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Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
Today I choose to live with gratitude
For the love that fills my heart, the peace
That rest within my spirit and the voice
Of hope that says all things are possible.
Maternal instincts must have been on high alert, for my mother came to check on us and there we were locked outside the car. She was a bit angry and when she heard our story she stifled her laughter and just shook her head. This was an adventure that continues to remind me of turkey and Thanksgiving. I believe my parents were relieved and that we did learn a lesson. We do not chase nor catch wild turkeys. I am so grateful we have grocery stores.

As we near this holiday, we may gather with family and friends. There will be merriment, laughter and lots of food. Yet, before that meal, will Nembutsu (Namu Amida Butsu) and “Itadakimasu” be part of our feast? Will we think of all the sacrifices that were made in order to share a fine meal with family, friends? What are we thankful for and how do we show this gratitude? When we are stuffed with this delicious meal, will “Gochisosama” and Namu Amida Butsu finish our meal? These three phrases are a tradition, but it is quickly forgotten.

When will we take the time to think about what we are thankful for and how will we show our gratitude? We take for granted that we will always have food, family, friends, shelter and money to buy these luxuries, however, when we think and hear our Namu Amida Butsu? So many questions for a one-day holiday but these are questions that should be contemplated on steadfastly.

As we show our happiness at this gathering we can share our thankfulness through our actions. We do not have to put our palms together in Gassho, however, we can still give thanks and share our gratitude while silently contemplating on Namu Amida Butsu.

Our recitation of Nembutsu flows from the heart naturally and without self calculation. This holi-day we give thought and share with others our joy and happiness. May this Thanksgiving be always safe and filled with joy, peace and Namu Amida Butsu.

Gassho, Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd., SLO
About a month ago, I was in front of the house and I spotted a huge bird. At first glance I thought it was a wild turkey. It was sitting on the ground and the only thing that was moving was its head. The head was moving side to side and looked as if it was meditating. I kept watching and thinking to myself about two things, Thanksgiving and my fishing adventure as a youth. But eventually the bird fully expanded its wings and carried a ground squirrel to its nest. It was a red tailed hawk, getting dinner for its young ones.

When my sister and I were on a fishing expedition with our parents, we were playing in the car and saw some wild turkeys. We got out of the car and without thought, locked the doors. The turkeys were making their “gobble, gobble” noises and we decided we were going to catch one for dinner. We wanted to surprise our parents with a bird. However, wild turkeys are not to be reckoned with. They can be pretty mean.
Nov 10: Clean up day (9am)
         11: Eitaikyo Service (11am)
         18: Intro to Buddhism (10am)
         28: Basics of Jodo Shinshu (5pm)