From the Tacoma Buddhist Temple: June 2017 Newsletter (MYOKYO); The Sensei’s Message:
We at Tacoma Buddhist Temple hold Sunday Service in the morning of almost every Sunday. I always appreciate that you wake up early in the morning of your precious day-off and come to temple. The other day, I heard the following from Rev. Yukawa. Rev. Yukawa, who usually sits on the balcony, counted the number of attendees at a Sunday Service. He said that on that Sunday, there were about 80 attendees, and 50 of them were non-Japanese people. Of course, anyone is welcome regardless of Japanese or non-Japanese. But when I heard it, I was so surprised, and at the same time, I was so glad that not only Japanese people, but many different people come to our temple.
Buddhism is the path which each of us walks toward the Enlightenment by understanding and practicing Truths taught by Sakyamuni Buddha. Because of that, Buddhism is also said to be “Buddha Path”. Among Buddhist teachings, the most fundamental teaching is “the Truth of Causes, Conditions, and Results.”
Holding a Sunday Service, this is the “cause”. But Sunday Service does not stand only with this cause. Your attendance, people who are MC and a pianist, the Kansho bell being rung, our chanting sutras, my giving Buddhist talks and having you nod and laugh (my talks are not so funny often though). With all of these as the “conditions,” enjoyable “Sunday Service” is realized as the “result” for the first time. But, if no one attended Sunday Service, or if no one nodded or laughed to my talks, the result of “enjoyable Sunday Service” were not realized, and I had to stand alone in the hondo hall with loneliness. That is to say, our Sunday Service stands or arises as Sunday Service because of every one of you.
Everything in the world arises not only because of causes but also due to conditions. In other words, under different conditions, everything ends up changing. It is taught in the Sutra of Queen Srimala as following;
Just as there are causes for people’s suffering and there is a path for each person’s enlightenment, everything arises depending on conditions, and everything disappears depending on conditions. The rain falls, the wind blows, flowers bloom, and leaves fall. Everything arises depending on conditions, and everything perishes depending on conditions. This body of mine was born through the conditions of my parents, it is sustained by the food I eat, and my mind is nurtured by my experiences and knowledge. Therefore, my both my body and my mind arise depending on conditions, and, of course, they are transformed depending on conditions… Just as a net is made of meshes connected together, all things are connected together. It is mistaken to think that each mesh of the net exists independently.
When we think about ourselves, it is clear that our existence entirely depends on conditions. As the Sutra teaches about a net made of meshes, we exist because of infinite connections with others. We were born in this world depending on precious conditions, and live now while having being receiving an unimaginably great number of things from others. Our present life also depends on many other “Lives” we interact with. There is nothing that does not depend on conditions. We, through listening to Buddha Dharma, are receiving Buddha’s eyes of Wisdom which sees through the truth of cause, condition, and result, and awakens us to the connection of Life, and Buddha’s mind of Compassion which respects and appreciates each other’s Life beyond self-and-other.
Gassho with palms together,
Rev. Kojo Kakihara