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Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
Sept. 16: Intro to Buddhism (10am)
           30: Ohigan Service (11am)
 Nov. 11: Eitaikyo Service (11am)


…Namo Amida Butsu…
it is the song of gratitude
not of my finding the Buddha
but Buddha finding me.
During our lifetime we encounter many people. They may remain strangers or develop into some type of relationship. But whatever the circumstance, these people, strangers or acquaintances, can and have influenced us in some manner. It may come in the form of behavior, verbal or emotional experience.

Of course, our first encounter is the people who cared for us before we were born and that is our parents. They showed concern about our health. They cared for our development and they gave us a name that we would carry throughout our lives. They may even have started to plan for our future. They continued to guide us, share their love, and yes, teach us appropriate behavior and manners. They shared and showed us inspiration of what and who we are. No matter what path we pursued, our parents shared their compassion and influence.
During the short time before we are born, we encountered doctors and nurses who cared for our birth. They checked our vitals, checked on our development and may have even been there for our birth. They worked to assure our parents that we are healthy and answered any questions and concerns they may have had.

As we matured, teachers, religious leaders, and peers have also influenced us. We had experiences and memories of them that remain with us today. The experience of socializing with peers and further teachings of our ABC’s and have also influenced our goals. As we continued in life, we have met others who changed us. We were influenced by a simple smile or a rude word . They influenced our outlook on people and life. Unfortunately, these brief encounters can change our attitudes and can develop our stereotypes of others. It is amazing how simple gestures can influence our thinking.

Even though this may be a fact of life, we do not have to allow others to affect us. It is our teachings of Buddha and Shinran Shonin that give us strength and guidance in our patience. It is our Nembutsu, Namu Amida Butsu, that can teach us that we do not have to permit any ill behavior to affect us or change us. How fortunate for us that we have Nembutsu. Nembutsu is a protected state of mind or refuge that keeps us safe from unpleasant verbal, behavioral or emotional experiences that may be threatening or unpleasant. It is a retreat for just a bit to calm us and to see us through scary moments or uncertainty. It is our true and deep entrusting in Nembutsu that assures us that the experiences of influence is just a practice in learning.

In our Namu Amida Butsu, we share our gratitude and thankfulness for being with us in all matters of life. We never quit encountering pleasant or unpleasant people, things or situations. However, we are “never abandoned” and we are never alone. Our teachings are always deep in our thoughts and hearts and our Nembutsu. Our encounter with Nembutsu is an awakening, entrusting or realization of truth and strength.

Gassho, Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd., SLO
~Excerpt of Namo Amida Butsu by Rev. Kenryu T. Tsuji
From the book, The Heart of the Buddha-Dharma