Namu Amida Butsu
Amida's Infinite Guidance
To Wailuku Hongwanji’s Ohana and friends, how are you doing? Our temple’s in-person services were reinstated on the first Sunday in July. Many members attended these Sunday services. I am truly grateful and feel so happy that our temple members chose to attend. However, I miss our Dharma School students. I know it is very difficult for everyone to attend, and I cannot blame anyone. We need to follow the CDC guidelines, practice good hygiene, and not attend large gatherings to maintain our safety as much as possible.
Usually, the month of October is filled with fun, ono food, and the fall school break. Yes, it is also the time for the "Maui Fair." However, due to Covid-19, we are not able to hold this special event and the fall break will be at a different time.
In the year 2020, we were not able to hold many activities, such as our Hanamatsuri, Yard Sale, Maui Matsuri, Fujimatsuri, Obon, Maui Fair, BWA Craft Fair, Graduation Banquet, and so many other events, such as Sunday Services, Hatsubon, Sewing Bee, etc. The truth is I feel empty; I miss all these very important activities and events. It gave me so much joy and happiness seeing our members and friends participate in these events.
As you may know, Wailuku Hongwanji Mission is known best as the "Chow Fun temple" on Maui. The ingredients in the Chow Fun are very simple and we are keeping the same taste for so many years. So, many people look forward to the month of October because people are able to enjoy our great tasting Chow Fun.
The Wailuku Hongwanji Chow Fun committee counts on manpower from its temple members, affiliate organizations, and friends for this project because the quantity of chow fun is so large. We are grateful that so many people supported this project. One family member said, "My dad helped at this project when I was a young boy. Now I am following in his footsteps."
Cooking chow fun is just like building a good family. First of all, you need a mind of care and enjoyment. First time chow fun workers do not know the procedure so there are team leaders who have worked at this project for several years who become the instructors and assist the new workers on "what needs to be done." So, the team leaders took on the responsibilities of teaching the new volunteers.
When we were assigned a new job, we were able to see how the team leader taught us. He demonstrated how to cook the chow fun step-by-step, completing the process within 15 to 20 minutes. It wasn't burnt (KOGE) but looked so delicious with great color of hot and fresh chow fun. He then asked the new workers to try to cook the chow fun. It was the first time for these new workers to hold a giant spatula, just like a big shovel and turn the noodles and mix all ingredients in the big wok.
With kind and gentle voices of the leaders, the new volunteers were able to cook our historical chow fun with the soothing voice of "You did a great job!" I truly felt that "This is the way to guide others." That is the reason why the family of Wailuku Hongwanji's affiliated organizations are growing together and passing this wonderful legacy to the next generation, regardless if one is a member or not. That is the reason why the Wailuku Hongwanji's chow fun is always so special to our community.
How about the Jodo Shinshu teaching? Yes, it may be difficult to understand if you are in doubt or looking for immediate answers. However, through listening of the Buddha Dharma and rejoicing in the happiness through the services and activities with other Nembutsu followers, you will find out the true joy of happiness, peace, and serenity through our members smiles and kind words. So, you are able to see our temple members as it is (so no ma ma) and are able to be aware of many wonderful things. Even if we make mistakes, we are able to accept them without having an angry mind. We are willing to assist others recover from their mistakes.
Our daily life is just like preparing food; sometimes the food is too salty, too sweet, too bitter, too spicy, and so on. As with life, we experience sadness, laughter, tears, anger, happiness, disagreement, and much more. However, even if we do have these experiences, we have friends or someone who is always willing to assist us to overcome these kinds of difficulties, and we are able to learn the true joy of happiness in our life.
Namo Amida Butsu, this is our spiritual Buddha's great name and infinite light that always comes into our heart and shows us Amida Buddha's great wisdom and compassionate heart.
When we recite the Nembutsu, "Namo Amida Butsu", we are able to hear it. Yes, the voice itself is our voice, but it is coming from Amida's truth and great wisdom, so even if we are physically alone, Amida Buddha said, "Don't worry, you are not alone, I am with you." He is always giving us his infinite light of the wisdom in our heart, to enable us to walk the path of truth.
Amida Buddha's guidance is not like cooking tools, which we have to purchase, but it is the essence of the great food. It will make the great spiritual assessment which is encouraging our precious lives. So listening to the Buddha Dharma is our practice for us to build our wonderful family and be able to share Amida Buddha's infinite wisdom and compassion with our family members and Ohana.
"Those who, hearing Amida Buddha's Name, Rejoice in it with reverence and praise, Receive its treasure of virtues; The great benefit acquired with one utterance is supreme."
(Hymns of the Pure Land 32, The collected Works of Shinran, p. 332)
Even if we are all missing our great activities and taste of chow fun at this time, through Amida Buddha's infinite light and wisdom, we are all able to share his great wisdom and compassion and are able to build the healthy Nembutsu family with our sangha and Ohana.