Combined Monthly Memorial & Family Dharma
        Service (Luncheon following)                                        9:30 am

     BWA Dharma School Teachers Appreciation
         Luncheon (combined with service luncheon)             11:30 am

7   Fowler Lecture Series at the Fowler Library                    7:00 pm

9   Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)             7:25 am
     Nikkeijinkai - Conference Room                              9 am - 2:30 pm
     Hanemoto Family Memorial Service                                11:00 am

16  Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)            7:25 am

17   Combined Gotan-E & Dharma School End of Term
           Service                                                                           9:30 am

20   Church Board Meeting                                                     7:00 pm

23   Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)           7:25 am
       BWA Prepares Memorial Day Flowers                             8:00 am

24  Memorial Day Service at Church                                      7:00 pm

26   MAP Training Class - Reedley                                         6:30 am

30   Japanese Buddhist Broadcast on KBIF (900 AM)           7:25 am
        Hirahara Family - Conference Room                        9 am - 3 pm


*Bazaar Meeting postpone until June 3rd.       

                  


           Dharma School Students participated in
          the annual Parents Appreciation Program 

     

Minister's Message

Message from Rev. Kakei Nakagawa Rinban, Fresno Betsuin 
(as printed in the May, 2015 newsletter)

Saichi’s Poem - Nenbutsu Experience in
Everyday Life

     Around the beginning of the 20th century, a carpenter by the name of Saichi lived in Shimane prefecture. He was an ordinary, diligent person as one of the general public of Japan.  He was a Shin Buddhist as well as the majority of people in Shimane prefecture were.  He spent hours each day at his daily work and frequently, the resonating sound of ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu’ could be heard.
     There was nothing unordinary about everyday life in his town but there was a special uniqueness that belonged to him.  Saichi was a natural-born poet and his countless poems would become fortunate gifts for the future followers of Shin Buddhism.  Saichi could not stop expressing his everyday experiences into series of poems. His experiences when he recited the Nenbutsu were the resources of his poems.
     Saichi, along with the other devout followers of Shin Buddhism in his town recited the Nenbutsu thousands of times each day.  Saying ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu’ is the Buddha-as-words that Saichi’s ‘true-self’ has pronounced.  Immediately Saichi’s ‘real-self’ hear the voice of Shahkyamuni-Buddha’s duplicating Rennyo’s 15
th century tone, based on the six syllables.
     Sometimes during his series of Nenbutsu recitation, his ‘Kokoro (heart/mind = soul)’ shook when hearing the Nenbutsu from his mouth.  The ‘true-Saichi’ appears and asks questions to the ‘real-Saichi’ like the following:                                       1

"O Saichi, let me have what your understanding is."
"Yes, yes, I will:
How miserable, how miserable!
“Na-nn ma-nn da-bu, Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"
"Is that all, O Saichi?
It will never do."
"Yes, yes, it will do, it will do.
According to Saichi's understanding,
Ki and hoh are one:
The ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu ' is no other than he himself.
This is indeed Saichi's understanding:
He has flowers in both hands,
Taken away in one way and given as gift in another way."

(He wrote the Nenbutsu in two ways in his notebook as ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu’ and ‘Namu Amida Butsu’.  I standardize to ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu’ at this time because born and raised in Shimane prefecture, Saichi used the Shimane dialect in daily life.  He, as well as other Shimane people certainly pronounced it in this way.  ‘Namu Amida Butsu’ is an innocent scholastic term that appeared at his time and it ignored the original phonogram that was pronounced with six syllables.)

     How happy I am for this favor! " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"
     Now I know where to deposit all my amassed delusions:
     It is where the
ki and the hoh are one--
     The " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu."

       Such a Buddha! he is really a good Buddha!
       He follows me wherever I go,
       He takes hold of my heart.
       The saving voice of the six syllables
       Is heard as the oneness of the
ki and the hoh--
       As the " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu."
       I have altogether no words for this;
       How sweet the mercy!

2

       "O Saichi, what is your pleasure?"
       "My pleasure is this world of delusion;
       Because it turns into the seed of delight in the
Dharma 
       (
hoh)."
       " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu, Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"

       "O Saichi, when you die, who will be your companion to the    
             Land of Bliss?"
 "As to me, Emma-san will be my companion."
"O Saichi, you tell us such tales again.
Who has ever gone to the Land of Bliss with Emma-san as 
       companion?
O Saichi, you'd better not tell us such nonsense anymore."
"In spite of your remark, I say you are mistaken;
Have you not read this in the 'Songs'?
'Emma, Great Lord of Justice, respects us; together with lords of the five paths, he stands as guardian day and night.'
You too should rejoice in the company of Emma-sama--
Here is Na-nn ma-nn da-bu.
This world, how enjoyable with Emma-sama!
This Saichi too is guarded by Emma-sama,
This Saichi and Emma-sama both are one Na-nn ma-nn da- bu:
This is my joy!"
"O Saichi, from whom did you get such a joyous note?"
"Yes, I talked with Emma-sama himself who granted this to me--
p. 193
[He says] 'You are welcome indeed.'
How joyful! how joyful!
Na-nn ma-nn da-bu! Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"

3

      The treasure of the six syllables was given me by Oya-sama:
However much one spends of it, it is never exhausted.
The treasure grows all the more as it is used;
It is the most wondrous treasure,
And I am the recipient of the good thing.
How happy I am with the favor! " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"

"O Saichi, you say 'I am given, I am given'
 And what is it that is given you?"
"Yes, yes, I am given, I am given the Name of Amida!
And this for nothing I
Saichi is thereby set at ease.

To be set at ease means that the ki is altogether possessed [by
Oya-sama].
It is indeed Oya-sama who has taken full possession of me,
And this Oya-sama of mine is the Na-nn ma-nn da-bu.'

Saichi has his heart revealed by Amida's mirror,
How happy for the favor! " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"
" Na-nn ma-nn da-bu, Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"
" Na-nn ma-nn da-bu, Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"

"Saichi's illness, is it cured by swallowing the Na-nn ma-nn da-    bu '?"
"O, no!"
"If so, how is it cured?"
"Yes, Saichi's illness is cured when it is swallowed up by the ‘Na-nn ma-nn da-bu’ sama.'"
Saichi is now bodily swallowed up by the pill of the six sylla bles,
And within the six syllables he leads a life of gratitude.
His life of gratitude is indeed a mystery,
The mystery of mysteries this!
How happy I am with the favor!
" Na-nn ma-nn da-bu!"

Saichi’s journey started with the conversation between his true-self and real-self.  And gradually, a gap between of his true-self and real-self narrowed.  His Dharma-experience is getting deeper and deeper within him.

4

What is Saichi's understanding of the " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu
Yes, I am an adopted child of " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu."
How do you understand a life of gratitude?
As to being grateful, sometimes I remember it, sometimes I do not.
Really, a wretched man I am!

5

"O Saichi, who is Nyorai-san?"
"He is no other than myself."
"Who is the founder [of the Shin teaching]?"
"He is no other than myself."
"What is the canonical text?"
"It is no other than myself."
The ordinary man's heart has no fixed root,
Yet this rootless one takes delight in the
Hoh [i.e., Dharma];
This is because he is given Oya's heart--
The heart of " Na-nn ma-nn da-bu."

 

The conversation between his true-self and real-self continued until death at the age of 83 years.  Before the end of his journey, Saichi’s ‘Kokoro’ reached the realm of Buddhahood.  His true-self and real-self had already become one and there was no doubt at all on his future.

Saichi’s mind is like the gourd on water,

Floating all the time,

Blown by the winds, it flows on floating

To the realm of true and real Buddhahood.

Asahara Saichi (1859-1932) was just one of the millions of Nenbutsu practitioners after the Rennyo the master of Honganji (1415~1499)’s propagation, we can trace the process of his spiritual awakenings through everyday Nenbutsu experiences on his poems. 

Gassho with Na-mu a-mi-ta-bha, the estimated six syllables of ??kyamuni Buddha’s tone in 7 th~6th century B.C.E in India, which simply heard by me “I never abandon you, all times in everywhere”

Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban

 

 


Minister's Message
        Message from Rev. Alan Sakamoto, Fresno Betsuin
           (as printed in the May, 2015 newsletter)

                            Dharma Distractions

The other day I was reading an article about a gentleman who left the busy and hectic life in the city for a week in the rural setting of Montana. He wrote, “My days are filled with emails, pings, and notifications. So much so that I forgot what it was like to be away from all of the distractions of technology I’ve grown accustomed to.” I thought this article was very good, and would like to summarize some of his points here in this month’s article.

His first point was, “I have a lot more thoughts than I realized.” He didn’t watch movies, listen to music, or play video games for a whole week. He noted that he had to time to think about things, and how much frivolous time was spent consumed with all those extracurricular activities. It was rather meditative and he encouraged us all to take time to get away from all those daily distractions.

The next point was, “I don’t really need my phone as much as I thought.” How many times during the day do you glance at your phone? Do you ever think how lost you would be without all the information on your phone, like contacts, calendars, to do lists, etc.? What will happen if there is a problem at work or emergency? He spent a week at a cabin with only Internet inside the cabin, and no cell phone connectivity. It was difficult to get used to the separation and the incessant need to always check in, but he noted that he didn’t need to check in all the time, and those problems that arose, could be handled by someone else. Now, this may seem revolutionary, but after all, what did we do before cell phones? Cell phones aren’t the problem. The problem is that we are too attached to them. Before I moved to Fresno, Renka and I went to Italy. However, I lost my cell phone before I got on the plane. I felt terrible. Then I realized, as each day without the phone passed, that I didn’t need to look at it all the time. It was an awakening!

The third point was, “It felt good to define work boundaries.” He was only able to work in the cabin since that was where the Internet was connected. He also established working hours and limits so he could maximize time spent with his family. Do you bring work home with you? He has a great quote, “work should be focused, efficient, and only part of your life.” I think that says it all.

Another point was, “Time became a blessing not a curse.” Time slowed down; or rather he began to see the time available as a blessing because he never seemed to have enough time. What about you? Maybe you need to say “NO” to some people who ask too much of your time, or those projects that seem important, but aren’t truly important.

The last point he made was, “I became much more appreciative of the little things.” He was able to focus on the tasks at hand. He began to APPRECIATE life! Imagine that.

That is certainly what I would like to accentuate more in my life, an unlimited and boundless appreciation for everything and everyone in my life. Many times we get caught up in the “Rat Race,” and we lose track of our own lives, or at least what should be important in our lives. I can relate to each and every one of his points. I’ve been there! As a matter of fact,

I’m one of those people who is attached to his cell phone. It seems like it is my own contact with the outside world, and what better device to use when I want to escape reality by watching a movie or playing a game. All of these distractions take our attention away from the importance of the Buddha Dharma. They are all distractions from the importance of the Dharma. Do we all need to be taken away to the rural countryside of Montana to learn this lesson, or perhaps, we need to experience the sudden demise of someone we know to shake the foundation upon which we work and live. I hope not. I hope that a simple newsletter article can point us all in the right direction.

I go to the Buddha for guidance.

I go to the Dharma for guidance.

I go to the Sangha for guidance.

Rev. Alan Sakamoto