Recently, we celebrated the seven newest additions to our Sangha. I want to thank all the families and extended relatives that participated and made our Hatsumairi possible. I also want to thank everyone that contributed in making the Hatsumairi and Hanamatsuri service as well as the Bento Otoki and Dana Deliveries on April 3 a success. I reflect back to the Dana Delivery message from New Year where I wrote about the traits that are related to the year of the tiger. Be Brave, Competitive, Confident, and Unpredictable. If we were to follow these traits, we would be able to look within ourselves to see our limitations and then go beyond them. I am not saying to make outlandish goals or have unreasonable expectations, but when we do our work with these traits to push forward and install the teachings or Dharma within we can do great things. One way to do this is to learn the value behind the rituals. Let me show you.
I hope someday to obtain something that looks like the item above. This is what is traditionally used for the Hatsumairi service and some other ceremonies. It represents the razor used for shaving of our heads during ordination and thereby the cutting away of our ego self. We dedicate our lives to not only follow the Buddha’s Teachings, but to do our best to emulate the Buddha. When we bring our children or the next generation, we become motivated to not only live an awakened life for ourselves, but for them. Let us all as a Sangha adopt those that have come after by being their examples.
By leading the way of our community let us look at it as an organism. What kind of nutrients does it need? When we want to be our best we cannot just be fed with anything. We want optimal nutrition for optimal health and energy. We feed our minds the same way. The recipe for Good Food for our Hearts is as follows.
Let us throughout the day, live with clear eyes, warm hearts, and humble attitude.
Let us throughout the day, not become angry.
Let us throughout the day, not utter words of discontent, dissatisfaction, and untruth.
Let us throughout the day, do our daily work with all our power.
Let us throughout the day, rejoice in the Love and Compassion of the Buddha, who is constantly watching over us day and night.
Let us throughout the day, repeat the Name, NAMO AMIDA BUTSU.
Together we recite this every Sunday. By not just reading this passage but living by this we can feed everyone. This is how we observe Hanamatsuri as well. We pledge to follow the Buddha’s teachings and also lead the way for others through being living examples.
We have been physically apart for a very long time. I know I am out of practice. How about you? When we come together, let us all work diligently with these directives at our core. If we forget them. Please remind and support each other through our suffering. Looking to the future, let us all eat well and be joyful together! I am excited to see you soon!
Namo Amida Butsu,
Rev. Kory Quon