Orai Sensei's Message for December 2013 White Path

Welcoming the final month of the year 2013, may this article find you all in good health and spirits under the constant guidance of Amida Buddha.

Although we have been enjoying wonderful support from many members and just started to renew my work-visa, I hope you understand my age and limits and you never know what’s happening to me tomorrow. And I recommend the Board to consider in searching for replacement soon, as it takes a few years to get a new minister.

All we have been trying is to do what we can each and every day for the best of this temple. Fortunately 21st Century Buddhist Meditation that I started last December will soon be the first anniversary. I was able to continue most of Saturday mornings except a few times when I was away.  Now we got about half dozen regular attendants to enjoy meditation and chanting. And we get beginners occasionally. I counted more than 60 different individuals coming and going.

Main thing is to sit quietly for 15-20 minutes to discover what you are or who you are. Without knowing yourself truly, what can you do for the family and community? You may think you are doing alright, but what is really alright? Who knows what’s happening tomorrow? It is important to find the peace of mind regardless of time and place. This is called Anjin or Shinjin in Jodo Shinshu that Shinran Shonin discovered in the nembutsu 750 years ago. I firmly believe it is universal teaching for all the people on this earth.

In gassho, Na-man-da-bu, Orai Fujikawa





15分から20分、静かに座り、お経を読み、質疑応答、雑談などで一時間を過ごします。要するに自分自身の発見、自分は何者なのか?を見つけることが目的と言えます。誰でも「自分は大丈夫、なんとかやっている」と思っていますが、本当にそうでしょうか? 時と所を越えて本当の安心を求めて、ついに念仏のなかに信心を見つけられたのが親鸞聖人でした。人間誰でもも安心を探しているようですね。




店員は どの服試着 してもほめ/長電話 そばで聞いてりゃ くり返し/年かなあ ニワトリよりも 早く起き/閑静なと 言われ 案内された墓地/マッサージ 何よりつらい 屁の我慢


Orai Sensei’s Message November 2013 White Path

Welcoming the month of November which will end the fall season, may this message find you in good health and spirits in the compassionate light of the Buddha.

Last time when I visited my home town on the occasion of my parents’ memorial service, I met one of my second cousins who is also Jodo Shinshu minister in Hiroshima. He gave me a book of “Daily Messages” that he created and published for his members. I placed that in my bedroom, so that I can cherish and meditate on those.

JINSEI wa ITSUMO IMA ga HANA is the message that I like and wish to introduce. JINSEI is human life. ITSUMO is always. IMA is NOW and HERE.  HANA is flower. My translation is ‘The prime time of life is always now and here’. This is a great message for each and everyone who wishes to live this human life doing best each moment which is very precious and never repeats again.

In our daily life we often find ourselves complaining and grumbling over the weather, health, politics, economics, baseball or football games, meals and so on, as things don’t go as we wish.  For many centuries Buddha simply teaches that we are what we have thought, said, and done.

Although I know it is very difficult, I wish I could live in accordance with this great message each and every day.

In Gassho, Namo Amida Buddha, Orai Fujikawa






合掌 なんまんだぶ 釈往来


物忘れ するほど物を 覚えてぬ/ クラス会 残る毛 残る歯 比べ合い/ 「会いたいね」現実になり 気が重い/ 年齢に まず目が走る 死亡欄/ シャンプーと リンスの文字を 太くして/ ばあさんが 金を引き出す 孫が来る


Orai Sensei’s Message for October 2013 White Path

May this message find you in good health and spirits in the Compassionate Light of Amida Buddha in this harvest season of October.

“To learn Buddha Dharma is to learn yourself” is a famous phrase stated by Zen Master Dogen. I understand Gautama Siddhartha discovered himself when he was awakened at the age of 35 years old after six years of seeking. Shinran Shonin also discovered something true and real when he was encountered with Amida Buddha through the guidance of his master Honen Shonin.

Shinran Shonin says that you simply recite the Nembutsu and attain Birth in the Pure Land which is the essential teaching of Jodo Shinshu.

When you recite Na-Man-Da-Bu, Na-Man-Da-Bu, your true and real mind is activated deep inside. Although YOU are saying and hearing Na-Man-Da-Bu, it is coming from Amida Buddha as his calling on you.  It is also coming from your ancestors including your father, mother, grandparents, and all the loved ones who are among the innumerable Buddhas. They are all wishing you best, wishing you live in good health and spirits each and every day. This is the reason why you feel good, peace, comfort, and strength whenever you recite Na-Man-Da-Bu, which sounds, “Don’t worry, everything is going to be alright,” or “Come as you are,” or “I welcome you home.”

May you continue to recite Na-Man-Da-Bu and be happy and peaceful each and every day.

In Gassho, Na-man-da-bu, Orai Fujikawa












われ唱え われ聞くなれど なんまんだ つれてゆくぞの 親の呼び声

みほとけを 呼ぶわが声は みほとけの われを呼びます み声なりけり



敬老会 招待されたと 怒ってる/ やせたかな? ゴムが伸びてる だけですよ/ この中の どれが効いたか いま元気/ ゴミの日と 医者へ行く日の カレンダー/ 還暦は 若かったなあと 思う古希


Orai Sensei’s Message August 2013 White Path

After annual Obon Festival, the busiest event of the year, we welcome a very quiet month of August. However I am sure some of you will be busy with either your own garden or trip to meet your friends.

As for us we had a chance of trip to Japan at the end of June, visiting the headquarters of Nishi Hongwanji in Kyoto and our hometowns in Okayama and Hiroshima. As soon as I went to Hiroshima, six of my public school friends gave a get together party, so that I had a memorable evening with them. Also my brothers and sisters, and many cousins 40 in total gathered for the memorial service of my parents; 50th of my father and 7th of my mother.

My father died at his age of 64 when I was a college student in Osaka, which changed my direction of life, as I had a big question; Where is my father now? Where has he gone? The following year I moved to Kyoto to explore this question, which led my lifetime career of Buddhist priest eventually. In the meantime my mother lived a long life of 93 years.  I have her fond memory that she used to sit on the floor at the entrance to bow and welcome me whenever I came home from Canada, saying,”Yoo Kaetta noo.” (Welcome home.)   No parents welcome me anymore now. I can’t see them, can’t talk to them anymore, but I know that they are going to welcome me in the Pure Land together with Amida Buddha.

My teacher in Kyoto used to say, “The Pure Land seems to be very far away when I was young. But it is coming very close to me now.” I realize that I am getting close to his age.

In Gassho, Namo Amida Buddha, Orai Fujikawa

白い道  2013年8月号法話




合掌 釈 往来


小便が 近くて 耳が遠くなり

ボケたかな マスクしたまま 水を飲む

不眠症 眠れば治ると 医者は言う

老い二人 そろって肌着 裏返し


Orai Sensei’s Message for June 2013 White Path

On Sunday May 12th we commemorated the Birthday of Shinran Shonin (May 21, 1173) together with Monthly Memorial Service and Mother’s Day. Our shrine was as usual offered more than enough flowers thanks to the unselfish contribution from local flower growers as well as fruits and cakes from the memorial families.

What I would like to share in this issue is about ‘common sense’ that I talked about in Jodo Shinshu Buddhist tradition. This common sense is also considered as Middle Way, not extreme way in the other denominations. 

Whenever we are thirsty, we simply sip water from the glass and put down the glass on the table. It is common sense, isn’t it? But if you ask me to keep holding the glass in my hand for a number of hours, what will happen to me? As I am not strong young man anymore, my hand and arm will be tired and I may be so exhausted that I get heart attack. Furthermore if I have to continue to do so, I cannot do anything else to do properly, as I have to do many things to do every day.

Although we are aware of the great compassion coming from Amida Buddha to each one of us 24/7, all we can do is to remember and appreciate by responding to say Namo Amida Butsu once a day or a few times a week. We all know mother cares for us every day, but we don’t appreciate every day. We usually end up appreciate mother once a year on Mother’s Day.

I am glad about the fact that we are following the religion of Common Sense, as it is for everyone, young and old, men or women; it is the essence of Mahayana Buddhism.

In Gassho, Namoamidabutsu, Orai Fujikawa


 June 2013 White Path 六月号



浄土真宗は、「四六時中念仏しなくてはならない」とは言いません。一念でもいい、十念でもいい、忘れてもいい、阿弥陀如来が私を忘れず念じていて下さることを聞いておけばいいのです。だから「そのままのすくい」といいますね。それでもせめて年に一度は、親の命日には、親に感謝し、母の日には「ありがとう」の気持ちを素直に表したいものです。これが人間として無理のない、常識ある行いと言えます。 合掌。釈 往来