Happy New Year! Shinnen Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! Welcome 2022!
On behalf of the Venice Buddhist Temple, I would like to Thank You to Everyone for your past support in 2021.
Congratulations! We have all made it another year! As we have come to 2022 I was wondering, what is your vision for this year? Have you asked this valuable question? What shall we do together this year? When I think of our direction and growth, I continue to tell myself that we can persevere through life’s inconveniences. Reflecting back we are still doing our best to be safe. We have more tools and knowledge which does give us the encouragement to take a few more steps forward. Looking ahead make a declaration or set goals of how to enrich your daily life. When it comes to your home life it might be learn a new hobby or make a new friend. It might be to have the hope and make the determination to travel (safely).
When I think of a vision, the above are personal changes and all small visions. For this year, let us all think about simple acts that can change us and others with widespread and long-lasting effects with great internal benefits. Acts that are within our capability that carry joy and meaning to everyone. I think back to two examples of acts of kindness and compassion that I have witnessed as a child. First, there were the intermittent phone calls that my grandfather would give to my cousins to see how they were doing. I am sure you many can relate to this. The second is receiving cards for every holiday and birthday from a great aunt. They made such a difference for my relatives to the effect that this tradition has been continued for the next generation. We can all think about doing something nice for someone else. If possible, please adopt one person/youth and make a call or send them a note of value and care.
When I think of acts that would help others, let us not forget to say Namu Amida Butsu together. This is Amida’s work for each of us. Think about the last time you were with someone and said it in tandem. When was the last time you shared it with a parent or grandparent? Just by remembering it, this event is still changing your life. After thinking of that moment, imagine sharing one moment with Nembutsu with another.
Faith… It is the heart and mind free of that which is empty and transitory.
This line is from Shinran’s writing on the “Essentials of Faith Alone.” After you know Namu Amida Butsu is still working within, it describes the person which has been changed. Empty and Transitory means Egocentric and Impermanent. Basically, putting our hands together and saying Namu Amida Butsu with another is the act of sharing Nembutsu. By doing this, we are trying to change the lives of others.
Please work to use this as a greeting, good morning, good afternoon, good night, and goodbye. Happy New Year Everyone! Continue to stay Safe, Healthy, and Strong!
Namo Amida Butsu,
Rev. Kory Quon