Sensei's Monthly Messages

We Have a New GoMonShu (Head Priest)!

We Have a New GoMonShu (Head Priest)!

On March 31, 2017, a group from the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple had the opportunity to attend the Dento Hokoku Hoyo Service held at Ryukoku-zan, the head temple for the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha school of Buddhism in Kyoto, Japan. The Dento Hokoku Hoyo or Head Priest Accession Service allowed us all as Jodo Shinshu followers …read more

The light of your face is unsurpassed in majesty, Your awesome greatness is beyond limit, A brightly shining flame with no equal. Next to your brilliance, Even the brightness of sun, Moon, and Manji jewel (any jewel from sutra) seem covered in black ink. — Larger Sutra of Immeasurable Life It is February, and I …read more

It Rained on Our Parade! OBON!

It Rained on Our Parade! OBON!

Obon! Awwwwww Obon. This is when everyone travels to the temple to come together, reconnect, and strengthen our familial and communal bonds. We work hard and then dance as one in gratitude and appreciation for the lives that we have been given by those that have come before us. Let’s talk about the joy of …read more

Nenbutsu Grows Where Water Flows

Water Water Water… I borrowed the term above. Recently, our members and I were able to attend the BCA’s National Council Meetings in Visalia, California. As you drive through central California you will see signs with the phrase “Food Grows Where Water Flows.” It is to awaken us all to the urgency of the drought …read more

What Do You Mean These Aren’t My Shoes?

I started this piece with this question, because growing up in the BCA, the Buddhist Churches of America, I have always felt we were following our ministers by Watching and Living by their example. VHBT has a GREAT lineage of past ministers. As the new minister, I felt that it was my honor and duty …read more

Other Shore

I believe that Buddhism is different from other religions. The reason is that Buddhism never talks about becoming a good person. 90% of all religions emphasize to be a good person. In order to do so, people can believe in God or in Buddha. Or, I can state that they need the help from them. …read more


Arigatou is the Japanese word for Thank You. Although thank you is the English translation for arigatou, the word itself also explains for us why we would want to say thank you. The word arigatou is made by combining the two kanji characters aru or “to have,” “to exist,” and the character gatai or “difficult.” …read more

On Being Strong, Powerful and Rich

Although January is a very busy and celebratory month, February, despite being the shortest month of the year, is also a very busy month for Americans. For example, President’s Day is observed in February. It is also the month when we observe Superbowl Sunday. It is also when thousands if not millions of men, some …read more


Happy New Year everyone! 2014 promises to be a very exciting year for the Venice Hongwanji. Because 2015 will be the 60th Anniversary since the founding of our Dharma School, we will be starting a year-long program getting ready for the anniversary. In 2015, for example, we are in the preliminary planning stages of sending …read more

To be Tied by the Rope of Doing Bad Things

The light of purity is without compare. When a person encounters this light, All bonds of karma fall away, So take refuge in Amida, the ultimate shelter. The poem that I am beginning my article with is one of the wasan that we chant as part of our daily morning services. As with many poems, …read more