See this flyer below regarding the Outdoor Hanamatsuri Service planned for April 4th at 11:00 AM.
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.
REEDLEY Buddhist Church ONLINE AUCTION:
The link to the online auction is now available. You will be able to preview the items up for auction. All bids will be made from April 1 - 15th. You can access it by clicking here or on the picture below, but bids cannot be made until April 1st. New items may be added, so please check back often!
You must enter credit card or debit card information in order to bid, but your card will only be charged if you win an item. You will be notified by email or text if you are the winner. No information will be kept after the auction and is charged through the reputable company called Stripe. You do not have to “tip” Better World, simply put “$0” in the drop down tip menu. The website is for non-profit organizations and Reedley Buddhist Church will be paying a 2.9% processing fee + $0.30 per each transaction to Stripe.
All items will be available for pick-up during the drive-thru dinner pick up on Sunday, April 18, 2021 between 3:00 - 5:00 PM. (Unless other arrangements are made) Sorry, no shipping will be available. Happy bidding!!!
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.
4 Online Dharma Service & Monthly
Memorial Service - Reedley 10:00 am
4 OUTDOOR Hanamatsuri Service
near Church Hall - in person 11:00 am
11 Online Central Cal Hanamatsuri
Service - Parlier 10:00 am
15 Reedley BC Board Meeting - Conference
Room 7:00 pm
17 Prep for Fundraiser 9:00 am
18 Prep for Fundraiser 7:30 am
18 A Taste of Bazaar Fundraiser 3:00 - 5:00 pm
18 Online Dharma Service - Kingsburg 10:00 am
22 CCBWL Meeting on Zoom 7:00 pm
25 Online Dharma Service - Visalia 10:00 am
SUNDAY SERVICE ONLINE LINK:
Reedley Buddhist Church presents
A Taste of Bazaar
Click on the image below to open a PDF to download.
Click here to take you to the Online Auction - available to preview now, and bidding begins on April 1st.
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
April, 2021 Newsletter Article
Haru Ga Kita -
Spring Has Come
Spring is coming, Spring is coming, Where is spring now?
Here in the mountains, Here in the village, And here in the field.
Flowers bloom, Flowers bloom, Where do flowers bloom?
Here in the mountains, Here in the village, And here in the fields.
Birds are singing, Birds are singing, Where do birdies sing?
Here in the mountains, Here in the village, And here in the fields.
"Spring has come (Ha-ru ga ki-ta,)" is a Japanese nursery rhyme that is still familiar among Americans of Japanese ancestry, particularly seniors. The cold winter is over, the world changes color, and the joy of the long-awaited spring has come when we see the birds singing on the twigs. The season of spring itself is invisible, but it is a world that you can feel in your life. It is said that there is almost nothing in Japanese culture that is not influenced by Buddhism. Even the lyrics of such nursery rhymes are no exception.
There are two constructive worlds in our world. A world that can be seen with our eyes, and a world that cannot be seen. You can see buildings, television and people, but you cannot see the air, people's hearts, affection, trust, and warmth.
In today's world, products for beauty and health are said to sell well. Certainly, things that can be seen with the eyes, such as the appearance of beauty and youth, are attracting attention. Conversely, the world that cannot be seen, such as enjoying senior life, wishing well for the sake of others, thinking a lot about humane conduct, etc. are becoming less visible.
Buddha taught us to value the invisible world as well as the visible world. We know that we can't judge anything just by looking at it, but often we get stuck by looking at the world with our eyes only. The beauty of a person's appearance is immediately recognizable, but the beauty of the person internally is not visible. And because only the things that can be seen with the eyes are taken care of, the “world that cannot be seen” becomes less visible, then tragedy occurs. If the “world that cannot be seen” disappears, human values will be measured by mere numbers on pieces of document paper, and then it will become cause for human killings and wars.
The life of the irreplaceable value would become the same value of mere stone. Buddha taught that the visible world is wrapped and supported by a world that cannot be seen. Shinran Shonin has fulfilled his life of practicing the Dharma with the Nenbutsu, Namōmitābha (Namu-amita-ābha).
One ought to know that there is no power in the Nenbutsu itself. Its power derives from Śākya-muni Buddha who recites the Nenbutsu, whose wisdom is already completed; whose compassion does not exclude any sentient being. Perfect wisdom and compassion lie in the Nenbutsu, which prepares for the work of Śākyamuni Buddha’s amita-ābha. The Nenbutsu of true-and-real enlightenment is the peerless Nenbutsu, the Dharma beyond comparison. It can relieve all suffering. It is true. It is not mistaken that Shinran Shonin entrusted himself to the Nenbutsu.
"However, if it is Nenbutsu as my act, it is not worth it, but it is of wonderful value because it is working like the real Buddha,” said Venerable Takamatsu Gohō who led Shin Buddhism in 20th century Japan. He continues, “I'm just putting my hands together and saying, ‘Nann Mann Da’ (Namōmitābha). Everything is the appearance of Śākyamuni Buddha’s amita-ābha, immeasurable merciful wisdom and kindness.”
Venerable Takamatsu concludes in his poem: "I can't see the Buddha in the voice, but the voice itself is the Buddha. Śākya-muni Buddha’s amitābha becomes the voice of Nenbutsu, changes its appearance to Namu-amita-ābha, and comes back for me.”
We know the signs of spring through various phenomena. In the same way, if we truly realize the voice of Na-mu-a-mi-ta-bha by uttering the Nenbutsu ourselves, we will know that the Buddha’s final words, “A practicing follower is always close to me”
is true. The Buddha is still untiringly caring and guiding us to the state of perfect peace and utmost bliss.
Spring Has Come. Spring Has Come.
Ｉfeel your touch and I can hear you sing.
Thankful for all the gifts that spring of dependent origination will bring.
Rev. Nakata's Message
April, 2021 Newsletter Article
The Eight Essentials of Jodo
Shinshu: No. 1, Recitation of Namo Amida Butsu
is an expression of our deepest gratitude
to all sentient beings (Sho Myo Ho On)
Hello, all Central California Sangha friends! Since the stay-at-home order was first enacted, we have been living the pandemic life for a full year. I hear that many of our CC Sangha friends have received their vaccinations and some Temples and Churches are discussing re-opening for in-person gatherings. Once your temple is able and safe to re-open, I hope I will see you soon at O-tera!
The pandemic has forced us to change many things, some things drastically like our lifestyle. The stay-at-home order limits our ability to communicate with others in-person, including our own family members. Many people have been forced to learn how to use “ZOOM” in order to communicate with their relatives and their “tech geek” grandchildren. By now, you may be comfortable using internet devices to make your communication much easier. These internet devices help a lot especially under the current situation, but there are also some shortcomings. One being that the Buddhist teachings can easily be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
A few months ago, I read an article on the internet about Jodo Shinshu. There was an author’s credit. The author clams that the Jodo Shinshu teachings and the Theravada monastery teachings share similarities because both mainly practice the Eight-Fold path. In his monastic life at Mt. Hiei, our Jodo Shinshu, Nishi Hongwanji founder Shinran Shonin practiced Eight-Fold paths for 20 years and realized that it was not an accomplishable practice. He left Mt. Hiei which meant he gave up the practice of Eight-Fold paths and entered a path of the Amitabha teaching. The Amitabha teaching did not require any monastic practice, besides the O-Nenbutsu, the recitation of Namo Amida Butsu. I can say that one of the main reasons why our Jodo Shinshu started is because Shinran Shonin quit Eight-Fold paths. If he was comfortable to continue practicing Eight-Fold paths, he might end his life as a monk of Tendai Buddhist order in Mt. Hiei.
Shinran Shonin realized the difficulty of doing “right” things such as Eight-Fold paths. For example, people who do not obey the speed limit on the freeways are disqualified and excluded from Eight-Fold paths to enlightenment. I guess most of “us” are disqualified, aren’t we? Buddhist monks, such as Theravadin monks are seriously spending their whole life to do “only” right things to accomplish Eight-Fold paths. I do not think that I have the ability to follow or practice what they do.
I sincerely hope that at least CC Sangha friends receive an appropriate understanding of the Jodo Shinshu teaching, or Shinran Shonin. In this and the next seven issues, I would like to write on the Eight Essentials of our Jodo Shinshu. In this issue, I would like to share the idea of Sho Myo Ho On. Have you heard this Japanese term before? If you have not, no problem. You will learn today. It means, Sho Myo - Recitation of Namo Amida Butsu is, Ho On - an expression of our deepest gratitude to all sentient beings. Sho Myo Ho On is a very essential (verbal) action in our Jodo Shinshu. You may understand what Sho Myo Ho On is by reading the English translation. This term relates to the Gatha, On Doku San. If you know the meaning of On Doku San, you will understand what Sho Myo Ho On is.
Last year, I purchased a Pulse Oximeter device to measure the oxygen level in my blood. I often pinch my middle finger with the device to check whether I am ok or not. If my oxygen level is very low this device could help to determine whether I may be infected by the Coronavirus. Each time I check & look at my levels, I say to myself, “oh, how fortunate I am to sustain my life by many others.” How often do you feel you are so lucky to live your everyday life? I feel or realize it many times each day, so I can be so positive while living my everyday life.
In the past and since 2008, I have hosted a monthly Howakai (a Dharma Discussion gathering) at Lodi Buddhist Church. At these gatherings, participants questioned me on how we can more precisely explain the idea of Sho Myo Ho On. We spent many hours creating a precise explanation and finally, we published one paper. The title is “Our understanding of Jodo Shinshu”.
“I am a part of oneness, I am a part of the entire universe. I receive always Amida's light of compassion that is called other power to sustain my life.
Although I cannot always be kind and gentle to others, they help me always to sustain my life.
How wonderful it is that Amida's light of compassion illuminates the universe to sustain my life.
When I experience Amida's light of compassion entering my heart, Namo Amida Butsu becomes my expression of deep gratitude from the bottom of my heart....
Reverence for Shinran Shonin”
This explanation was created based on the Golden Chain but you may notice that some expressions are opposite of the Golden Chain. Obviously, the Golden Chain is written, based on Eight-Fold paths. While people struggle to accumulate good deeds, and right actions of Eight-Fold paths to enlightenment, Shinran Shonin's Jodo Shinshu idea provides a much simpler teaching for walking a path to enlightenment, which is Sho Myo Ho On.
Why did you enter the gate of Jodo Shinshu? Was it because your mom and dad are/were members of Jodo Shinshu temples or did you want to practice Buddhism like monks? I entered the gate by myself when I was a college student. Shinran Shonin’s idea made sense to me when I read his books.
Why did I enter this gate? It was because I was seeking equanimity after experiencing the earthquake in Kobe, Japan where more than 6000 people lost their lives. Jodo Shinshu shows a path to the state of Equanimity. Since then, I have been so positive to live my life. Even under the pandemic, I have been enjoying my life with gratitude, like I explained earlier.
Every single action in our everyday life is an opportunity to gain a sense of gratitude. If we spend even one day without being mindful, we may miss thousands of chances to feel gratitude on that day. This is the reason why enlightenment is often translated as “awareness” or “awakening”.
Sho Myo Ho On gives us an opportunity to practice gaining our sense of gratitude. Gratitude leads us to live our life positively and make us smile more often. Jodo Shinshu does not force you to do anything. How you design your way of living is your choice. However, I sincerely hope that many readers will enjoy their life in O-Nenbutsu.
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.
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!
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
Click here to download the flyer.
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