Sensei's Monthly Messages

The Wisdom to say, “Thank you”

The Buddha had an unwavering faith in his fellow human being to do the right thing. Because of this neither did the Buddha threaten, nor did he bribe. Instead, he appealed to the intellect of man. He spoke through and shared the wisdom that he discovered to help all of us to find compassion in …read more

Halloween is Not Just for Witches and Goblins

The month of October is busy with all sorts of preparations; in particular it is the month that children and their families get ready to transform themselves for Halloween. Although we as people ready ourselves for this annual and single day transformation, Buddhist literature also tells us that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas also transform themselves. Unlike …read more


Because Ohigan is a term that literally means “The Other Shore,” it is a season and a service that makes us think about what the Pure Land might or does mean to me. One of the things that the Pure Land does force us to think about is the inevitability of going to the Other …read more

Our Mission

To promote a greater understanding and appreciation of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism and to continue to live the Nenbutsu as a warm and friendly, family-centered temple. The statement that I am quoting is the Mission Statement of the Venice Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. I wanted to begin this month’s article with this quote because I thought that …read more

The Beauty of Life (Part 2)

Deep mind is the deeply entrusting mind. There are two aspects. One is to believe deeply and decidedly that you are a foolish being of karmic evil caught in birth-and-death, ever sinking and ever wandering in transmigration from innumerable kalpas in the past, with never a condition that would lead to emancipation. The second is …read more

The Beauty of Life (Part 1)

In one of my favorite scenes from The Simpsonʼs, Homer Simpson is talking to God, who is asking Homer why he doesn’t go to church. Homer answers by saying that he doesn’t want to go somewhere that just keeps telling him how bad he is. God then replies by saying, “You have a point.” Although …read more

The Tannishou and Me

On the fourth Wednesday of the month, our Young Adult Buddhist Association (YABA) has been holding their monthly discussion class. Recently, however, they have been talking about texts that are important to the Jodo Shinshu tradition. In April, they talked about the Shoshinge, and in their May meeting they talked about the Tannishou. Although the …read more

In Praise of Play

In the month of April our temple turns its focus onto the youth. Not that we ignore the youth during the other parts of the year, but during the month of April, as we remember the birth of the historical Buddha, we turn our main attention to remembering and sharing in the joy and potential …read more

On (Daylight) Saving Time

The heart is a fickle thing. Although even as a child I never really liked the idea of having to get up an hour earlier just because it was spring, and as I grew older I felt somewhat validated after learning that not all cultures took the trouble of moving their clocks either forward or …read more

Remembering Takeko Kujo

In the month of February, our Fujinkai (women’s association), together with all Nishi Hongwanji temples with a Fujinkai, will take the time to remember the life of Takeko Kujo (October 20, 1887 – February 7, 1928). In conjunction with this service we will also be remembering all the late members of our Fujinkai. In holding …read more