White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for October 2019


Dear Members,

I hope that this message finds you enjoying the light of the Amida Buddha’s infinite wisdom and compassion.

Last month, there was the 16th World Buddhist Women’s Convention at San Francisco. The theme of this convention was “Live the Nembutsu.” I think this theme was very good because nowadays, we share our lives with Amida Buddha teaching in our communities and in societies, there are a lot of cultural diversity. We were very lucky that we were able to hear the speech by Gomonshu-sama.

Keynote Speakers, in both English and Japanese were all very good. Also, there were many excellent workshops. So, I guess I was able to reflect on what it means to live the Nembutsu. I appreciate all the people that attended this convention, and also thankful to all the people and organization that supported it and made it happen, such as the Organizing Committee. While I was attending the convention, I realized that a lot of people have been involved, to make this convention a success.

Buddha makes us realize our true self. Buddha Dharma is not just for teaching, and Sangha is not just for belonging.  They have the power to transform the way we see things and our way of life. 








White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for September 2019

The faults of others are easy to see, but our own faults are difficult to recognize. If one sees that he has a fault, he must realize that the fault must be very grave indeed for him to recognize it himself; thus, he must take step to correct his fault. Because it is difficult for us to see many of our faults, we should listen to the advice of others. 

(by Rennyo Shonin)

In June of this year, I became very happy because of Rui Hachimura.  Have you heard of him? He is the first ever Japanese player selected in the First round of the NBA draft. This all sounds so great and he has made history with his selection into the NBA. 

At the beginning, the Japanese media reported good news about him, but after that, some of them started to report negative news about Rui and that made me sad. He is an excellent athlete and had done wonderful things, but some people do not like him and criticize him.

But it’s not only Hachimura-san who is often criticized. Many sports players, celebrities and famous people have similar experiences like Hachimura-san, to be criticized unfairly.  

Maybe some of you have been blamed for something you didn’t do, or someone said it was your fault even though you had nothing to do with it. This is especially true currently when so much false news or lies are spread over the Internet. It is no longer just or fair world. 

Sometimes I know that it is not good to do so, and I don’t like to argue, but I find myself justifying my actions to my friends. Even though I would not do so with my parents or grandparents, I will do this with my friends unintentionally, and regret later. To say that you are right and try to justify it, is an unenlightened existence. To criticize others is easy, but to truly reflect on oneself and see yourself as you really are is very difficult.

This is the reason why I need advice from others, and I need Amida Buddha’s teachings. Through the Nembutsu, you can see your life, your true self. The quote from Rennyo Shonin shown above, reflects this truth.

Rennyo Shonin’s words give us latitude for our tendency to judge others, to act only on our self-interest, but at the same time provide deterrence against such tendencies. He is saying to us that do not depend solely on yourself, but rely on others, and depend on Amida Buddha’s teachings so that you can understand yourself better, this is what is important.

We can begin to see our true selves through the light of Amida Buddha’s teachings.  Through the teachings and the lives of others, we begin to reflect on ourselves and begin to understand how we are led to live, and how grateful we should be of others. By this process, budding desire will be fostered, to become humble and generous. Also, through the infinite compassion of Amida Buddha, one can begin to see what you do not want to see within yourself, the “Three Poisons” which are greed, ill will and delusion.

When we hear the teaching, we can transform ourselves. To say Namoamidabutsu is to express our appreciation and gratitude. And I would also say that Namoamidabursu is the calling from our loved ones and Amida Buddha.  When we hear these voices, we can appreciate the life you have with the lives our loved ones had. 


Yugo Fujita
















White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for August 2019

Even a good person attains birth in the Pure Land, so it goes without saying that an evil person will. 

Though it is so, people commonly say, "Even an evil person attains birth, so it goes without saying that a good person will."

This statement may seem well-founded at first, but it runs counter to the intent of the Primal Vow, which is Other Power. This is because people who rely on doing good through their self-power 

fail to entrust themselves wholeheartedly to Other Power and therefore are not in accord with Amida's Primal Vow, but when they overturn the mind of self-power and entrust themselves to Other Power, 

they will attain birth in the true and real fulfilled land. 

It is impossible for us, who are possessed of blind passions, to free ourselves from birth-and-death through any practice whatever.  

Sorrowing at this, Amida made the Vow, the essential intent of which is the evil person's attainment of Buddhahood. Hence, evil persons who entrust themselves to Other Power are precisely the ones who possess the true cause of birth. 

Accordingly, he said, "Even the good person is born in the Pure Land, so without question is the person who is evil." 

 (“Collected Works of Shinran”, CWS- Page 663)


Dear Temple Members,

Last month, we had the Obon Festival. Many temple members and their friends came to help out at the temple and enjoy the Obon festivities. Thank you very much for supporting the temple. I think everyone was very busy working at the Obon Festival, but I hope that all of you had the chance to take in the Obon Festival atmosphere and enjoy all the food and the stage performances. 

The passages written in the beginning is from a Jodo Shinshu text called “Tannisho” (which is attributed to Yuiyen, one of Shinran’s disciple. In the US, it is part of “Collected Works of Shinran” which is usually abbreviated as CWS, and it is available in our library). This text is instructive, and provides some flavor of how Amida Buddha treat or act on different types of people, both good and bad. Since I was still young, my father and grandfather often told me to treat Amida Buddha and Buddhist Alter with great importance, and make Amida Buddha the center of my daily life. I was also told to help out with various activities around the temple. I had thought that if I do something for Amida Buddha, Amida Buddha will do something good for me. Said in another way, I had thought that if I do not do good deeds for Amida Buddha, I will not receive benefits from Amida Buddha. I was told by my grandfather that this viewpoint was all wrong. So, the question is what type of people are saved by Amida Buddha? Who are the people that Amida Buddha is trying to save?  

As a conclusion, Amida Buddha is trying to save everyone, and he is reaching out to all of us. As everyone should be all aware, Amida Buddha does not tell us you must do this or that, he does not impose conditions or discriminate. Whether you are a good person or evil, or whether you are lost and worrying about your own existence, Amida Buddha has his sight set on everyone to save without exception. At the root of all this, there is wisdom and compassion. There is no need to worry that I will not be saved because I haven’t done this or that, or that I cannot do this or that. We often tend to care about how many times we have gone to the temple, or attended how many services, but this has no relationship to how Amida Buddha treats you regarding whether you are going to be saved or not. The Buddhas receives you just as you are. There is no good or bad in any of these things. The Jodo Shinshu teaching tells us that what matters is things that we can do, we take it one by one and we try our best. Also, to continue to recite the Nembutsu. Together with our Sangha friends, we can choose the path that allows us to be saved by just reciting the Nembutsu. Even as we try our best, it is embarrassing that we still cannot achieve our goal, but Amida Buddha will reach out to us and save us despite our deficiencies, for this we can be deeply thankful.







最初に書かせていただきましたご文は歎異抄からです。悪人・善人のことや阿弥陀様がどのような方々に働きかけ救うのかという事を学ばせていただけるご文だと私は味あわせていただいております。私は小さい時から阿弥陀様・お仏壇を大切にして、阿弥陀様を中心にした生活をしなさいと祖父・祖母にいわれてきました。お寺のためにいろいろなことを手伝いなさいとも言われてきました。私が阿弥陀様にいい事をすれば、阿弥陀様もいい事をしてくれると思っていました。いいかえると、いい事をしなければ、いい事をしてくれないという考えです。しかし、その考えは間違っていると祖父が教えてくれました。ではどのような人々が阿弥陀様によって救われていくのでしょうか? 阿弥陀様が救おうとしている人は誰でしょうか? 





White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for July 2019

Dear Temple Members,

I would like to share the message which was recently delivered by our Gomonshu-sama, Kojun Ohtani who is our religious leader. You might have already seen it because it was published in last month’s Wheel of Dharma, but it is important for us to be reminded again, so please allow me to show it again here. 

Our Pledge

Breaking out of my shell

I will share a warm smile and speak gentle words

Just like the kind Buddha.


Not becoming lost in my greed, anger, and ignorance

I shall think and act with an open-mind

Just like the calm and peaceful Buddha


Not putting myself first

I will share in the joy and sadness of others

Just like the compassionate Buddha


Realizing the gift of life I have received

I shall strive to live each day to its fullest

Like the Buddha who tirelessly works to liberate all. 

As you can see, he summarized his thoughts in a four-verse piece titled OUR PLEDGE. Buddhist Churches of America has asked us to read this pledge in our service. So, we will do so in our service soon. I think these words bring Jodo Shinshu teaching to our life. It is often difficult to follow this pledge, but we should strive to do so.   

Also, I would like to let you know that Buddhist Temple of Salinas has an opening for minister’s assistant position now. So please let me know if you are interested in this position.   

We will be receiving our Amida Buddha and Onaijin on July 5thafter restoration/refurbish in Japan. So, please attend the services to welcome back our newly restored Onaijin.









一、 自分の殻(から)に閉じこもることなく




一、 むさぼり、いかり、おろかさに流されず




一、 自分だけを大事にすることなく




一、  生かされていることに気づき










White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for June 2019

Dear Members,

I would like to write a little bit about the message that I shared at the Memorial Day Service in this newsletter. It is because I had heard from some of the members that it was hard to hear me at the service due to the low volume from the audio speaker.   

For me, it is the third time to experience this year’s Memorial Day observance. While I was in Japan, I did not hear about the Memorial Day observance, therefore I did not understand what Memorial Day was all about. After the third time however, it is becoming clear what Memorial Day observance means and its importance. I know the exact translation of Memorial Day in Japanese. It is the day in which we honor all the fallen soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for the United States of America. We often hear about many contributions that Japanese Americans have made in this regard. The sacrifices made by the Japanese Nisei soldiers in the famed 442ndInfantry Regiment during WWII is a good example. As a Buddhist, we would like to give remembrance to all who lived in those times, and to give thanks to all who have contributed to our daily lives.  

Shinran Shonin has shown us that as a follower of Nembutsu teachings, all of us, all sentient beings are equal “friends” or fellow travelers in life. By observing Memorial Day with family and friends, we not only realize the preciousness of our own lives, but all lives and it is a wonderful happenstance to have that opportunity. With the privilege of hearing the teachings and reciting the Nembutsu, we can hope to continue to walk the path to peace.    


Yugo Fujita