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Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
May 6: Gotan-e
        12: Clean up day
        13: Eshinni/Kakushinni Service
        19: Annual Golf Tournament
         27:Cemetery Services

…to believe in the compassion of Amida Buddha
is none other than to see the true nature of self.
When we think of the word “fight”, many images come to mind. There is, of course, the art of pugilism. When we think of the professional boxer, we picture a boxing ring, a referee, managers and many other people behind the scene. There is also the formal Japanese art of sword fighting or the formal art of throwing an opponent off his/her balance in judo. Additionally fighting can also be viewed as a street brawl. All in all, fighting creates pain and hurt, no matter what form it takes.

Recently the church held two classes on self-defense for women. In a sense, this is a form of fighting. The instructor said we should have a plan before the attack occurs. He also said talking or using our words directed to the oppressor is important. Questioning the person or asking the person “Why?” makes the oppressor think for just a few seconds, throwing off his/her “thinking balance”.
However, there is a form of fighting that is detrimental to us as individuals and that comes in the form of our actions, words, and thoughts. When our anger, thoughtlessness and ego enter our world, this we call the internal fight or struggle. We take action without being mindful. This is where two egos collide with each other. We react with words or actions that can result in loss of friendship and the making of enemies. One thinks he is right, while the other thinks the same. However, we never stop to think and consider. We react first and think of the results afterwards. This is a natural reaction but is fighting a solution?

Being mindful or thinking first can help defuse this fight. We have inside of us the ability to find solutions and that comes in the form of Namu Amida Butsu. This momentary pause can help us find words and actions that can convey our thoughts. Maybe a few friendships can be preserved by just that pause. We must think if the so-called fight is worth all the energy expended.

We all go through this period of anger, greed and ignorance; yes, even ministers. They too are humans and imperfect beings. However, we all must heed to these reactions. Taking those few moments of calmness can ease the brain so that we do have clearer thinking. We must consider the other side of the fight and why he/she is hurting others.

It is so easy to speak out and say what we have to say, but maybe we should pick our battles with clarity. Thich Nhat Hahn, a monk and philosopher, once said that when a person says biting and hurting words, it is because there is a five-year-old child screaming inside. The child is having a “temper tantrum” and want others to hear him/her. As the opponent, we must stop and calm ourselves before reacting to such nonsense because we can also become this five-year-old child. It does feel good sometimes to release this pent-up agitation, but to what cost and to what extent do we hurt others? It is simply Namu Amida Butsu that help guide and direct us. Sometimes we must take the “high road” with thoughtfulness and calm.

With mindfulness, there can be an end to our darkness. We have our Nembutsu to help us think. We all have a tendency to be that five-year old. However, with our recitation of Namu Amida Butsu we can help that inner child find solutions to our greed, anger and ignorance. We also recite Namu Amida Butsu for the opponent, so that he/she can also find peace and calm for his/ her inner fight.

Gassho, Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd., SLO
The Awareness of Self, Rev. Gyodo Haguri