SLO BUDDHIST TEMPLE
HOME - Message by Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Ph. 805 595-2625
We are living in the turbulent time, from natural disasters to upheaval in society. We seek solace, safety and warmth wherever we can. We of San Luis Obispo Buddhist Church are very fortunate, for we can find the solitude at the temple. Many people come to "meditate" to escape the harsh realities of the situation. We share our Namu Amida Butsu with gratitude and thankfulness for this tranquil and harmonious moment of time.
But this temple or church was not always in this area. Our history probably began in someone's house and when it became too crowded, it moved to a barbershop. During the week it was a gathering place to get haircuts, shaves and to socialize but on Sundays, this place became a gathering place to hear the Buddha's teaching.
They cleared out all the miscellaneous items, put in vegetable crates for seating and the service would proceed. It was these followers who looked to the future and began planning for a place of its own. They found a plot of land and developed the area with a social hall that doubled as a school that taught English and Japanese. There was a temple, minister's residence and tennis courts. These tennis courts were also used for the Obon festival. All the families with cars would surround the tennis courts and shine their lights on the dancers. Change and progress made this church and it was progress that made us move.
We were fortunate to find this plot of land that the current temple sits on. It has taken and continues to take hard work and many "people" hours to maintain this beautiful temple. This month we observe Eitaikyo, the perpetual memorial to past as well as present members who make this place of solitude and comfort. It is their foresight and dedication that helps us to travel further into our awakening.
You ask a memorial for present members? Yes, because we can never express enough, our "thank you" to those who keep this temple as peaceful and well maintained. We take for granted that the trees, retreat area and fundraisers occur by themselves. However, it takes many backbreaking hours to achieve these results. In fact, after 20 odd years with a handful of volunteers, we still feed the homeless once a month. These are just some of the events that happen here. There are so many "behind the scene" activities we do not see.
Did you know that members gather to clean the whole temple once a month? We have a member who comes every Tuesday to clean the social hall so that the Kendo and Iaido group can practice and the hall is clean when the taiko group practices. This member does not get paid. We take for granted that an "elf" takes this responsibility. Yet it is this member's compassion and dedication that helps to keep our Nembutsu strong.
Before service, I observe the camaraderie of friends and how "mindful" they are of our temple. We share and show our gratitude and thankfulness at this special observance and share our Namu Amida Butsu for past and present members. We can share our Nembutsu each moment, every day, and everwhere in gratitude and thankfulness for the teachings of selfless giving, patience and kindness.
Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
11/09: 7pm Shin Buddhism for Newbies
11/12: 11am Eitaikyo Service
11/19: 10am Intro to Shin
Here is the Pure Land
The Pure Land is Here
I smile in mindfulness
And dwell in the present moment...
Excerpt from "Finding Our True Home: Living in the Pure Land Here and Now"
(2003) by Thich Nhat Hanh, in Shin Buddhist Seravice Book