Namo Amida Butsu
WOW! OBON SEASON IS ALREADY HERE ON Maui and many Buddhist temples will become busy during their Obon services, Obon mairi (Obon home service), Cemetery services, and so on. This is very interesting that during this special season, we have many bon dance followers and wherever bon dances are held; those people are participating in the festival wearing a colorful "Yukata" or "Happi" with Bon towels with them. Bon dances became one of the season's greatest events and the people who participated in this event do not pertain to just one ethnic group, but this festival became a community event throughout the State of Hawaii. You may see many different ethnic people joining together and enjoying this summer festival with full of smiles. Here on the island of Maui, we have 13 Buddhist temples which observe their Obon services and dances. Each temple has its own special food which it prepares with great pride. The taste of food has never changed for a century. In fact, the particular temple members kept this taste as their history. Some people are looking for that particular food at the particular temple's Obon because it is only once a year's opportunity for them to get it.
Regarding an opportunity, it is a great time for us to meet the Buddha Dharma during this coming Obon season. If those people who are true bon dance followers, the Obon season is a great opportunity for those people who are able to meet and listen to the Buddha Dharma at the different Buddhist temples. Of course there are different Buddhist sects and there may be different ways of applying things to audiences, but it is the first step for these people to meet with the Buddha Dharma at the temple and be able to listen to the teachings of the Buddha through this wonderful opportunity. From the first week of June to the end of the August, we have 13 weekends and some temples have their Obon services on Friday nights and Saturday nights so if you participate in the obon dances at all 13 temples, you may have a chance to meet the Buddha Dharma at least 13 plus times during this wonderful Obon season. Through the listening of the Buddha Dharma, you may be able to learn something different from previous seasons of the Obon year.
According to the Webster's dictionary, the definition of opportunity is as follows; "A good chance or occasion, as to advance oneself." Yes, this is a great chance for all of us to see and hear the path of the truth.
When you go to the bon dance at the different temples, yes, you have a chance to eat their specialties but try to go a little farther by stepping into the temple and sit in the pew and to see the altar and to receive the fragrance of the incense, you may be able to discover different views of the temple and through the listening of the Buddha Dharma, you may realize the true meaning of Obon and dance
I think the most important one is your courage to first step in the temple then to just let go without any doubt. If you don't have any confidence to go in the temple, just go with your friends, maybe it will be much easier and furthermore, maybe the both of you might realize something different in your heart.
"Each feature and mark releases, throughout the ten quarters, A hundred thousand beams of light; Thus, the Buddha constantly teach and spread the excellent dharma and lead beings into the Buddha's path."
(Hymns of the Pure Land)
Namo Amida Butsu