Okazu by Gary Hongo
The Apple of my Eye
Sitting on one of the pews in our hondo (chapel) and looking forward at the onaijin (altar), you cannot help but notice food items placed on the onaijin. One is rice and the other fruits. The fruits, usually oranges, apples and maybe pears are neatly stacked one on top of the other and add color to its surroundings. It is the apple that catches my eye.
As some of you may know, eating apples daily can be very beneficial. Scientific and medical studies have shown that apples are nutritious, good antioxidants and good for weight loss due to its high fiber content which fills you up resulting in eating less. Apples can also lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, asthma, mental health decline (memory loss) and cancer. Furthermore, eating apples promotes good gut bacteria. Giving your teacher an apple can also provide a side benefit.
When you shop for apples at the grocery store, you will see the familiar ones such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Granny Smith and Braeburn. Then along came Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Jonagold. More recently I’ve seen Cameo, Jazz, Kanzi, Opal and Pacific Rose. There are more than 100 varieties of apples grown in the United States alone. Some of you may have preferences as to what you desire in a perfect apple: crispness, sweetness, thickness of its skin, size and one that doesn’t brown quickly when cut. Whenever I notice a new apple or unfa-miliar one at the grocery store, I’m quick to try it – I may like it. At this point I may have found my perfect apple – the Sugar Bee. When ripe, its color is full red, its size is on the larger side, it is crispier than the Honeycrisp, sweeter than a Fuji and its skin is of average thickness. Sometimes it has a very slight but unique after taste. So if you do see a Sugar Bee at the market, try one and let me know if you like it but more importantly, describe that slight after taste for me.
6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
Res. Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
Recently at the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) National Council Meeting, a motion was passed to provide funding that will enable churches/temples in the Central California District to beam live services to each other. That district is comprised of 6 temples/churches spread from Fresno in the north to Visalia in the south. A head district minister (rinban) and a new fully ordained minister
(kaikyoshi) service these 6 temples/churches. Some of these temples/churches may have a minister holding service only once per month. This pilot project will enable the Sangha in Parlier, for example, to follow along in a service held at the Fresno Betsuin.
If successful, the project may have far reaching effects. People who are interested in Shin Buddhism and live in remote areas or areas without a Buddhist temple nearby may be able to view a service and follow along in real time. They will be able to hear the dharma messages being delivered by a “real” minister and hopefully, Jodo Shinshu may spread more rapidly within our country.
And Now Live from
4/14: Shotsuki Hoyo
4/16: 5pm Basics of Jodo Shinshu
4/21: 4:00pm Intro to Buddhism
5/04: Bon Odori
5/18: Golf Tournament
6/22: Wine Tasting
7/14: Obon/Hatsubon Service
8/03: SLOBC Obon
*** TIME CHANGE ***
4/21: Intro to Buddhism will be