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








White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for May 2019

Dear Members,

The Buddhist Temple of Salinas observed and celebrated Shakyamuni Buddha’s birthday “Hanamatsuri” on April 7th, 2019.  I am sure that all of you who attended the service enjoyed delicious food after the service. Thank you very much to those who brought foods to the luncheon. Also, Herb Wong made tri-tip for us. The Hanamido, which is a small altar for a baby Buddha, was decorated with many beautiful and colorful flowers. I would like to thank the hard-working BWA ladies for creating the Hanamido.

There are many types of Buddha representations in the world. Some Buddhas are sitting, others are standing and still others are laying down or reclining. It is often said that a Buddha laying on his side represents Shakyamuni Buddha that is about to die and enter parinirvana. A sitting Buddha represents Buddha that is practicing and this Buddha is calling to us to “come here, come to me.” In Jodo Shinshu and in Shin Buddhism, the Amida Buddha representation which we use as the central object of respect, you will always find that the Amida Buddha is standing. While in other Buddhist schools, you will find that the same Amida Buddha is sitting. The standing Amida Buddha represents the Buddha’s infinite compassion and the fact that the Amida Buddha wants to save everyone, especially those who are not able to become enlightened by themselves. Amida Buddha is not waiting for you at the Pure Land, Amida Buddha is always approaching us even before we approach Amida Buddha ourselves. The Amida Buddha is not saying “come up here,” rather he is saying “I come to you with the countless other Buddhas who is your loved ones and friends. It is Amida Buddha’s desire for us to awaken to this ultimate truth as soon as possible.  

In Gassho,

Yugo Fujita



2019年4月7日に花祭り法要をサリナス仏教会で執り行わせていただきました。皆さま法要後のランチを味わい、ご友人・ご家族と有意義な時間を過ごされたと思います。ランチに料理を持ってきてくださった方々ありがとうございます。トライチップのお肉は Herb Wong さんが作ってくださりました。また、花御堂は婦人会の方々が土曜日、日曜日の朝早くに来て作ってくださりました。おかげで綺麗な花御堂を楽しむことができました。






White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for April 2019

We will have a Hanamatsuri service on Sunday, April 7that 10 AM. This service celebrates the birth of Shakyamuni Buddha. We also call this service “Kanbutsu-E.” We also have a Hatsumairi Ceremony at the same day. Hatsumairi is a Ceremony in which a child is presented to Amida Buddha for the first time. If you would like your child or grandchild to take part in this ceremony, please let me know. 

I went to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the Annual BCA National Council and Ministers meeting with Mr. Hirahara and Mr. and Mrs. Tsukamoto. It was good opportunity for me to talk with other ministers and members. They gave me a lot of ideas and information about the BCA, our temples and Buddhism. 

Most of those senior ministers who are good mentors for me, are serving temples far away from here, so it is rare for me to be able to talk with and see them, so this opportunity is a very meaningful time for me. I am grateful to all of you for allowing me to attend this annual meeting.  

It was also a great chance to be in Arizona during the spring because of Baseball’s spring training that takes place in Arizona each spring.  We went to watch the Mariners and Angels game and I was really hoping to be able to see Ichiro, Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout.  Unfortunately, we were not able to see Ichiro and Shohei Ohtani. They were playing another game at the same time elsewhere, but as a Buddhist, I realized, “Wow, this is impermanence, and it can’t be helped.”  Even though Ichiro and Ohtani were not there, we were still able to enjoy the game.   It wasn’t because of fate that Ichiro and Ohtani were not there, it was karmic reality that they weren’t playing that day. It wasn’t because of any God or spirit that prevented them from playing.  We are constantly reminded that our lives are all about cause and effect and that our lives are constantly changing.


Yugo Fujita




アリゾナ州・フェニックスで行われた、BCA全体総会に今年も参加させていただきました。総会にはMr. Hirahara and Mr. and Mrs. Tsukamotoと参加しました。他のお寺の先生や、メンバー様とお話しでき、BCA、お寺、仏法のことを様々な角度から学べるので私にとって有難いご縁であります。特に普段お目にかかれない先輩の先生とお話しさせていただくことは大変貴重な体験であります。