SLO BUDDHIST TEMPLE

HOME - Message by Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano

Res. Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd.
San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Ph. 805 595-2625
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This article may or may not reach you by the next year, so Happy New Year! As 2017 comes to an end, we hope that the New Year will help clean the slate. However, our past can only influence how well we live 2018. No matter how encouraging or dismal 2017 was, we are assured of the ever-shining light of Amida Buddha’s endless compassion and wisdom.

Some of us have had to face many difficult situations, yet we survived them with hopefully, only minor sufferings. It is not a choice we ever want to face, however, we managed through our tribulations. Even though we would rather not face these circumstances, it can be a learning situation. How would we learn and truly appreciate what may come of the new year? Our experiences only make us stronger and wiser.

A New Years Eve service (Joya E) is a “last night gathering” of the old year. It is an observance to share gratitude for the past year and to reflect on the interdependency of all life. It is to share our thanks for all things that have made it possible to live this year. It does not matter if it was not up to our expectations, but it was a year in which we have lived the best we could. It is a tradition to close out the year in a quiet way of introspection of the events and to truly appreciate the many experiences and journeys we had.

Looking back on the year, has our transgressions or passions contributed to what and how 2017 was? These passions were created by our selves and through our five senses with one addition and that is our consciousness. For each of the 6 senses, there is always a pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feeling associated with them. These 6 senses with 3 feelings gives us a total of 18. These 18 passions have an attachment to pleasure or detachment from pleasure and multiplied by these 2 attachments gives us a total of 36. But wait, there is still more. Since these 36 passions always have a past, present and future, the total is now 108 passions. We toll the bell 108 times on New Year’s Eve in erasing out the old and looking forward to a better year.

We can ring the bell, however it is how we search within our selves for the truth of who we truly are. We can live a virtuous life, yet we are bound to slip up somewhere and sometime. Buddha’s compassion and wisdom teaches us that we are only human and we may at one time fall from the path. Yet, it does not mean we quit trying but instead, grow stronger in thought and deeper in hearing. The Buddha’s teaching is a guide and it is our turn to listen within and to think.

A most difficult task is to hear and to give deep thought. We never stop just because it is a new year. We have a new year to continue with our search. We are always hearing with undiscriminating thoughts, views and words. When we do not understand, we can ask questions. This is Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and it is a New Year!

Have a sane and safe New Year and remember, we are embraced in Amida Buddha’s light and life of compassion and wisdom.

Gassho,
Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
minister@slobuddhisttemple.org
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1/3: 7pm Board meeting
           
1/7: 10am Japanese
        Language Class

1/11: 7pm Jodo Shinshu
        for newbies
            
1/13: 9am Temple clean up

1/14: 10:30am Chanting

1/21: 10am Intro to
        Buddhism

1/27: 9am BWA meeting
        Self defense class

1/28: 10am Japanese
        Language Class
…The Diving Light, which shines upon us,
Illuminates and protects us continually and
Dispels the darkness of ignorance.
Buddhist Handbook For Shinshu Followers - Rev. Shoyu Hanayama. 1969