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.
APRIL & MAY SERVICES & ACTIVITIES UPDATE
May 22, 2022 - May Memorial (Shotsuki) Service & Dharma Service - 10:00 AM
May 29, 2022 - Memorial Day Service - 1:00 PM
June 12, 2022 - June Memorial (Shotsuki) Service & Dharma Service - 10:00 AM
July 3, 2022 - Hatsubon/Obon Service - 10:00 AM
8 Mother’s Day
17 Reedley MAC Committee Meeting 7:00 pm
19 Reedley BC Board Meeting 7:00 pm
22 May Memorial (Shotsuki) & Dharma
Service - Refreshments following 10:00 am
Reedley BWA Meeting - following
service 11:30 am
BWA Flower Preparations for Memorial
Day flowers for cemetery 12:00 pm
28 BWA Deliver Flowers to Cemetery
to older section 9:00 am
29 Memorial Day Service
Refreshments following 1:00 pm
SUNDAY SERVICE ONLINE LINK:
GO TO: https://twitter.com/fresno_nishi
to get the YouTube link for the service.
A Taste of Bazaar
to everyone for your help and support! It was a successful event once again!
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.
Refreshments will be served, but it may require that we gather outdoors.
We hope that everyone will continue to attend our in-person services and if necessary, wear a mask to protect those most vulnerable.
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
May, 2022 Newsletter Article
Rev. Nakata's Message
May, 2022 Newsletter Article
Jodo Shinshu is for anyone that
wishes to establish and enjoy
a harmonious sangha
Hello all Central California Nishi Hongwanji Sangha friends! I wrote “Spring has come” in the previous newsletter. It is so true. I attended and conducted three in- person Hanamatsuri services last month, including one at the Orange County Buddhist Church where I was the guest speaker. At each of the services, I saw many smiling faces while sweet tea was being poured over the statue of the Baby Buddha in the shrine, decorated many beautiful flowers. Their smiles were like blooming flowers! At one church, I said “please pour tea over the Buddha like how you would like to celebrate your birth if you were able to be in the delivery room. Please imagine. Even before you were born, YOU had many helping hands for about 10 months and 10 days. Your life story of generosity by others had started before your birth. It is the Buddhist view… our life is filled with conceivable gratitude.”
I was assigned to the Central California District in summer of 2019, and after the adjustment of my life in CC, in 2020 I started both weekly and monthly Buddhist study classes. What started with a monthly class at Visalia Buddhist Church led to a weekly class. Our Dharma Friend, Calvin Doi of Parlier (one of the main persons who asked me to serve in CC), was one of the passionate students who drove to Visalia for the 2-hour class. He contributed many enlightening comments to the class. However, our class did not last long. The pandemic halted our gatherings at the Visalia BC and forced us to switch our class format from in-person to online Zoom. Not everyone has the internet capability, so some class students stopped attending the class, yet, because of the class being online, new attendees from different parts of the Central California and even from the different regions of California have been gradually joining.
One of the new attendees, David, found us online, and he joined the online monthly class last fall. He was a very quiet person and did not ask many questions in the beginning. I asked him to present his own questions to the class. In January, as he was becoming more familiar to the class, he how he can help our education. Since Buddhism does not ask or obligate one to give back to the teaching, I told him just come and study. His generosity became eminent and he offered to run to fund raise. I did not understand his intention. At first, I thought he want to run or host a fundraiser, but he said he will run long distance which is an “ultramarathon” and hope to motivate people to donate. For those that are unfamiliar with an ultramarathon, in a regular marathon, the running distance is 42.195 km or 26-mile 385 yards. In an ultramarathon, the running distance is 50, 75 or even 100 miles.
Rinban and I established the Central California Ministerial Assistant education program for people who wish to learn a deeper understanding of Jodo Shinshu and to establish and enjoy a harmonious sangha. Rinban and I want to share everything we know as Kaikyoshi (full-fledged minister), with anyone who would like to support Central Cal Buddhist education for our future. Understanding the universal truth of impermanence, Rinban and I know that we cannot live forever. Thus, if many CC Sangha friends learn from us, they can continue sharing and enjoying the life of Jodo Shinshu, even after we are gone. A part of one of our main programs is that we send our students to Hiroshima, Japan to study and acquire an authentic Jodo Shinshu education, and to potentially receive ordination in our Jodo Shinshu order without spending too much of their own fortune.
David asked what program would most benefit from the Ultramarathon fundraiser. I explained that proceeds from the fundraiser can help reduce a student’s living expense while in Hiroshima. The program is our future. David did several test runs to make sure the fundraiser is feasible and in the end, ran from Visalia to Reedley, Reedley to Parlier, Parlier to Kingsburg, Kingsburg to Fowler, and Fowler to Fresno, a distance of 70-miles in total.
The ultramarathon fundraiser was held on April 2. I drove to Visalia at 2AM because the start time was 3AM! I really appreciate those Visalia board members that opened the church for David at 2:30AM! At Reedley, Parlier, Kingsburg, and Fowler, many people came out to support and cheer for David and his co-runners. I really appreciate their support and for the refreshments made available to the runners. Fowler to Fresno was the final section. David’s wife joined him and the other runners. At Fresno, over 25 people cheerfully welcomed him as he ran thru the goal tape. You can watch this video clip on our Twitter page (search for Central California Nishi Hongwanji Twitter).
David established a donation account on Instagram, but some of our sangha friends are not familiar with Instagram, so we received donations by checks for the fundraiser. So far, we received more than $2000 for the 70-mile ultramarathon. What surprised me most were the many donors from local generous persons, many who have never been to our churches. David asked his running friends to promote his fundraiser and many of them supported his effort. During this fundraiser, I was able to meet and connect with many local new friends. I believe that people are the most important asset in our lives. I am so glad that I accepted his offer.
The pandemic handed us many challenges and difficulties. However, if we did not encounter the pandemic and did not start the online classes, my life and David’s life may not have ever crossed. I do not thank the pandemic, but I deeply appreciate people such as Calvin Doi, who encouraged me to start the online course. Calvin really was a harmonious man.
Our Nenbutsu Dojo
Hondo, the main hall of Jōdo Shinshū Temple, has been uniquely called "Dōjō" or "Nenbutsu Dōjō" in the worldwide Buddhist tradition. Dōjō" means an exercise hall, as in the case of the origin of "Dōjō" of all martial arts; such as, Jūdō, Karate or others are in the "Hondō" of Jōdo Shinshū. You must be surprised!
Our "Nenbutsu Dōjō" means a hall for exercising the Nenbutsu.
To exercise the Nenbutsu means to hear the Nembutsu and to be attentive to the Nenbutsu.
As Shinran Shonin taught in his “Kyō-Gyō-Shin-Shō” that follows: “‘Hearing’ is that all beings, hearing the origin and the history of the original prayer-for-the-world of Śākyamuni Buddha, cherish no doubting mind."
What is most necessary for this process of hearing and being convinced?
That means asking questions.
We Buddhists are very fortunate. Buddhism is unique in that it does not reject any questions, whereas many so-called "religions" emphasize "Blind Faith.” You, as a Buddha-dharma follower, can ask until you understand. You can ask until your teacher gets in trouble.
You accept only when there is no more doubt. If you think it makes no sense at all, then don't accept it. Don't worry. There are 84,000 useful methods and clinical cases in Buddhism carried since 2,600 years ago, and there is sure to be a method that you can apply to your creative life.
To do so, first and foremost, start by hearing and asking questions here in this Hondo, the main hall.
In the Buddhist countries, there is a proverb that says: "Asking something you don't know is embarrassing only then, but if you don't ask, you will be embarrassed for the rest of your life".
Here is a story about two sisters, both over 85 years old.
One warm and bright Sunday, they decided to visit a friend who lived in a neighboring town about 20 miles away. They hadn’t visited that town in the last seven years. They got in their old car and began to drive carefully to their friend’s house.
As it happens to many of us, they became lost. Seven years were enough to change a whole roadmap around their neighboring towns. And so, they decided after a while to stop and ask for directions. They drove into a gas station and asked the attendant. The attendant gave them very good instructions. He even offered to draw a map, but being hard of hearing or being embarrassed and a little proud, it caused them to say, “We know that town,” and they went on ahead.
Soon they got lost again. And they decided once more to ask. Again, they got very clear instructions but being hard of hearing, they couldn’t quite make out what was being said. Instead of asking again until they understood, they went on ahead, as if they had understood.
Soon they got lost again. Now, it was getting really serious, for they had somehow wandered into the backcountry which was like a desert. And on top of that, it was getting hotter and hotter.
Some days later, a police car spotted their car, stalled on an out-of-the-way desert path. One sister was still in the car; the second sister was about 200 yards from the car. Sadly enough, both were dead.
Upon investigation, the police found out that these two sisters had wandered around lost for nearly 24 hours and had covered over 200 miles. They also discovered that over ten people had been asked directions and that they all tried to explain. But apparently, the two sisters were both too proud to say simply that they couldn’t understand or please say it again. For this, they become lost in the desert and met their sad end.
In life, being human, all of us get lost at one time or another. The important thing is to always be humble and ask for help and keep asking until we discover the way out of our lost-ness.
That is the importance of "Listening to the Dharma.”
“Anyone whoever has been born into human form, attains Buddha-hood without exception. Moreover, one could attain Buddha-hood moment by moment without interruption and innumerable people would attain Buddha-hood unquestionably, you should never arouse the heart flinching from difficulties.”
[“Mahāyāna Sūtra Lankāra”, Chapter ‘Adhimukti’ – 11]
If a person born as a human being could not become a Buddha even after living 100 years, then his/her life was ultimately in vain.
The first step to reaching the State of Buddhahood begins with “Keep Hearing/Listening.”
Reedley Board Meetings
The Reedley Buddhist Church Board started the year having their meetings online using Zoom, but moved to in-person when everyone was fully vaccinated. 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.
Church services resumed, but depending on the local health directives, this will change from month to month. We may be sitting further apart, but at least we'll be together to listen to the Dharma.
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
© 2018 Reedley Buddhist Church - Proudly created with Wix.com
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: email@example.com