White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for July 2018

Dear Temple Members:

I sincerely hope this letter finds you enjoying good health in the light of the Buddha.

First, I would like to express my deep gratitude to you for your kindness. Thank you very much Dharma School, YBA, BWA and Buddhist Temple for giving me the birthday party and cake. I am very grateful and happy to spend time with you on my birthday. 

I would like to mention to you here about Obon. Obon is the special day when we can remember those people who have gone on before us. This is an opportunity for us to express our gratitude to those who helped share the Teachings with us and have also shown us just how great our present life really is. For Shin Buddhist, Obon dance is done in gratitude and in memory of our loved ones who passed away and we do not believe it is done to welcome back the spirits of departed as believed by some other Buddhist sects. The main meaning of our obon dancing is to show respect to those who have gone on before us and to express our joy for the present life that we have been given. Obon is also called a “Gathering of Joy” in grateful remembrance of all those who have so greatly influenced our lives.

Please check temple calendar to come to the practice for the Obon dance. Also, if it is possible, please come to Odon Festival to watch, dance, eat, and share your joy with many people.  










White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for June 2018

Dear Temple Members:

We are already in June, and 2018 is about to be half over. Summer is coming, and Obon Festival will be here soon. Last month I was able to take part in the Gotan-E service along with other wonderful lecturers. Reverend Matsubayashi who was the resident minister in Salinas from 2000 to 2006 will come to the Hatsubon and Shotsuki service on July 8th. Please attend this important service.

Changing the subject, I like to ask the question, what is the nature and characteristics of a Buddha? I believe that the most important feature is that Buddha does not separate Buddha-self from others, and Buddha possess a heart that does not create any divisions from one thing to another. Buddha does not possess typical human mindset of considering others as separate from ourselves and thinking that everything outside of ourselves have nothing to do with us. Buddha looks at all of us equally with no discrimination. Buddha works on each of us individually but equally toward all others at the same time and this is a wonderful and thankful thing. One other important characteristic of Buddha is that Buddha accepts everyone as they are. Buddha’s infinite compassion is always here, and it is all-inclusive. Buddha will make us feel at peace with ourselves and this reveals Buddha’s mercy and his true characteristics.

In May, we had a wonderful temple picnic where we were served delicious food. I would like to express my gratitude to all the people who helped with the temple picnic preparation. Thank you very much.

In Gassho, Yugo


話しは変わりますが、仏様の性質・特徴とはなんでしょうか? 私が思うに大きな特徴は、ご自身と他者を区別せず、分け隔てを設けないお心をお持ちということです。あなたはあなた、私は私、私には関係がないというお心は持っていないのが仏様です。私たち、すべての命を平等に見てくださっているのです。一人の仏様の働きが多くの人々に等しく、同じように思い働いてくださっていることは大変ありがたいことです。もう一つの大きな特徴は、煩悩によって濁った心を、清らかにしてくださるということです。煩悩とは簡単に言えば自分勝手の心のことです。自分勝手の心によって真実が見えなくなった私を仏様の真実のお光で導いてくださるのです。自己中心的な考え方に囚われ迷っている私を、けっして遠ざけることなくどこまでも包み込んで、転じさせ安らかにしてくださるのが仏様の大悲の働きであり、仏様の特徴です。





White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for May 2018

I hope you are in good health and doing well under the Amida Buddha’s light.

This month, we have a Memorial Day. I did not know about this day of observance before, and I learned about it last year. So, I think that many people go to the cemetery and visit one’s family and ancestors’ grave that day to show respect and gratitude to the people who have passed away. When we go to the cemetery, what do we do? At the beginning, I think that most people put their hands together at the gravesite. For each person, the activities are going to be different, but many people might do some cleaning of the graves. Dust may be brushed-off the grave stones, fallen leaves may be gathered up around the graves, and weeds may be pulled out around the headstones to honor those who have left and became Buddha. We might then place some flowers on the grave, burn incense, and recite the nenbutsu. Some people might also splash water over the grave stones. This is a common practice in Japan, and it is done to show our respect and gratitude to past family members and ancestors who have passed on and became Buddha. This practice is like doing theKanbutsuduring Hanamatsuri where we pour tea over the baby statue of Buddha. Although in this case, it is to celebrate Shakyamuni Buddha’s birth.  

In any case, when we go to visit the cemetery on Memorial Day, we would like to think deeply about the people who have become Buddha, pour water over the grave and recite the nenbutsu in gratitude.  

We will have a Gotan-E and Shotsuki service on Sunday, May 20 at 10AM. We will have a guest speaker Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara.  I hope to see all of you there.

In Gassho,

Yugo Fujita










White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for April 2018

I sincerely hope this newsletter finds you enjoying good health in the light of the Buddha-Dharma.
Last month, I went to Sacramento to attend the Buddhist Churches of America 2018 National Council and Ministers Association Meetings with Mark Amiya, Larry Hirahara and Gary Tanimura. I was able to see a lot of people and talk about Dharma and learn about the BCA and the member temples. While I was in the meeting, I realized that people attending the meeting have many different points of view, but everyone is concerned about the same issues, about Dharma, and the future of BCA. We all have the same goal. I thought this was wonderful. I was glad to be in the meeting to listen to other people’s ideas. I was able to learn a lot from them. Thank you very much for allowing me to attend the meeting.
Also, the Buddhist Temple of Salinas’ Sangha is wonderful because we have a wide spectrum of membership, from young to old and they all respect each other. Through the Jodo Shinshu Teaching, kindness of each member, and their encouragement and tolerant heart, I am taught every day to become more aware of my own self-centered ego which is difficult to notice by myself.  Together with all of you, I can hear the teachings of Buddha, and learn as a student of Buddhism right here in Salinas. I am very thankful for this opportunity.
As I hear the teachings of Jodo Shinshu, it is hard to imagine that I can completely annihilate the self-centered ego in this life, but I can still imagine that I can face it and go forward with the Nembutsu of Amida, the help from those that have gone before us and become Buddha, and the help from the members of the Salinas congregation. I have come to realize that it is this act of facing the ego head-on that is important. 
On April 22, 2018, we will have our Tri-temple Hanamatsuri Service. Bishop Umezu, Rev. Adams, and other ministers will attend our Hanamatsuri Service. So please come to the temple to join the service, and see the Bishop, and other ministers if it is possible. 
In Gassho
先月はサクラメントで行われた、北米仏教団の全体会議・開教使会議に出席してきました。全体会議はMark Amiyaさん、 Larry Hiraharaさん、Gary Tanimuraさんが一緒に出席しました。多くの方々とお会いする事ができましたし、米国仏教団について、仏教の教えについてお話できました。会議の出席中に思った事を書かせていただきたいと思います。会議には多くの方々がいます。それぞれ皆様に違った意見や、考えをお持ちです。話し合いで物事を決めていきます。しかし、よくよく考えてみれば、会議にいる方々の結論・ゴールは同じ気がしました。アメリカでの仏教をどのように維持・発展していくかという方向にむかっているからです。ゴールが同じ所にあり、その手段が違うだけなのではと思いました。仏教のために一生懸命会議をすることはとても素晴らしい事だと思いました。会議では多くの事を学ぶ事ができました。行かせていただきましてありがとうございます。  

Greetings from Vancouver, From Rev. Orai Fujikawa, former resident minister of Salinas


It has already been a year and half since we departed Salinas. Today I would like to share our experience in babysitting.   
Our granddaughter Mia just turned three and she goes to daycare on weekdays. But as our daughter works on irregular part time schedule, we have to take Mia and pick her up sometimes. And, we also end-up babysitting some weekends.   
Feeding her is a problem. My wife tries to cook many different delicious meals for her, but she tries one bite and throws it away.  She tries this and that, but she still doesn’t eat much. So, we end-up eating the leftover. When she occasionally says Itadakimasu with gassho, we are all smiles. We are often scolded by our daughter for being too easy on Mia.    
Afternoon nap and night sleep are also headache. She looks sleepy, but she often says, “I am thirsty. Give me water or juice.”   
Or else, she brings few books for me to read as her mother does. As I try to read, I nod off to sleep before she does, and she shouts, “Jiji, wake up!” Furthermore, I get scolding from my wife. 
As she finally seems to go to sleep, my daughter comes home from work, and Mia suddenly jumps up in the bed and runs to get a big hug from mom. She now looks at us and says, “Jiji, Baba, Bye Bye!”   
We sometimes get mad at her, but our granddaughter is cute and adorable. Makes our lives worth living. At the same time, we look back to the time when we were infants like her, and appreciate our parents’ love, patience and their worrying over us.    
In gassho, Namo Amida Butsu. 
Orai Fujikawa