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.
Thank you for your support of the Online auction and the "A Taste of Bazaar" Fundraiser. Both were a huge success because of your support!
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.
Memorial Day Service
Saturday, July 17, 2021
In-person in Hondo
We will be observing Hatsubon for members and/or family members who have passed away since our 2019 Obon.
Everyone is invited to attend. All Hatsubon family members are encouraged to attend and light a lantern in memory of their loved one.
Lunch will be served following the service.
Sunday, May 30, 2021
In-person in Hondo
*Due to the anticipated heat, we will not have a service at the cemetery. It will be at the church only.
*All Covid safety precautions will be observed. Please wear a mask and safe social distancing is encouraged especially for those not vaccinated.
Refreshments will be served following the service.
30 Dharma Service Online from
Kingsburg 10:00 am
30 Memorial Day Service at
Reedley Buddhist Church IN PERSON 1:00 pm
6 CC Monthly Memorial ONLINE from
Dinuba Buddhist Church 10:00 am
13 CC Dharma Service ONLINE from
Fresno 10:00 am
14 CC Dharma Service ONLINE from
Heart Mountain Internment Camp 10:00 am
22 RBC Board Meeting - Conf. Room 7:00 pm
27 CC Dharma Service ONLINE from
Topaz Internment Camp 10:00 am
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
Obon Odori Practice
You will find the link to the Obon Odori practices on Zoom here when it becomes available. The practices are scheduled for:
Friday, June 25, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Friday, July 9, 2021
Times will be announced, so please check back here soon.
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
June, 2021 Newsletter Article
“Shinran Shōnin's Teachings –
Shōnin Ichirū no Shō”
What is taught by Shinran Shōnin and his school is that "Shinjin,” the emergence of Buddha-nature, is fundamental to the teachings.
The reason for this is that by abandoning all unreliable practices and by relying upon Śākyamuni Buddha’s amitābha, that means immeasurable merciful wisdom and kindness, the working of original Buddha-nature which contains the attribute of boundless-light, our deliverance is assured by the Buddha through such a power that benefits all others.
This state of being assured of deliverance is described by the commentary of the 3rd Master, the Donran Daishi T’an-luag, as "Entering the ranks of the Truly-Assured at that very instant of emergence of "Shinjin, the individual Buddha-nature.”
Then all subsequent Nenbutsu shall be realized as the Nenbutsu of thanksgiving to the Buddha for this assurance of the state of perfect peace and utmost bliss.
Every year in May, Fresno Betsuin and some C.C.Sanghas hold a yearly memorial service for Rennyo Shonin, the 8th Monshu (head priest) of Honganji, who was born about 250 years after Shinran Shonin.
What we should know is, that in the history of Jodo Shinshu, there is no one who has done more to accurately convey Shinran Shonin's teachings to more people than Rennyo Shonin.
Rennyo Shonin's life has been a marvel of achievement in many fields, but it is in the propagation of Buddhism that he really excelled.
When Rennyo Shonin succeeded his father as the 8th Monshu of the Honganji sect of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, Honganji was a small temple with a Hondo of 18 square feet and a total of several hundred supporting members.
After Rennyo Shonin’s death at the age of 85, the teachings of Shinran Shonin were spread all over Japan for 40 years. It is considered that more than 8 million people, about half of the total population of Japan at that time, became members of Honganji.
Today, Rennyo Shonin is praised as the founder of the present Honganji school and the restoration of Shin Buddhism, and his portrait is hung to the right side of the Buddha’s image in the Hondo of the temple.
In fact, without the work of Rennyo Shonin, the teachings of Shin Buddhism would not have reached the present day. It is not an exaggeration to say that the Honganji School in reality was practically started by Rennyo Shonin.
Unlike Shinran Shonin, Rennyo Shonin has written very little; but knowing that most of his life was on the road, like the Buddha and his disciples, it is easy to understand why Rennyo Shonin, who was also an eminent scholar of Buddhism, has written so little. It is known that Rennyo's feet were constantly bleeding due to the cord of a straw rope digging into them.
So what was his miraculous method of propagation?
It was a series of letters called "Gobunsho," which are unanimously agreed upon by all as his method of propagation. The "Gobunsho" is a collection of letters that Rennyo Shonin sent to his followers. Although Rennyo Shonin's writings are limited in number, this "Gobunsho" had a very great influence on those who sought the Buddha Dharma.
In fact, it is very difficult to convey the teachings accurately through human transmission. Even if one learns from Rennyo Shonin's direct disciples, it is very difficult for the listeners to hear and understand the teachings accurately, and it is also very difficult to convey the teachings accurately through lectures.
However, if Rennyo Shonin writes directly in a letter, there is no need to worry about this.
Even today, Rennyo Shonin is recognized as one of the greatest classic writers in the history of Japan prior to the 19th century who excelled in simple expression.
Even uneducated ordinary people could learn the correct teachings by reading or listening to his letters.
Rennyo Shonin's writings, written mostly in Hiragana (simplified Japanese), are said to be a mirror for ordinary people to become Buddhas.
The "hand mirror for ordinary people to become Buddha" means that all the important points for all of us to live as real human beings according to the Buddha's teachings are written in the text, so keep it with you and read it like a hand mirror that you use every day.
This is why in Jodo Shinshu one of the "letters" of Rennyo Shonin is read in the morning and evening, after the chanting of the "Shoshin-ge" by Shinran Shonin. And, before going to bed, Rennyo Shonin's "Ryoge-mon" is recited also.
One of Rennyo Shonin's "Gobunsho" was copied from one person to another, and it was as if there were 10 Rennyo Shonins and 100 Rennyo Shonins. Then, the teachings of Shinran Shonin spread like wildfire all over Japan through the "Gobunsho" of Rennyo Shonin.
The "Gobunsho" at the beginning of this article is one of the most well-known letters. I have interpreted it so that ordinary people living today can understand it.
Rev. Nakata's Message
June, 2021 Newsletter Article
The Eight Essentials of our Jodo
Shinshu No. 3 Neither master
nor Stray Sheep. (Hi So Hi Zoku)
Hello, all Central California Sangha friends! We have not yet seen the 100-degree weather, but the hot Summer is coming closer! Next month in July, some Central California temples and Churches are planning to host in-person Hatsubon Service and, or Obon Dance activities. As a CC combined event, we will host the virtual Hatsubon Service, and Obon Dance on July 10 starting at 5:30pm. I hope I can see many of you at in-person activities. I miss you all!
In this article I would like to share one of the eight essential teachings of Jodo Shinshu. It is HI SO HI ZOKU. This idea makes our Jodo Shinshu unique. “HI” means negation. “SO” simply means master or priest, and “ZOKU” means people in general, but especially people who have blind belief. HI SO HI ZOKU can be translated as “Neither master nor Stray Sheep.” In Buddhism, we understand that everyone, Buddhist, or non-Buddhist, has the capability of becoming a Buddha. And every single being is a unique, special, and valuable existence.
Do you remember my first article when I moved to CC? It was published in August of 2019, and the title was “What is Reverend?”. I basically said there is no Sensei in humankind (in Jodo Shinshu) and do not call me Sensei. Sensei means teacher or master. In Jodo Shinshu, Reverend means a person who humbly shows reverence for Buddhism. In other words, a person who works hard to maintain Buddhist temples. In that sense, Jodo Shinshu is widely known as a Lay Buddhism. That article made people think about what Jodo Shinshu is. Nowadays, I see numbers of my Sangha friend respond same way as… Hi Sen… well… Hi Rev. Kaz! I am glad to see their reaction.
You may wonder why Reverend in Jodo Shinshu (or Buddhism, in general) does not mean teacher nor master. One of the early discourses of the Buddha, Majjhima Nikaya, says that people should be treated equally, based on their words and deeds, not their origin or current status. In Buddhism, it matters not what one believes or does not believe, but the way one lives, that is the basis for equality.
Our Jodo Shinshu founder, Shinran Shonin, expressed his understanding on equality in A Record in Lament of Divergences. It says, “for all sentient beings, without exception, have been our parents and brothers and sisters in the course of countless lives in many states of existence.” (C.W.S. 664) He did not see boundaries of discrimination based on belief, ethnicity, culture, or social status.
Although he was an ordained priest at Mt. Hiei in Japan under the Tendai Buddhist order, he realized that he was not able to control his human desires. He deeply sensed that there should not be any distinction between priest and lay. Hence, his understanding of Jodo Shinshu led him to believe in true equality. Later in life, he commented that he did not have a single disciple, because he was simply a follower of the Nembutsu teachings. Such his idea was a key to denote transcending the typical homage relationship between priest and adherent in an organization. This was a very unique concept. Many religious leaders talk about equality and no distinction between leaders and followers, but these leaders do not behave as ordinary members of the group, and their followers regard them as special beings.
Shinran Shonin lived as an example of HI SO, not behaving like an ordinary priest or master, and HI ZOKU, not treating his Sangha friends like Stray Sheep. Now you really know why Jodo Shinshu is a perfect example of a Lay Buddhism, and how it treats everyone equally with a humble and sincere attitude. So, do not call me Sensei, it is Jodo Shinshu!
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!
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.
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. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban
Fresno Betsuin Buddhist
Rev. Kaz Nakata
Email Webmaster: firstname.lastname@example.org