In like manner Buddha-nature is hidden away
Beneath the wild growth of worldly passions
As can rarely be discovered, but Buddha found
It and revealed it to the people, and as they
Receive it by their varying faculties it taste
Differently to each person.
From The Teaching of the Buddha
San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple
6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
In Buddhism the number eight (8) holds several significant meanings. The number eight turned on its side is the symbol for infinity. It was April 8th that Sakyamuni Buddha was born and it is December 8th that Siddhartha Gautama attained Enlightenment and after attainment he would be called Sakyamuni Buddha. This date of December 8th is also known as Jodo E “attaining-Enlightenment gathering” or Bodhi Day. In Sanskrit, “bodhi” means enlightenment.
Before the Buddha attained enlightenment, he was named Siddhartha. He lived a life of royalty and filled with luxury and riches. Yet he struggled and was not satisfied with this life. He left this enchanted life seeking solutions to end the suffering of humanity. It took many years of ascetic practice and near death of starvation before Gautama understood that to think clearly one had to have a healthy mind and body. He would learn and understand the middle way of all things.
He made a firm resolution to sit and meditate under the Pippala tree (ficus religiosa) until he reached Enlightenment. The tree under which he sat is now referred to as the Bodhi tree or Bo-tree. It was on the eighth day of the twelfth month as the first faint of daylight began to glow, that Siddhartha became Sakyamuni Buddha, the awakened one, a fully enlightened being.
The Buddha did not keep his enlightenment or his teachings secret. He realized the universal Truth or the nature of all existence. The Buddha spread the teachings, which would enable all beings to cross the ocean of birth-and-death. This ocean is filled with blind passions of ego, greed, an-ger and our ignorance. Shakyamuni Buddha awakens us through his Wisdom and Compassion.
The Buddha has also shown our potentiality of being a Buddha; this we call Buddha-nature. How joyful it is in knowing that once awakened or aware of this potential we too can achieve the same Enlightenment. Yet we are limited in reaching this state because of our existence of blind pas-sion. We can have a taste or a moment of realization, awakening, or awareness but in a second it is gone.
December is the last month of the year; we can look back and reflect upon what has happened during the past year. We can be grateful and our hands together in Gassho in thankfulness for the wonderful things that make our life joyful and full of happiness. We also reflect on the sorrow and sadness that has occurred but with solutions to improve that state.
May this season bring you joy and togetherness and may you be safe and warm. The end of the year service is just around the corner and we can ring in the New Year with the tolling of the bell. Happy Bo-dhi Day, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.
In Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano
Southern District Temples
BCA Calendars and Membership roster for 2014 will be in the lobby
on Dec. 8. Please don't forget to pick up your packets!