The mission of the ARIZONA BUDDHIST TEMPLE is to encourage Sangha:
1) to learn the joyful and compassionate teachings of Amida Buddha;
2) to practice these teachings in their daily lives; and
3) to share the teachings with others.
All beings be happy. May they be joyous and live in safety. All living beings, whether weak or strong, tall or short, big or small, visible or not visible, near or far away, already born or yet to be born. May all beings be happy.
May no one deceive or look down on anyone anywhere, for any reason. Whether through feeling angry or through reacting to someone else, may no one want another to suffer. May all beings be happy.
May is a month with two important observances for American Jodo Shinshu
Buddhists. All Jodo Shinshu followers, numbering, perhaps 30 million world-wide, will
celebrate Gotan-E this month, Shinran Shonin’s birthday. This is called Gotan-E (literally
Founder’s Day) and although his birthday is specifically May 21 st , our temples all around
the globe, will each celebrate the event sometime in May, as accords other scheduling
issues. At the Arizona Buddhist Temple, Shinran’s birthday observance will be May 15 th
at 10 am.
On May 1 st the temple will observe its Shotsuki Hoyo. This is a day in which all the
former members who passed away in May will be honored. I will be joining you for the
service on the second Sunday of the month as is usual. That will be May 8 th this month.
Besides a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist service at 10 am, the 8 th will be the national
commemoration of Mother’s Day.
Mothers Day was instituted not just as a tribute to mothers, but as a call for peace.
It was after the Civil War that American mothers got together to establish a
commemoration in the hope that other American mothers would not have to lose their
sons to warfare. Now there are both sons and daughters to worry about. Let us embrace
the original spirit of Mothers’ Day and resist unnecessary warfare.
In truth, if we can spread the Dharma widely the willingness to use war as a
means to security will wither on this planet. The fact that it is an election year means, all
other considerations being equal, Buddhists will favor candidates to espouse peaceful,
diplomatic solutions to conflict. Conflict itself will never disappear totally for biological
persons, so we must find decent ways of coping with it. Death can, and will be held off
and its pain mitigated by medicine and by spiritual conviction. Yet, over time, we will
still lose those we love. So, … Buddhists in the USA also find Memorial day an important
time for appreciation. How do we repay the uncle who gave his life in WWII? How do we
repay the mother who gave us life? No full repayment is possible, but if we live our lives
well, happily and decently, it is the most we can do. Stopping a short while to recall our
indebtedness is part of decency and Memorial Day, at the end of this month is a time for
appreciation, a good time for thankfulness.