Turning the Corner in 2023!

| February 1, 2023

The phrase in the Ho-onko shiki, “Always keep in mind that recitation (of ‘Namo Amida Butsu’) is an instinctively cheerful activity” refers to reciting “Namo Amida Butsu” joyously rather than reciting it from a sense of duty. That’s because “Namo Amida Butsu” recited with shinjin (with a sense of being in Amida Buddha’s embrace) is an act of celebration.

Happy New Year!

I know that some people may have hesitations and that is ok.  You have to make the right decisions for you and no one else.  The temple is working hard.  When opportunities arise like Obon comes don’t get caught in your head, but think about where you are and who you are sharing it with.  It is easy to lose our temper.  It easy to take time for granted.  It is sad and easy to miss seeing the value of the moments that slip by.   This is what it is to be human.  Do not over think the things that are out of your control.  Again, what an exciting time to be Alive!  Take a moment to reflect upon your heart and the heart of others.  Use your energy wisely.  Work together.

When you come to the temple, reconnect.  Think about the heart of the people who have done so much for you.  Think about the wishes that have been made and the ones you have received.  Join in.  Dance for Joy.  Put Your Hands together in Gassho and Bow.

The passage I began with is from the book Heard and Recorded During Master Rennyo’s Lifetime.  This passage makes me feel like we all forget the feeling of comfort and hope that is given through Amida Buddha’s effort and the Jodo Shinshu Tradition passed onto us by Shinran Shonin.  I remember when growing up I usually recited Nembutsu when I heard the minister lead everyone.  Were you the same?  I took many of these occasions for granted.  This May many of us will be taking a trip to celebrate Shinran Shonin’s 850 birthday as well as the 800th Anniversary of the Jodo Shinshu Teaching. Shinran spent his youth searching.  He labored over various practices to find an answers to his human suffering.  He then found his teacher Honen and realized the Nembutsu path to be the right one for him.  When we go to the temple, it is hard for us to appreciate that the answer is given to us in the beginning.  Say Nembutsu when you find your reason.  Say it when finding we are all perfectly imperfect.  Say Nembutsu or Namu Amida Butsu for joy and happiness.  When it becomes a spontaneous gesture of settlement within, say it for the future generations.

2023 is our opportunity to participate while looking within.  I find that I am relearning the simple things like being in crowds.  What are you discovering about yourself?  What are you relearning?  Move forward by participating and interacting with others.  You have the chance to learn a lot about yourself through these valuable moments. As we are able to come together more often, let us all do our best to accept one another and deepen our relationships.  Share in our joys and struggles.  Share your celebrations.  Share your life.  When you find your reason, share by saying Nembutsu.  We are perfectly imperfect and have a lot to share.  Namo Amida Butsu!

In Gratitude and Appreciation,
Rev. Kory Quon
January, 2023

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