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 100 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.
SERVICES & ACTIVITIES FOR DECEMBER
Sunday, December 11, 2022 - Reedley Jr. YBA Pancake Breakfast - 7:30 - 10:00 AM
Sunday, December 11, 2022 - Combined Bodhi Day Service, December Shotsuki, &
Family Dharma Service - 10:00 AM
Thank you for your support of the Autumn Favorites
Fundraiser on November 6, 2022
We appreciate the support from our members & friends!
11 Reedley Jr. YBA Pancake Breakfast
Conference Room 7:30 - 10:00 AM
11 Bodhi Day, December Memorial
Service (Shotsuki), & Dharma
School Service 10:00 AM
11 Reedley BWA Meeting (after service)
21 Reedley BC Board Meeting 7:00 PM
31 Joya-E Service (New Year’s Eve) 2:00 PM
1 Shusho-E Service (New Year’s Day) 10:00 AM
15 Hoonko Service, January Memorial
Service (Shotsuki), & Dharma
School Service 10:00 AM
Rev. Nakagawa's Message
December, 2022 Newsletter Article
Rev. Nakata's Message
December, 2022 Newsletter Article
New Simple Reading “Our
Understanding of Jodo Shinshu”
Hello all Central California Nishi Hongwanji Sangha friends! We have reached the final month of 2022. Time flies so quickly! I express my deepest appreciation to all of you for your support and guidance during 2022.
Jodo Shinshu Tradition began with Shinran Shonin about eight hundred years ago, although he did not have any intention to form or create his tradition. His descendants gathered by Kakushin-ni formed the tradition under his name and teaching. In 2023, Kyoto Nishi Hongwanji will celebrate the 850th year Birthday of Shinran Shonin, and the 800th year Celebration of the Hongwanji foundation. Some of you may visit Kyoto and observe the celebration next year.
After eight hundred years of its founding, ministers continuously strive to share the teachings with daily languages. Many Buddhist terms have difficult meanings, and some are unexplainable by one single English term. I have served the BCA for 20 years, but I am continuously planning to innovate how easily people can understand Jodo Shinshu. For the last 10 years or so, I have been working on writing new reading material, called “Our Understanding of Jodo Shinshu.” Three key Jodo Shinshu concepts are explained in the reading. It is still a work in progress, and I appreciate your input.
Our Understanding of Jodo Shinshu
I am one of everyone, I am a part of the world. I always receive help and support from others, called “other power,” to make my life enjoyable.
Although I cannot always be kind and gentle to others, others always help me to make my life enjoyable.
How grateful I am that other people’s help and support appear here and there, to make my life enjoyable.
When I feel the kindness of others, saying Namo Amida Butsu becomes my expression of deep gratitude....
Reverence for Shinran Shonin
The continuation of each individual life is a result of others' help and support. Shinran Shonin did not see this help and support as natural occurrences. He translated these occurrences as ‘very fortunate giving.’ In the October issue, I wrote about “Arigato” and its Buddhist meaning. It relates to the introduction phrase of our Three Treasures, and it tells us that we are truly fortunate to have our life.
Jodo Shinshu does not focus on seeking rare or miracle occasions. The accumulation of many small happiness in our everyday life is the basis of Jodo Shinshu awareness, leading us to feel the great appreciation or equanimity which is the utmost level of achievement in our lives. Nowadays people are satisfied with material items but still complain or feel unfulfilled. Those who do not appreciate their everyday life will never be fully satisfied, even if they encounter a special occurrence from time to time. Whenever you feel that your life is unfulfilled, please read the new reading. Our everyday life is open to many sources of happiness and Shinran Shonin’s teachings has left us with the opportunity to appreciate our everyday life. Saying “Namo Amida Butsu” is your reminder of his viewpoint. Gassho
Seven weeks in Buddha-Gaya
On December 8th in 700 BCE+30, Gotama Śiddhārtha attained Buddhahood under the Pipal tree in the bank of Fulgu River (aka Nairañjanā) Bihar, India. Since then, people started call him a Buddha, an awakened one.
Interestingly, all scriptures describe that he stayed in that forest of well-known nowadays as Buddha-gaya near the Gaya city, Bihar, India, during the next seven weeks.
The first week, he stayed under the same Pipal tree and examined the process of his enlightenment repeatedly. He was totally satisfied with his perfect achievement and his heart/mind was filled with the utmost joy.
The second week, he moved to the hill about three hundred yards south close by. He practiced a traditional standing Yoga consecutively for the next seven days, night and day without sleep and without eating. He kept his eyes opened without a single blink to observe the activities of the entire Universe and examined the availability of his discovery.
The third week, he returned to the Pipal tree and had walked around the tree’s surroundings, slowly and quietly. He examined his Dharma’s effectiveness in the past and in the future.
The fourth week, he entered a stone cellar near the Pipal tree and in the darkness of the cellar, he observed the various realms and dimensions, particularly the evil side. He was grateful to know that his Dharma could guide the evilest among evils. People witnessed that bright light that leaked from the cellar during the night.
The fifth week, he chose the Nigrodha tree and meditated under the tree to review all the occurrences during the last four weeks.
There is one famous comment delivered by the Buddha to one Brahmin monk of the highest caste who challenged the Buddha:
“Man is respected not because of the birth but the conducts.”
His first words to the people are already a revolution in the world 2700 years ago.
The sixth week, he visited the Muchalinda pond, a half mile south from the forest, and stayed there the entire week and enjoyed the Dharma with the animals!
The seventh week, he returned to the forest and chose the Yatna tree for closing his review of Dharma. On the fifth day of the week, two merchants offered food to him. He got some considerations from this event, and he changed his place to under the Nigrodha tree that he meditated under during the fifth week.
He started to consider the misunderstandings of Dharma by the people. Two merchants, a little while before, had worshipped him just like a living god and were so grateful for their luckiness. And they could not even understand what a simple word like ‘Buddha’ meant.
He felt misgivings about the misunderstandings of Dharma that would become the causes of sufferings to the people certainly in the future. He was seriously concerned about how to share the Dharma with the people. He tried to find out the way several times from various aspects.
Unfortunately, he reached the same conclusion even at several challenges.
These are his conclusive words from the “Pari-yesana Sūtra”:
“Enough now with teaching what only with difficulty I reached.
This Dharma is not easily realized by those overcome with aversion and passion.
What is abstruse, subtle, deep, hard to see, going against the flow —
those delighting in passion, cloaked in the mass of darkness, won't see.”
Then he concluded,
"As I reflected thus, my mind inclined to dwelling at ease, not to teaching the Dharma.”
But the moment after he finished those words, the Buddha recognized his change, and it amazed him. He found himself already standing from his seat and about to take one step forward, totally in the unconscious level. And he muttered to himself without realizing it, “all sentient beings have been in suffering.”
At that time, he exclaimed, "Namo'amitābhaḥ [Na-mɔɚ-mītɚ-baḥ]," which in this ancient Indian language means, "How merciful is the Overwhelming Wisdom that flows from the Buddha Nature!" (That is why he could not abandon any sentient being, no matter where he is).
At that moment when he shouted these six syllables and expressed his intent, his buddhahood drastically changed its direction from the statically meditative to the dynamically realistic. Since that moment, we Mahāyāna Buddhists call him, ‘A Returned Buddha from the World of Static Enlightenment = Tathāgata (the dynamic Buddha).’
He immediately made an action. He chose his five six-years-fellow practitioners, who were separated a few months earlier, as the first recipients of Dharma. He travelled almost two hundred miles to them and delivered his first guidance a week after. He guided those practitioners one-on-one so carefully by the suitable way for each one’s conditions. One of those first five guidance was the well-known “Four Noble Truths and Eight-fold Path” that was delivered for Assaji, the genius meditator.
BWA Bingo Day!
Websites for Dharma Talks
Just click a church/temple below for the link.
Watsonville Buddhist Temple
Reedley Jr. YBA Pancake Breakfast
Sunday, December 11, 2022
7:30 - 10:00 AM
Church Conference Room
$10 per person
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.
Reedley Dharma School Beach Outing
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