May I extend a warm Happy New Year to all of you. Our BCA theme for 2022 is the same as our campaign theme — “Moving the Dharma Forward.”
Our metaphor for the campaign is the monarch butterfly, whose annual migration from Mexico to the northern United States and Canada and back, takes four generations of butterflies to complete. Each generation of butterflies does its part to perpetuate its species and to make that annual migration to the north and back.
I think this is a most fitting metaphor for our campaign, as we have worked hard to keep moving forward amongst the challenges of our time.
We have been the recipient of the transmission of the Dharma over the past 2,500 years from Shakyamuni Buddha through India to China to Japan, and to us. Perhaps our parents or grandparents were part of that transmission, or we had a Dharma friend or teacher who connected us to the Dharma, but somehow each of us has encountered the Shin Buddhist teachings.
Now it is our generation’s turn to do our part to ensure the transmission of the Dharma to future generations.
First, we have to deeply listen to and receive the teachings in our own hearts and minds. Then we must do what we can to share and transmit the Dharma to others. Professor Shigaraki often said in his lectures at Ryukoku University that if the teachings move us, resonate with us, then it is our responsibility to share the teachings with others.
If one generation of the monarch butterflies decides to “take it easy,” and not do its part, then the monarch butterfly does not continue as a species.
We cannot shirk our turn to do what we can to support and actively participate in the transmission of the Dharma to others. This is our time.
May we look to this new year with excitement and a renewed dedication listening to the Dharma, sharing the Dharma, and moving the Dharma Forward.