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. Nakata is the supervising minister 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. During the Covid pandemic, safety measures were taken and an AED was installed in the conference room, touchless features were added to the restrooms, and PPE were added so the members could safely return to church.
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.
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.
Ohigan/Monthly Memorial/Dharma Service
Sunday, September 12, 2021
The Dharma School will start its new term.
1 Dharma Service & August Shotsuki,
ONLINE from Kingsburg 10:00 am
2 Dharma Service ONLINE from Fresno 10:00 am
14 Kingsburg Obon - public invited 11:00 am
15 No online service
16 Reedley BC Board Meeting in Conference Room 7:00 pm
17 CCBWL Meeting - TBA location or Zoom 7:00 pm
18 No online service
19 No online service
SUNDAY SERVICE ONLINE LINK:
https://mobile.twitter.com/fresno_nishi (find the link here or go directly to the TWITCH TV site by clicking the
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
August, 2021 Newsletter Article
Rev. Nakata's Message
August, 2021 Newsletter Article
Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin –
Current situation of Adult Buddhist
Education and Youth Buddhist Education in Central California
Hello, all Central California Sangha friends! It is a Flaming Hot Summer! Ah-Tsu-eeee!! This is my third Summer since I have moved to Central Cal in 2019. I mow my own lawn. In May, I was doing it late afternoon. Now I must start yardwork in the early morning and finish by 9am. I am gradually learning how to deal with the hot summer.
Last month, some Central California temples and Churches hosted in-person Hatsubon/Obon Service and, or Obon Dance activities. I posted some pictures and videos from our Obon activities on Twitter. Please view them if you missed those.
I usually write an article on one of eight essential teachings of Jodo Shinshu. I have written 4 articles on this topic so far and I plan to continue writing another 4 articles. But in this article, I am writing on a different topic: “Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin.” Have you seen this word somewhere in the Central Cal temples or churches? If you are a Parlier Sangha member, you cannot say you do not know, unless you have never attended activities at Parlier Buddhist Church. In front of the entrance of the church, there is a stone monument (left to the entrance). The word, “Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin” is engraved on the front surface of the monument, and appears with Kanji letters,
学-佛-大-非-心 on it.
When I studied Jodo Shinshu at Ryukoku University in Kyoto (founded in 1639 for the purpose of ministerial training), one of my professors, Risho Ohta Kangaku told me that Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin is one of the most important activities for Jodo Shinshu Sangha. I was a freshman at that time, so I did not know what he meant. When I was a junior, I had a chance to research Zendo, (Shan-Dao), one of the seven masters in Jodo Shinshu. I found the word Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin in his commentary on the Contemplation Sutra of Jodo Shinshu.
Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin appears as a part of an introduction to his commentary. The introduction is known as Ki San Po Ge (Gatha of Taking Refuge in the Three Treasures). It is used at a traditional funeral service with a casket. So, if you have attended these services, you have probably heard it being chanted. Now I would like to share the meaning of Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin, explained by Jitsuen Kakehashi Kangaku. He is one of my favorite Jodo Shinshu Scholars.
“the word is expressed by Zendo to honor and respect people who live a life of the Buddhist way, and it means People who are always eager to learn (Gaku) the heart (Shin) of great (Dai) compassion (Ji Hi) of the Buddha, as a lifelong student. Learning the Buddhist way equals to learning the heart of great compassion as the Buddha’s intention. Hi is an abbreviation of Ji Hi, compassion. Ji is a wishing will or heart to guide all sentient beings to the state of equanimity, which is transcending human desires and hatred. Hi means empathy for pain of all sentient beings. The teaching of Amitabha Tathagata embraces us with the heart of great wishing will (Dai Ji) and great empathy (Dai Hi), and it guides us all to the state of equanimity, pure realm which has no boundaries between supporter and opposer.”
Since I have become a minister, I have always had an ambition to share the Buddhist teaching with as many people as possible. I initially started a weekly Adult Buddhist Study class at Sacramento Buddhist Church in 2004. Since then, I have held the Study class or lecture at various locations, includes at a Public-School Teachers’ Association, VA hospitals, the White House and the office of the Congress. I have conducted adult discussions right after Sunday Services since being assigned to the Central Cal district. I announced a plan of a district level Adult Buddhist Education in 2020, and started it this January. For the spring semester, more than 20 people participated in classes, and half of the participants were registered as Ministerial Assistants at CC temples and churches. I hope they have encountered and understand Gaku Butsu Dai Hi Shin through classes. I hope more and more people will join in this wonderful opportunity to reach the state of equanimity.
I also put extra effort into Youth education for the last 9 years. Currently, I teach weekly Applied Jodo Shinshu Buddhist studies to middle school and high school students (currently on summer break). It is a 2-year or 72-hour credit course. They learn Buddhist teaching in Sanskrit (original text language in India), Chinese, Tibetan, Japanese, and English. You may wonder why they are learning in so many languages. The reason is that there are so many misconceptions or misinterpretations of Buddhism in English. I asked these students to write an essay on the Buddhist teaching after they spent more than 30-hours study which included their homework. I am so honored and pleased to read their essays, because they properly understand the Buddhist teaching. It indicates that our Buddhist teaching and society will continue to 22nd Century! I am including Makayla Kubo’s essay in this issue. You may notice some differences between how you understand Buddhism and her explanation on Buddhism. I am sure you will enjoy her essay and feel confident that we as Central Cal has a bright future with the youngsters!
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 2021 Food Bazaar will be replaced
with a pre-order take out dinner
on Sunday, November 7, 2021
We hope you will mark your calendars
and come out to support us!
Congratulations to Reedley Buddhist Church Dharma Scholarship Recipients
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.
Congratulations to Keiko Kajihara (2nd from left) and Rylee Kubo (3rd from left), recipients of the Reedley Buddhist Church Dharma Scholarship. Both were very active in the Reedley Jr. YBA and CC Jr. YBA. They are seen with church president, Judy Kobayashi and Rev. Kaz Nakata.
As the Fresno Betsuin Sangha anxiously awaits the
completion of the Hondo, plans are currently
underway for the Grand Opening service and
celebration. My original thought was to conduct a
“Kikyo-shiki Affirmation Ceremony” as part of the opening service but due to time constraints and capacity limitations, the ceremony will take place on a different date, with date and time still to be determined.
For the Central California District, receiving this "Kikyō-shiki" will be a condition for the direct conferral of the Dharma name at the time of the official visitation of His Eminence Monshu Kōjun Ohtani of Nishi Honganji to the United States after the end of this current pandemic.
The "Kikyō-shiki" Affirmation Ceremony is an important ceremony to make the vow to become a disciple of the Buddha and to live in the Buddha-dharma. Before Amida Tathāgata, the image of Namu-Amita-abha,* one renews one's consciousness as a member of Shin Buddhism, the Mainstream Mahāyāna Tradition, undergo "Okamisori," the act of symbolically shaving the hair, and receive the Dharma name of "Shaku 〇 〇".
The Dharma name you receive is a global sign that you are a disciple of the Buddha.
The Dharma name begins with the character "Shaku (釋)" and is expressed with three characters, including the two characters of one’s buddhist name. Incidentally, the character "Shaku" is the surname of Śākyamuni Buddha, symbolically indicating that one has become a member of Buddha's family.
Incidentally, in Shin Buddhism, the "Dharma name (Hō-myō)" is given to those who are emerged individuals with Buddha-nature by the working of Buddha's Amita-abha, while in most of other schools, the "Precept name (Kai-myō)" is given to those who follow the strict precepts and follow the same path of Śākyamuni Buddha.
Neither of these names is originally intended to be a memorial service for the deceased.
This is a once-in-decades opportunity to officially become a member of the world Dharma Sangha and receive an official Buddhist name in the Central California, U.S.A.
Please watch for more information on this ceremony. Soon, applications will be made available to anyone wishing to receive their Dharma name.
* Namu-Amita-abha (Namomitābha in ancient Indian): “Namu” means ‘Entrusting oneself’ and “Amita-abha” means ‘The (Buddha’s) merciful wisdom and kindness which contains the nature of boundless-light’
Ever Changing Covid Rules
Due to the ongoing changes to the Covid recommendations from Fresno County, we will post the current mask requirements on the door before every service.
Luncheons will be served, but it may require that we dine outdoors. Although it was warm for the Hatsubon service, we were able to set up tents outside to provide shade on the patio.
We hope that everyone will continue to attend our in-person services and if necessary, wear a mask to protect those most vulnerable. We had over 80 members, family, and friends come out to honor their loved ones at the Hatsubon service. It was nice to see so many of you!
Our next in person service will be on Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM.
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
2035 15th Street - P.O. Box 24
Reedley, CA 93654 Phone: (559) 638-2146
Email Church President,
Rev. Kaz Nakata
Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban
Fresno Betsuin Buddhist
Email Webmaster: firstname.lastname@example.org