February 2017 White Path message by Rev. Yugo Fujita

Dear Dharma Friends,

Happy New Year, everyone!! This is Yugo Fujita. I would like to express my greeting of the season. I hope you are filled with peace, good health, and happiness. We had the Hoonko and January Shotsuki service on Jan 15th. Thank you very much for coming to the temple. Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara, co-director of the BCA Center for Buddhist Education, was our guest speaker for Hoonko service. He gave us a great message. He quoted a passage below from A RECORD IN LAMENT OF DIVERGENCES by Shinran Shonin for his Dharma talk.

“Each of you has come to see me, crossing the borders of more than ten provinces at the risk of your life, solely with the intent of asking about the path to birth in the land of bliss.”

And then, he talked about how it is important to find a way to accept the issue of our death, and the death of our loved ones through the teaching of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.  After the service, we had the Temple New Year Party. I appreciate that you brought great meals to the party. That was very nice. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to you also. Thank you very much for giving me a large amount of OSEIBO even though I have been here only for 3 months. I was very surprised. Lastly, I would like to give a big thanks to the members who donated the flowers for the Buddhist altar for the services. Your flowers make the temple and altar so beautiful for the members to enjoy.

We will be having many important events at the temple and opportunities for receiving Buddhist teaching. I would like to get your feedback about my Dharma talks and your thoughts on how to improve the temple. Thank you.

In gassho,









January 2017 White Path message by Rev. Yugo Fujita

Dear Dharma Friends,

Happy New Year! I hope you and your families are doing well in the Amida Buddha’s light and I also hope that this year brings great things to all of you.

I have been very honored to spend time with you as the minister of the Buddhist Temple of Salinas and living in a new city. 

The Buddhist Temple of Salinas has had several activities recently: Omigaki, General Clean up and Mochitsuki. I may not have had the opportunity to adequately express my appreciation to you for all of your help at these events, so please allow me to express my gratitude now. Thank you very much for coming to help the temple despite your very busy schedule at the end of year. A lot of elder and younger people participated in Temple clean up, cleaning inside and in the garden area. The garden trees look very nice after receiving care. Please come to see the trees next time you are here. The temple members also prepared Mochi so that we can enjoy them during the cold winter months.

I have been here just three months, and I am learning that our temple is standing on the shoulders of many people, and that the temple exists to help many people. I think that the important heart of Buddhism is to support each other.

I hope all of you make nice memories through the Buddhist Temple of Salinas, with the heart of supporting each other in this New Year with people who are important to you.

In Gassho,

Yugo Fujita









藤田 裕豪



December 2016 White Path message by Rev. Yugo Fujita

Dear Temple Members,

I hope this letter finds you in Amida Buddha’s light.

The time flies and the year is almost over. It has been one month since I came to the Buddhist Temple of Salinas. I am getting used to living in Salinas because a lot of members helped me and supported me. I am very grateful for that. I heard that many members helped clean and prepare the parsonage. Thank you for preparing the parsonage during such a busy time.  I am able to live in the parsonage comfortably, so I never became terribly homesick.

On Nov. 6th, we had our annual udon luncheon. I was surprised that so many people came to the udon luncheon and enjoyed our udon. There were a lot of people who are members, members’ families, relatives, friends and people who are not members. It is nice that so many people came to our Udon Feed. YBA and Dharma School students worked hard on the bake sale and helped to serve our guests. I would like to thank all the people who helped with this feed, made udon and set up the luncheon. 

On Nov. 13th, we had our BWA Memorial service in memory of all the BWA members and Salinas BWA 90th anniversary. Thank you for inviting me for the 90th anniversary of the Salinas BWA. We enjoyed obento and the movie of temple history. We were able to celebrate 90th anniversary because so many people who are past BWA members and present members work hard. I would like to join and help BWA for BWA’s many more successful years.

I hope you, your family and friends have a great time on Thanksgiving Day.


Yugo Fujita








藤田 裕豪


November 2016 White Path message by Rev. Yugo Fujita, the new Resident Minister of Salinas

Minister’s Message for the November 2016 White Path

Hello everyone,

My name is Yugo Fujita. I would be glad if you call me “Yugo.” I am the new resident minister of the Buddhist Temple of Salinas. I think I am also the youngest ministerial addition to the Coast District. First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to all of you for your warm and generous welcome. I feel very honored to come to Salinas as the residence minister.

I would like to introduce myself a little bit to everyone who I have not met yet. I have been assigned to the Buddhist Temple of Salinas since October 10, 2016. I am from Kagawa, Shikoku Island, Japan. Kagawa is the smallest prefecture in Japan, but we have great Udon noodles and the climate is good for living, like Salinas.  I went to Ryukoku University in Kyoto and graduated with a Bachelor degree in Shin Buddhism and Social Welfare. Following that I continued my education at the Ryukoku Graduate School of Practical Shin Buddhist Studies. Ryukoku University was established by Hongwanji Temple. During my final year I left the school because I decided to become a minister of the Buddhist Churches of America.

I am still getting used to Salinas and the U.S, but I feel very honored to walk along with everyone here. I would be grateful if you tell me about yourself, this town, and the Buddhist Temple of Salinas. I look forward to seeing and talking to everyone. Lastly I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the wonderful people at the temple. I will do my best for the Buddhist Temple of Salinas.


Yugo Fujita 








October 2016 message by Rev. Jay Shinseki, Supervising Minister




“Shariputra, in the land of Ultimate Bliss, a pleasant breeze wafts, swaying the rows of trees colored with various jewels and waving the gauze curtains with little bells, stirring an exquisite melody.  This is just as though hundreds of thousands of musical instruments were being played in unison.  For all who hear this melody, their devotion to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha is spontaneously deepened.  Shariputra, in this way the land of Ultimate Bliss is an ideal environment so that whatever one hears will bring about awakening.  Shariputra, why do you suppose this Buddha is called Amitabha?  Shariputra, this Buddha emits immeasurable light, shedding light upon all the worlds of the ten directions without obstruction.”[1]


Borders are defined as a line that separates one from another, usually referring to a state or country.  In the Amidakyo it is referred to as an obstruction.  But in this case it refers to Amida’s light reaching us despite the borders we create.  In a garden it refers to the bricks or hedges and in our homes as fences and walls.  In our everyday lives we live with borders that define where we live and who we are.  There are both visible and invisible borders that exist.  We have state lines, international date lines, and country borders.  We have doors, walls and fences that all define borders.  Starting from your home, you have your room that is defined by walls, then you have your house that is defined by fences, then you have your city defined by city limits which in turn has county, state and country borders. 


There are numerous unseen borders which we all experience.  At our recent national minister meeting we gathered from Canada, Hawaii, and all over the United States in Berkeley.  On the first morning we chanted the Shoshinge which is chanted all over the world at Buddhist temples, homes and gatherings. As we chanted together from all parts of the country there was one beautiful sound created.  At that moment all borders of Hawaii, Canada, New York and California disappeared and became seamless and borderless.


We have created for ourselves countless seen and unseen borders to keep us safe, to keep us defined, to keep us separated.  And yet there are the numerous ways in which life comes at us and crosses those borders unimpeded.  The sound of the wind chime in my garden, the wind cooling me on a hot night, the light of the sun and moon illuminating my life all cross over the borders I have created and touch me.  In the very same way Amida reaches far beyond and touches my life, illuminating me and revealing to me the truth of my life. 


Although I create all sorts of borders in my life, life still comes to me.  I am able to experience the wind, the sun the sounds of life.   I create borders of doubt and ignorance and yet Amida’s compassion still comes to me revealing my true nature.  I am eternally grateful for the people who have come and gone into my life and have compassionately shown to me my true nature.  As the Buddha explained to his disciple Shariputra, “For all who hear this melody, their devotion to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha is spontaneously deepened.  Shariputra, in this way the land of Ultimate Bliss is an ideal environment so that whatever one hears will bring about awakening.  Shariputra, why do you suppose this Buddha is called Amitabha?  Shariputra, this Buddha emits immeasurable light, shedding light upon all the worlds of the ten directions without obstruction.”[2]



Rev. Shinseki


[1] The Amida Sutra (Skt. Smaller Sukhavativyuha Sutra) Translated by Karen Mack, Journal of Jodo Shu Edification Studies, No. 14, 2003

[2] The Amida Sutra (Skt. Smaller Sukhavatibyuha Sutra) Translated by Karen Mack, Journal of Jodo Shu Edification Studies, No. 14, 2003














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