A Heartfelt Reflection


Namo Amida Butsu

Today, I stand before you, reflecting on the challenge of finding compelling topics for our discussions. But, as Reverend Murakami wisely advised, I speak from the heart. So, let me share a glimpse of my journeys and encounters.

During my travels to California, I cherish exploring different cities, savoring delectable cuisines, and immersing myself in the role of a curious tourist. Everywhere I go, I'm struck by the warmth and kindness of strangers, echoing my mother's wisdom: "A stranger becomes a friend upon the first meeting." This philosophy has guided my interactions, leading to enriching experiences and lasting friendships.

My first visit to Wailuku Hongwanji exemplified this sentiment. Welcomed by George Okamoto's radiant smile, I felt embraced by the sangha's warmth. Guided by Sylvia Ishikawa, I discovered the essence of our temple's rituals and traditions, fostering a sense of belonging I carry to this day.

Venturing to Hongwanji temples in California, I encountered diverse communities and traditions. From Union City to San Mateo and Marin, each temple welcomed me with open arms and shared teachings, deepening my appreciation for our shared faith.

Obon festivities at Mountain View and Berkeley temples brought familiar faces and joyous celebrations. Despite the distance, the camaraderie and spirit of Maui's Taiko drummers resonated, reminding me of our cherished community back home.

As much as I appreciate these experiences, my heart yearns for the warmth of Wailuku Hongwanji. Our temple, adorned with beauty and filled with the kindest souls, holds a special place in my heart. Reverend Murakami's unwavering compassion and your welcoming embraces reaffirm my dedication to our sangha.

In gratitude and reverence
Namo Amida Butsu

As the Community Temple, we are here to serve both temple members and non-members alike. We are today, a 21st century organization