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. From January, 2014 through July 2015, the church was under the supervision of the Fresno Betsuin. In August, 2015, Reedley had three ministers under a shared system of the seven temples of the Central California District Council of the Buddhist Churches of America: Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rev. Alan Sakamoto, and Rev. Matthew Hamasaki. The shared system is coordinated by the Central California Ministers' Association, the CCDC Ministerial Advisory Committee, and the staff of the Fresno Betsuin. In December, 2016, Rev. Alan Sakamoto retired from the BCA. Rev. Matthew Hamasaki left in January, 2018, to become the minister in Sacramento, and Rev. Kaz Nakata was assigned to the Central California in August, 2019. At the present time, Rev. Nakagawa and Rev. Nakata are the supervising ministers of the Reedley Buddhist Church.
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. In October, 2017 the church grounds between the hall the Japanese School building were cemented, and in January, 2018, a solar panel system went into service to minimize the utility costs.
The membership is approximately 110 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.
The Reedley Buddhist Church welcomes you to join us at any service and encourages new members to join our organization.
Due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) all in person services are canceled during the month of January.
There are services online each Sunday at 10:00 AM. Please follow the link: https://mobile.twitter.com/fresno_nishi You can also watch the service afterwards since they are recorded.
Rev. Nakata and Rev. Nakagawa are providing Sunday Dharma Talks. Please go to https://mobile.twitter.com/fresno_nishi on Sunday at 10:00 AM to stream live.
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
January, 2021 Newsletter Article
1 Shusho-E (New Year’s Day)
Service ONLINE from Fresno 10:00 AM
3 RBC Board Installation Service 9:30 AM
3 CC Family Dharma Service and
Monthly Memorial Service
ONLINE from Reedley 10:00 AM
10 CC Family Dharma Service
ONLINE from Parlier 10:00 AM
17 CC Hoonko & Family Dharma
Service ONLINE from Visalia 10:00 AM
23 RBC General Meeting on Zoom 2:00 PM
24 CC Family Dharma Service
ONLINE from Fresno 10:00 AM
31 CC Family Dharma Service
ONLINE from Fowler 10:00 AM
SUNDAY SERVICE ONLINE LINK:
A Happy New Year to You
~I hope that this New Year will be the
happiest and the best yet~
On January 1st, we observe “Shushoh-ye” (New Year gathering) with a service. The New Year’s celebration is the most important annual event in Japan's society and lasts for seven days in all the temples throughout Japan. Homes are cleaned and debts must be paid before New Year's Day. “O-Shohgatsu” (New Year’s Day customs) exceedingly vary from prefecture to prefecture, but the foods and decorations all have to do with symbols of long life, happiness, luckiness, prosperity, and fertility.
What do you think is the happiest and luckiest life for the Buddha-dharma followers? It must be our lives knowing the true and real meaning of our Universe (Buddha-dharma) and living with no delusion.
There are three seals of Buddha-dharma:
*Anitya (in Indian Sanskrit)
Sho-gyoh mu-joh諸行無常(in Chinese) : <属性> Is-sai kai-ku一切皆苦
Everything in this Universe is changing moment by moment.
< Attribute > All existence in this universe can never be controlled.
*Anātma (in Indian Sanskrit)
Sho-Hoh mu-ga諸法無我 (in Chinese) : <属性> Is-sai Shoh-ki一切性起
Everything in this Universe has no entity; so Nothing can exist by itself.
< Attribute > All existence in this universe is originated inter-dependently.
*Nirvāna (in Indian Sanskrit)
Ne-han Jaku-joh涅槃寂静 (in Chinese): <属性> Is-sai kai-kuh一切皆空
Buddhahood is total relaxation.
< Attribute > All existence in this universe is occurring moment by moment in the state of Void-ness as Dependent Origination.
Once people realize these truth-realities, even in the unconscious level, their lifestyle turns positive and optimistic. Nothing fictitious could become an obstacle in their lives.
We could change the course of our lives freely anytime when we recognize it may be wrong or not appropriate. We don’t care about anything prepossessed because nothing was decided in advance before we were born. We are now creating our own lives moment by moment right here in Central California.
New Year’s Day becomes a symbolic day for starting over a new life. Particularly, the New Year’s Wishes are important for the Buddha-dharma followers. Even in present Japan, millions of people visit temples or shrine and report this year’s wish to the Buddha or the Shinto gods on the very first day of the year and start to make it real.
If you think you were unfortunate in this last year, examine your acts and try to change the course of living. It is stupidity to attach what has already been done for a long time out of mere habit.
If you were fortunate in this last year, advance your wish to the higher level. There is no limit of human potentialities until someday we would reach the state for being able to establish the ultimate Wish-for-the-World, as well as attaining Buddha-hood.
Reverend Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban
Rev. Nakata's Message
January, 2021 Newsletter Article
The teaching of Amitabha
(Namo Amida Butsu)
continuously teaches us how we
can appreciate our everyday life
Happy New Year to all Central California Sangha friends!
I am writing this article in mid-December. Under the new the “stay at home” directive for Central Cal since December 7, we have been unable to conduct in-person service in the Hondo, except Fresno Betsuin. I sincerely appreciate all CC temple and churches for opening their church early on Sunday and setting up their altar for our streaming services for the last nine months. As you know, the vaccine for Covid-19 has finally launched so I hope we can restart our streaming service at all CC temples and churches soon.
Over the last nine months, Covid-19 has completely changed the way we live our everyday lives. I guess the biggest change for most Americans is wearing of facemasks. In the beginning of the pandemic, many scientists and medical professionals expressed various opinions and stood opposite each other on the necessity of masks. By April, I had started seeing many people wearing masks in public. The use of facemasks was not in the American culture and many felt uncomfortable in doing so. I read a psychological research article published by Hokkaido University and the University of Glasgow, on why many Americans feel uncomfortable wearing masks. The article states that one of the main reasons is that American reads others’ mind by seeing their mouth. Blocking and covering the mouth makes them feel uncomfortable. I personally felt a longing to see them wearing masks in public. The reason I felt a longing is because people in Japan regularly wear masks in public. When I went grocery shopping in Japan, all the customers and workers were wearing masks. When I entered the store in Fresno, I was under the impression that I was in a Japanese grocery store in Japan! It was a weird experience.
When I was in an elementary school, I learned many old sayings. One of the sayings I learned was “the eyes speak more eloquently than lips” or “the eyes cannot believe one's true thoughts”. This is how majority of Japanese read others’ feelings, and the reason why they wear masks all that time was no problem. They do not need to see the mouth to know what others feel or think, because the eyes tell everything. I will share one of my experiences. I first arrived in the U.S. to the San Francisco International Airport during the summer of 2003. It was my first trip to the abroad, and first time seeing so many foreigners, Americans at that time, and many were wearing sunglasses. I was shocked to see them and said to myself “Oh my buddha! I cannot sense what they are thinking or how they are feeling. They look like an alien who has big black eyes!” I was not surprised to see a big hamburger or a steak in SF, but I had cultural shock when seeing people covering their eyes. That is why I can personally understand why many Americans felt uncomfortable covering their mouths at the beginning of the pandemic.
As I mentioned above, Covid-19 has completely changed the way how we live everyday life since March. But the teaching of the Jodo Shinshu to our everyday life does not change with the current pandemic. The teaching is an appreciation of our everyday life. Since Jodo Shinshu was founded 800 years ago, many Sangha members have overcome many pandemics and epidemics. Even Shinran Shonin himself encountered an epidemic multiple time during his lifetime. There is no manual on how to live our everyday life, but Jodo Shinshu is a guide for how we can be grateful to live our everyday life. 100 years ago, Fresno Betsuin supporters built their Hondo in the last year of the 3-year Spanish flu pandemic. It is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I am sure that the Spanish flu completely changed the way Central Californians lived, but it did not change how Central California Sangha members enjoyed their ways of living with the teaching of Namo Amida Butsu. I believe that with their appreciation of the teaching, they built the Hondo while suffering from the pandemic. I am sure that these temple events during that pandemic became the hope for all Central California Sangha members.
Recently, I wrote a main objective of our teaching in plain English. I like to share it with you.
“The teaching of Amitabha (or Namo Amida Butsu) embraces not only human beings, but also other sentient beings, and leads all to the state of equanimity, and tranquility. This state, in our tradition, is known as Sukha. Sukha is recognized to be the equivalent of one who is reached enlightenment in other Buddhist traditions. Shinran Shonin states that one of the ten main objectives of Jodo Shinshu is to enter the state of Sukha, here and now. Once reaching the state of Sukha, one can deeply appreciate everyday life with a humble and sincere attitude. Because of the simplicity of the teaching, it has been widely shared in Japan. The teaching avoids petitionary prayer, magic, or other superstitions.”
Everyone has a different way of living, and the teaching encourages us to pursue it with the sense of the gratitude. We had to change how to live our everyday life, but we do not need to take the current situation pessimistically or negatively.
As a conclusion to my article, I would like to share my message which I shared on the Thanksgiving Day in November.
“All things that began in the past will end in the future. We need to be careful, but not scared. May we all attain tranquility and equanimity.”
May all have wonderful year 2021, and I am so excited to see you in-person soon.
Reedley Board Meetings
The Reedley Buddhist Church Board has been having their meetings online using Zoom. They have met each month and discussed ways to improve procedures when we return to on site church services and activities.
The restrooms have been updated with touchless faucets, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers. Doors to the restroom do not have any handles as they are being changed to push only. An AED defibrillator was purchased for any emergencies as well.
When church services resume, we may be sitting further apart, but at least we'll be together to listen to the Dharma.
Good-bye 2020 Hello 2021!
The 2020 Joya-E Service will be held OUTDOORS at the Reedley Buddhist Church on December 31, 2020, at 3:00 PM. Please come to the area between the Japanese School building and the church hall where we will attend a SHORT service led by guest minister, Rev. Brian Nagata. Following the service, we will be ringing the kansho (108 times altogether) and sending off a historic 2020. A take home bowl of soba noodles will be given to all attending.
1. Must wear a mask to attend
2. Social distance - 6 feet apart is encouraged
3. Hand sanitizer will be available to use
4. Say good-bye to 2020!
The Shusho-E (New Year's Day) service will be held ONLINE with the Central California temples/churches on January 1, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
Go to: https://mobile.twitter.com/fresno_nishi
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
The 2021 Crab Feed and Silent Auction
will not be held due to Covid-19.
We hope to return the following year on
Saturday, March 5, 2022
The annual Reedley Buddhist Church
is tentatively scheduled for
Sunday, November 7, 2021
We hope you will mark your calendars
and come out to support us!