Next year, the 850th anniversary of the birth of Shinran Shonin and the 800th anniversary of his founding of our Buddhist tradition, Jodo Shinshu, will be celebrated in Kyoto.
You may be planning to attend the special service to commemorate this auspicious event.
On Oct. 30, the Southern District Ministers Association, the Southern District Buddhist Education Committee and the Southern District Council of the BCA hosted a proclamation service in honor of our founder and his teachings.
This was a wonderful opportunity for the members of the Southern District temples to witness a formal service with special rituals conducted by our Bishop, Rev. Marvin Harada, and to hear the eloquent music played by musicians from the Kinnara Gagaku group of the Senshin Buddhist Temple.
It was an honor and privilege to attend on behalf of the BCA. I was grateful to be able to sit in the Hondo of the Gardena Buddhist Church, to chant the sutra and hear the voices of many, to listen to the Dharma messages and to see many ministers and friends. Thank you to all who coordinated, hosted, and took part in this special service.
Another special service that I was given the opportunity to attend was the Institute of Buddhist Studies Eitaikyo Memorial service. It was so moving to hear the names of loved ones and those who had a significant role in the development of the IBS. Even though the service was held virtually, I still felt connected while chanting and while listening to an inspiring Dharma message from Rev. Dr. Daijaku Kinst. In our Shin Buddhist practice, memorial services like Eitaikyo gives us the opportunity to express reverence for the life and efforts of those who have passed and to ensure the Dharma continues to be shared.
Now that we are in the month of December, I begin to reflect on the year I have had. It has been pretty amazing. I am so grateful for all of the moments I have had this year. It might have not always been smooth sailing, but I can honestly say I have not much to complain about.
As the holiday season approaches, I look forward to gathering with family and friends. I am also looking forward to ringing the temple bell again on December 31. Like many temples, the last time the Vista temple gathered for Joya-E was in 2019. Many will be happy to return to this tradition on the last day of the year.
On behalf of the BCA Executive Committee, I would like to wish you a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy, take care, and be well.