White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for September 2018

Dear Temple Members:

I hope you are doing well with the light of Amida Buddha.

This month, I would like to share some thoughts about the term “foolish being” which we often hear in Jodo Shinshu. 

When I first arrived in the US, I was always making mistakes when speaking English. Let me tell you about an early experience I had at Starbucks. 

I like coffee very much but one time, I wanted to try something new.   The guy taking the orders asked me “What can I get for you?”  and I said, “tall latte” and he said, “Got it.”   

So, I was really looking forward to getting a tall latte.  I was waiting in front at the pick-up counter and then he called out my name “Hugo,” and he gave me two tall cups filled with latte.  I told him, “I ordered only one tall latte”, but he responded back “I do not think so, but you can keep both of them.” Apparently, my “tall” sounded like “two” to him. 

I said, “Thank you!” and took the two cups of tall latte and of course, I didn’t want to be wasteful, so I drank both tall lattes!  But sure enough, a little while after that, I got a bad stomach ache. 

After my stomach ache, I was wondering and thinking how come this happened?    I thought maybe it was my poor pronunciation?

I then realized that I was probably making a mistake without even thinking sometimes. I think most of you have probably had a similar experience in your lives? 

I’m sure this happens all the time for many people, especially for non-English speakers like me.  We may think we’re saying one thing, but the other person may hear something else. And this is how we spend much of our lives.  

Shinran Shonin stated in his “Notes on Once-Calling and Many-Calling”,  “we are full of ignorance and blind passion”. 

Our desires are countless, and anger, wrath, jealousy, and envy are overwhelming,arising without pause; to the very last moment of life and they do not cease, or disappear, or exhaust themselves.”

Sometimes you will hear the term “Foolish Beings” used in a Dharma Talk.  For English speaking people, I think this term is a wrong translation.  I think we should use the term “ordinary being.”

Each of us have our own each point of view and unique experiences and understanding of things. Everybody is the same in that we are all different.  Being different is being an “ordinary being.” 

Amida Buddha looks after all ordinary beings, every one of us is embraced by the Buddha.   He does not look after just sacred or special people.   When I learned of this teaching, I realized that I would like to be more tolerant of others. We are all special and ordinary beings at the same time, and Amida Buddha watches over all of us.

Namo Amida Butsu.

















White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for August 2018

Dear Temple Members,

I sincerely hope this newsletter finds you enjoying good health in the light of the Buddha-Dharma.

I would like to express my appreciation to those who worked on the 2018 Obon Festival. I would also like to thank everyone that came to our Obon Festival. We were able to achieve success without any problems. Thank you very much for all your support. BWA, Dharma School, YBA, Kendo Club and all the members worked very hard.  I would also like to give some respect to all the people who helped in the past Obon Festivals. We are able to enjoy the Obon today because of all the work that had gone into it in the past.  Now I hope that you are able to get good rest. During the Obon festival, I was feeling so grateful that I was given the opportunity to be involved in Salinas Sanga. I was able to see people work hard for the temple. Through your contributions, I was reminded of the great compassion of the Amida Buddha.  

Your kind heart and Amida Buddha’s compassion are of similar characteristics. Both provide compassion  to others, not to oneself. It is very wonderful, and it is the Buddhist way.      

On Sunday, September 9th, we will have a Tri-Temple Autumn Ohigan Service at the Monterey Temple starting at 10AM. We will also have our Shotsuki Service on September 30thstarting at 10AM at the Salinas Temple. Please make no mistake and please mark your calendar.   












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