Tag: tacoma buddhist temple

Because of Everyone

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

A Joyful Celebration – Bon Odori

On a pleasant July afternoon, the Tacoma Buddhist Temple held their annual Bon Odori Japanese Folk Dance festival.

People from throughout the area came to celebrate listening to the taiko drums and watching the dancers in their beautiful kimonos and cotton yukatas. Everyone is welcome to join in the dance – the Temple even holds dance lessons prior to the festival.

The Bon Odori festival, also known as O Bon, is derived from the Buddhist Ullambana Festival, which is a time to welcome the return of one’s ancestors. There is an emphasis on loved ones lost the previous year, and all ancestors are honored through offerings and celebrations, as well as celebrating our own present lives.

In front of the temple, Fawcett street was closed for the event and strung with colorful hanging lanterns. Delicious food was offered at various booths, and people could visit inside the temple to learn more about Buddhism, or visit the serene temple garden.

Central to the celebration are the folk dances (Bon Odori) performed to music that includes the steady beat of a taiko. The taiko sits on a raised platform, or a yagura, and musicians use bachi, or drumsticks, on the taiko, to keep time for the Bon Odori dancers. The guiding purpose of Bon Odori is to set aside the ego through unselfconscious dancing. 20160730_172136

Participation is customarily diverse with young and old, formally trained and informally trained dancers, Japanese Americans and non-Japanese Americans. This year dozens of people danced to and enjoyed the drumming sounds of Fuji Taiko of Tacoma and Matsuri Taiko of Seattle.

This was my first year attending the festival, and I was fortunate enough to go with Tammy Boros. When I asked Tammy what she enjoyed about the festival she said, “I liked the Bon Odori festival because it gives me a way to feel connected to my culture and my community.  It is a wonderful reminder of the beautiful artistry and traditions of the Japanese culture.”

If you have not attended a Bon Odori festival, I encourage you to do so next year and celebrate along with our Buddhist friends and neighbors. I know I will return.

Interfaith Dialogue on Peace Building

The Tacoma Buddhist Temple, in partnership with Associated Ministries, will host an interfaith dialogue on peace building on June 11, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. This is a free public event and is open to all members of the Tacoma community. It is hoped that this event will help people of faith in Tacoma think about what they can do to contribute to peace here, and in the wider world.

Panelists include Joshua Christy (Baha’i Faith Tacoma), Reverend Joseph Hickey-Tiernan (Church of the Holy Spirit, Vashon Island), Professor Turan Kayaoglu (University of Washington-Tacoma), and Reverend Kojo Kakihara (Tacoma Buddhist Temple). The event will be moderated by Dr. Amanda Feller, a professor of communication at Pacific Lutheran University who specializes in dialog and conflict resolution.

Asked why he wanted to hold this event at his temple, Reverend Kakihara explains, “Depending on how we use it, religion can become a barrier that separates us from others, but I believe that religion enables us to accept different people, as well as bring happiness and peace to their and our lives. I hope that through this event we are all able to deepen our understanding of our own religions and the religions of others in order to sense the interconnectedness of life.”

Dr. Erik Hammerstrom, another of the event’s organizers, says, “There is a tendency to over-emphasize religion’s role in conflict in the world. While conflict is certainly one part of the history of religion, it is also important for religious people to affirm and uplift the many contributions that religion has made, and can continue to make, to building peace at the local and global levels.” Hammerstrom is a professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University and a member of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s Buddhist Education Committee.  To learn more about the Tacoma Buddhist Temple, visit their website at http://www.tacomabt.org/.

 

Annual Sukiyaki Dinner

The Tacoma Buddhist Temple will hold our annual Sukiyaki Dinner on Sunday, March 6th from 11 am to 4 pm. Please come to enjoy our traditionally cooked Sukiyaki and other Japanese food with your family and friends. 

Other Japanese Specialties:
Teriyaki Chicken Dinner
Japanese Sweets
and back by popular demand…
Rev. Kojo’s Special Miso Soup

Take-out is available & we appreciate your support! 

sukiyaki