White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for February 2017

"Each of you has come so far to see me, walking through so many provinces at the risk of your life, solely with the intent to ask me about the path to birth in the Pure Land.  However, if you think I have some special knowledge of a path to birth in the Pure Land other than the Nembutsu or know of some other special teaching, then you are greatly mistaken.   
If that is the case, then I should tell you that there are many eminent scholars in the southern capital of Nara or on Mt. Hiei to the north that you would be better to meet with them and ask them about the essentials for birth in the Pure Land.   
As for me, Shinran, I simply accept and entrust myself to what my revered teacher Honen told me, "just say the Nembutsu and be saved by Amida,” nothing else is involved nor is there anything special you need to do."   
These words come from the "Tannisho" which is a book written about some of Shinran's teachings as remembered by Shinran's disciple Yuienbo.  Even today, 500 years after this book was written, the Tannisho still remains the most purchased religious book in Japan today. In the phrase "just say the Nembutsu" Shinran means "just and only" recite the Nembutsu."  He is telling us that we are not reciting Namo Amida Butsu because of our own doing.  But rather, it is coming from Amida Buddha.  And we do not recite Namo Amida Butsu with the expectation that we're going to get some benefit from reciting the Nembutsu.  Shinran is telling us that you do not need to be calm, pure or even really understand the meaning and benefit of the Nembutsu when you recite Namo Amida Butsu. Neither do you have to always think about the Buddha or Dharma when you recite the Nembutsu. Amida Buddha will take care of you, so you don't have to even worry about how many times you have recited Namo Amida Butsu. 
Amida Buddha always thinks of you even before you think of Amida. And we surely don't pray to Amida Buddha to help us. In our Jodo Shinshu teaching, the number of times we recite the Nembutsu does not bring any benefit in helping us to become a Buddha. Amida Buddha wants each and every one of us to become a Buddha because this is Amida's wish.  This is why we say that that Amida Buddha is the Buddha of Infinite Compassion.  The Amida's compassion is truly infinite and beyond our understanding. When we recite the Nembutsu by ourself and for ourself, we call that "self-power Nembutsu."  However, "Other Power Nembutsu" is that which comes from entrusting Amida's Wish. In 2017, many of our members became Buddhas and returned to the Pure Land.  However, we can continue to communicate with these Buddhas by reciting the Nembutsu, Namo Amida Butsu. In the coming year, let's try our best to cast aside our ego, our bias and prejudices, and entrust ourselves to the Amida Buddha and recite the Nembutsu in gratitude.
Thank you.    
Yugo Fujita
この親鸞においては、 「ただ念仏して、 阿弥陀仏に救われ往生させていただくのである」 という法然上人のお言葉をいただき、 それを信じているだけで、 他に何かがあるわけではありません。    
藤田 裕豪

White Path Message for January 2018

Dear Temple Members,   
Happy New Year, everyone. I hope each of you had a great holiday season. I would like to thank all of you for your support last year. I am very happy to spend time with all of you here. I am very lucky to share Dharma with this wonderful Sangha. I hope that you will enjoy the 2018 filled with kindness.   
In January, we will have our annual Hoonko service. You probably already know what Hoonko service is, so I will describe it only briefly. Hoonko is the most important service in our tradition, it is the memorial anniversary service for our founder, Shinran Shonin. Hoonko sounds like the gathering of the memorial service for Shinran Shonin, but this does not mean that we just feel sad and lament his passing. Hoonko is a gathering to pay our respect and express our gratitude to Shinran Shonin who shared Amida Buddha Dharma to us, also to people who have passed away who shared the Dharma with us. I wish that together with everyone, we will have the service that will allow the compassion of the Amida Buddha to be passed down to us.    
This is only my current opinion at the moment, but I believe that Jodo Shinshu let us hear the Amida Buddha’s teachings and wishes, and together with many people, enjoy the happiness that comes with being allowed to become Buddha ourselves, even though this is just a fulfilment of our own individual selfish desires.    
Therefore, I am very thankful that I can greet the New Year with the membership. All the best for you in New Year.   
Yugo Fujita   
藤田 裕豪

White Path Message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for December 2017

Dear Temple Members   
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving Day with family, Friends and Amida Buddha.   
We had the Nembutsu Family Conference last month at our temple. I hope all of you enjoyed this year’s conference and gained a deeper appreciation of our Nembutsu teaching.  Personally, I am very grateful to all of you who took the time to attend the conference and I deeply appreciate the participation of our ministers, especially Bishop Umezu, Rev. Matsumoto, and Rev. Mukojima.   
I would also like to thank my Salinas members who worked so hard to organize the conference, especially Mr. Gary Tanimura who was the chairman for this conference.     
At the workshop, we made Emoji-masks.  Emoji are very helpful when we want to express our feelings on the Internet. But our feelings are not just one emotion because it depends on each circumstance we encounter. But Amida Buddha always expresses a great feeling of kindness, compassion and wisdom to us. Amida always see our true selves.  Therefore, we do not need Emoji mask and we can be ourselves just as we are. Amida Buddha accepts everyone no matter who we are, as ourselves. We do not need to have any fear in our life as long as we are one with Amida.    
In Gassho,
Yugo Fujita   
先月は仏教会で沿岸地区念仏ファミリー大会がサリナスにてありました。皆さまが楽しく、仏法をよろこびあえた事を願っております。ご参加していただいた皆さま、開教使の先生方には深く感謝申し上げます。特にご講師であります、Rev. MatsumotoとRev. Mukojima、そして梅津総長ご夫妻に感謝申し上げます。   
大会では絵文字マスクを作りました。絵文字はインターネットなどでメールなどをする時などに私たちの気持ちを表すのに役に立ちます。しかし私たちの気持ち・感情は1つではなく、状況によって変わっていきます。しかし、阿弥陀様はいつでもお慈悲に満ちあふれておられ, 私たちの本当の姿を見られ、おもってくださっております。ですので私たちにはマスクは必要なく、真実・ありのままの姿でいいのです。どんなわたしも受け入れてくださるのが阿弥陀様です。全てのいのちのかえる場所であるお浄土に阿弥陀様によって行かせていただくのです。   
藤田 裕豪

White Path message by Rev. Yugo Fujita for November 2017

Dear Buddhist Temple of Salinas Members,   
Hello, this is Yugo Fujita. I hope you are doing well under Buddha’s compassion.   
I would like to thank all the people who came to the Keirokai event. I think I saw a lot more people this year than last year. Thank you very much to all the people that brought delicious foods and entertained the seniors at the Keirokai even with your busy schedule. We enjoyed the food and the entertainment. The event was a good opportunity to show our appreciation to all the senior people who have been supporting our temple for many years. I think it is a wonderful gesture. I also thank Mr. Larry Hirahara who served as the chairman of the event, and all the people who helped to prepare for the Keirokai and cleaned up afterwards.
At the end of October, we will have our CD Nembutsu family conference and in November, we will have the YBA Pancake Feed, Senior Luncheon and BWA Memorial Service. Please make an effort to attend these events.    
It has been one year since I arrived to the Buddhist Temple of Salinas and I have had a wonderful opportunity to share the Dharma with all of you. Thank you very much. This is my first opportunity to be a BCA minister and I am so grateful for your patience, understanding and support, and I hope that I can continue to enjoy this time with you in the years ahead.   
I understand that I still have much to learn to become a minister for all of you, and I will do my best and work harder for our temple so that we may all continue to enjoy and live with the precious Amida Buddha Teaching.    
I apologize that I have not had much chance to visit all of you, but I will make more effort to do so. 
When you have any question about Buddhism, please ask me any time. I welcome your questions.  My email address is   
In Gassho,
なにか仏教の事でなからないことがあれば へご連絡ください。   

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

Dear Friends of Dharma,   
Time flies and one full year has passed by since we said farewell in front of the shrine of Amida Buddha at your temple last summer. We really hope all of you have been doing fine.    
As far as we are concerned, it has been a busy year to adjust ourselves in the new life of retirement as well as babysitting our granddaughter for a few days a week.   
What we have learned is the fact that it is very difficult yet important job to do babysitting as she is fast growing and developing her personality. She is still a young child, but is only one individual in this world.  Although we have spoiled her as she is adorable girl, but all we wish as grandparents is she would grow in peace and good health.    
Today is the first day of autumn and it is getting chilly in the evening in Canada, but it is beautiful in daytime with 60s F.  May you all enjoy the life in Salinas in good health as well as with the Nembutsu.    
In Gassho, Namoamidabutsu, Orai & Minako Fujikawa   
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