Namu Amida Butsu
When I was the resident minister at the KapaaHongwanji on the island of Kauai, I met a lady who workedfor one of the airlines. We became good friends through anincident that happened at the airport.
I attended a meeting in Honolulu and returned to Kauaion the last flight. The plane was full and my seat was in thevery back. I was one of the last passengers to get off theplane. Before I went to baggage claim, I stopped to use therestroom. When I arrived at the baggage claim, most of thebags were gone.
I noticed that a middle aged couple and an airlinesagent were having an argument. Each one of them was tryingto explain to each other what had happened. It seemedto me that all of them did not understand what the other wassaying. When I picked up my baggage, I noticed that thecouple were speaking Japanese so I asked them what hadhappened. They replied to me in Japanese that their threebags were missing and they were quite concerned.
Even though the agent talked to them, they could notunderstand what the agent was saying. When I asked theagent what had happened, the agent said that their bagswere missing and explained what the procedures would beto get their bags. So, I explained to them what the agentwas trying to explain to them, which was that this was thelast flight to Kauai from Honolulu and their three bags wouldbe coming in the morning. The airline would deliver theirbags to their hotel.
According to this couple from Japan, there were somany valuable items in the bags, including their hotel reservation,money, camera, and so forth. They were really worried.I explained to them that there was nothing we could doat the current moment. Then the husband said "I am goingto wait here until tomorrow morning." So, I told him that "It isalready after 10 p.m. and the airline staff would be bringingtheir baggage to the hotel, so they should just go to the hoteland rest there.” If you need any transportation to go tothe Hotel, I can take both of you there." I explained to theagent that I am going to take them to the Hotel, and if possible,to bring their bags first thing in the morning to the Hotel.She replied, "You are my life saver." A month later KapaaHongwanji had their very famous Char Broiled Chicken andSushi sale. I was working at Char Broiled Chicken side withother members and running left and right packing the cookedchicken. There were so many people picking up their ordersaround 10 a.m. and the temple was packed. Then, one ofladies came up to me and said "I remember you." The ladywas the agent at the airport who I had met a month ago. Thechurch members asked, "Sensei, how do you know her?"Then she explained to them about what had happened amonth ago at the baggage claim area at the Airport. Thenshe said, "Since you are working here, I should buy twomore extra chicken, then." Since then, this agent became areally great supporter of the Kapaa Hongwanji in many ways.
When you think about our lives, it is very interesting thatsomehow we are connected directly or indirectly and we trulyshare our precious lives through "EN" an unpredictable condition.With "EN" an unpredictable condition, we are makingour life’s circle bigger and bigger.
As you may know, we have many new members whoare joining our sangha. Of course, there are some reasonsto why they are joining our temple. However, this is one ofour great opportunities for us to share our dynamic and sincereNembutsu teachings with those new people. As I saidthat during Obon time we have so many instant Buddhistsbut after the Obon, those instant Buddhists fade away untilnext year’s Obon. Nonetheless, if we take this wonderfulopportunity as a positive way of sharing our Jodo Shinshuteachings which all of us are rejoicing our daily lives withAmida Buddha’s great wisdom and compassion, we mightbe able to see a difference in results from the month of Augustand on. During Obon time, we have many people whovisit our temple and bon dance for the two nights. Don’t youthink these days are golden opportunities for all of us toshare our wonderful guidance and joy of activities? (If wecan apply "Every Person’s Ministry", Wailuku HongwanjiMission in welcoming our new members and new friends atour services and activities and rejoice in the Amida Buddha’sinfinite wisdom and compassion with others.) Let ustake this "EN" unpredictable condition as our wonderful opportunityfor us to spread the heart of Nembutsu teachinginto our community. This act is called "Ji Shin Kyo Nin Shin"which means "I truly appreciate this teaching and share andrejoice in the supreme joy and happiness with others."