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15. December 2022

An Appreciation of the IOBT Buddhist Women’s Association (BWA) “Fujinkai” Ladies

December 15, 2022

 

A special guest article by temple member and friend Melody Smit

During November’s BWA memorial service (which I was able to attend remotely by Zoom from my new home in South Carolina) I was reminded of so many wonderful memories and ladies that I love in the temple and the many Nisei ladies that were so wonderful to me.  They took me under their wing, showed the ins & outs of temple life, and made it possible for me to be a true member of IOBT.

 

Two rows of BWA women seated and standing

Photo: Several of our Buddhist Women's Association Members with Rev. Dennis taken in 2016

During the BWA memorial service, when our guest speaker, Rev. Melissa Opel of the Spokane Buddhist Temple spoke of the importance of sharing and keeping alive the memories and connections we have with one another, it prompted me to think of my early days in the temple when I was new to the tradition, coming to services and meeting new people. And I wanted to share a few of these memories with you.  I have such fond memories of Sanami Nakano who would save her Wheel of Dharma and bring it to the temple for me when she was finished. She also gave me her old study books on Buddhism so I could better familiarize myself with the teachings. Mary “Nak” (Nakamura) encouraged me to join the choir and attended my dad’s funeral, even donating to St. Jude’s in his name.

 

People preparing food in a large kitchen area

Photo: Preparing food in our temple basement has been an important contribution to temple life for our BWA ladies

During this year’s BWA memorial service I also learned that our beloved Mary Kameshige passed away. I know that I will be one of many who will miss her, and in order to honor her I will keep many fond memories of her in my heart. One particular memory was prompted by Rev. Anne Spencer talking about the invitations she received to stay for lunch when she first came to the temple--I received those gifts of invitation as well. All those lovely lunches as a “newby” as well as an “oldy” are among the many things I miss since moving away. However, I also have memories of those early invitations to lunch and the walk downstairs; I would be transported back to grade school, lunch tray in hand, looking for where to sit. We have all been there, no matter how old we are, what religious background we come from, what our native language is or what accent we speak English in--we all know what it is like to stand in a room and wonder where to sit. For me, Mary Kameshige was always there to say “come sit over here with me”. I know you all can feel that sense of relief as you read this, of knowing where to sit--it is wonderful to be invited, but to have someone waiting just for you because they saved you a seat, that special gift of complete inclusion, it is something that many of us did not experience in grade school. Thanks to Mary Kameshige, I did experience that in my early days at IOBT.

 

Quilt square with the words Idaho Oregon Buddhist Womens Association signed Anne Nagaki

Since those early days I have felt loved and included in so many ways by both men and women in the temple. But I especially appreciate the kind of love I have received from the women. I call it being loved with effort. Yes, it takes effort to go to town and buy a card for someone. But the kind of effort I am talking about takes the kind of energy and intention that cannot be had in any other way; to notice what a person needs and provide it without needing to be thanked; like saving a seat for the new person just starting to come to church. I will forever be grateful and count myself fortunate to have known the ladies of the IOBT BWA, their example, their courage and their handwork has made it all possible for me to enjoy the beauty of this tradition and the people who inhabit it.

Namo Amida Butsu,  

Melody Smit

15. November 2022

Something Delicious: Reflecting on Compassion in Everyday Life

November 12, 2022

The past couple years, I’ve spent a lot of time in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Mostly that was with my mother, who died earlier this year after a long series of illnesses.  But I’ve also had some issues with my own stomach/digestion--likely the result of my own aging and the stress of helping care for my mother, grieving her death, and managing the estate.  I am sure many of you have been through similar challenges and I know that, as Buddhism teaches, life is full of challenges like this. A central teaching of Buddhism is that sickness, old age, and death are inevitable in human life and they are hard!

A black bowl with noodles and broth and vegetables . Photo credit <a href=https://pixabay.com/users/mcdrok_the_rhythmdoc-14327634/" width="400" height="266" style="border: 0px; max-width: 100%px; height: inheritpx;" data-original-height="640" data-original-width="960" />

Photo: A bowl of noodles is a great comfort food on a stressful day

The way modern American medical care is provided, along with the stresses of COVID, have made the last couple years a challenging time to get great medical care. Everyone is busy and many interactions are mediated by computers, limiting human interaction.  Over the past year my family and I filled in forms over the computer.  We were given appointments that were too short for the provider to reasonably listen to us.  We even spent 26 hours at the emergency room waiting for a bed to become available on the hospital’s cardiac floor. The staff tried their best to take care of us, but they were busy, and very ill 89-year-olds need a lot more TLC than the medical staff had time or energy to offer.

I think all that stress just made my digestion worse! I saw a few different providers and eventually ended up seeing a Chinese Medicine specialist.  On my first visit, he got a lot of information about my history and what foods I could and could not eat. He brainstormed with me about recipes that might be easy for me to digest.  And then he paused and looked me in the eye and said, “I want you to have food that is nutritious, but I also really want you to have something delicious.” He said this in a way that made me feel like I was not a medical problem to be solved, but a fellow human being who needed care, a person whose happiness mattered.  When he said the word “delicious,” I immediately felt better.  My body relaxed. I felt hope. I felt cared for. Since that moment, I have felt better--not cured, but better.  His concern and compassion for me were genuinely healing.

People preparing a take-out meal

Photo: Preparing food and eating together are an important part of our temple's tradition.  During the pandemic, when eating together was unsafe, our members and friends have prepared these meals for take-out

Compassion is the powerful force at the heart of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. My experience of receiving compassion regarding my digestion reminds me of the power of compassion to heal us and support us through the difficulties of life.  Amida Buddha’s vow is for all suffering beings to experience infinite compassion and to transcend the world of suffering.  Amida’s compassion, and wish for our happiness can be experienced through saying the nembutsu: “Namo Amida Butsu.”   

A golden statue of Amida Buddha from the IOBT altar

Photo: This statue of Amida Buddha, the Buddha of infinite wisdom and compassion is the central image of the altar at Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple

Although we are not capable of offering infinite compassion as Amida does, we can still care for each other. Giving and receiving compassion, wanting others to be happy, are important parts of human life.  Please take time to appreciate all that you have received in your life and to share what you have received with others.  In this way, we can all experience healing as we make our way through the challenges of human life. 

So with this in mind, as we approach Thanksgiving, let me share my wish for you: “I hope that you are able to truly enjoy something DELICIOUS.”  

 

Lunch in take-out container of chicken, salad, rice and a cookie

Photo:  Something Delicious prepared with love by our IOBT members and friends. 

Itadakimasu!

In Gassho,  Rev. Anne

Female Minister in black robes and purple wagesa

15. October 2022

Fire, Convention, Clean-up & Community!

October 15, 2022

Black and White Photo from 1958 of attendees from Ontario, Portland, and Spokane of the NW District Convention

Photo: 1958 Northwest Convention (Left Half)

 

Black and White photo of the attendees of the NW District convention in 1958 from Wapato, White River, Tacoma, Portland, Spokane

 

 Photo: 1958 Northwest Convention (Right Half)

NOTE:  Feel free to leave the names of folks you recognize in our comments section!

This summer has been a whirlwind. We started with the promise of in-person services inside our temple. That changed with the July 8th fire, but we adapted and moved outdoors to hold services under the awning in the parking lot. Along with all the work to inspect and assess the damage of the fire, we had to plan for a convention. No one from IOBT gave any thought to canceling the convention. It was our “baton” to pass on in the convention relay circuit. We continued having convention planning meetings to discuss this Northwest event. We continued our temple board meetings to hear updates on the basement rebuilding and the smoke damage to the upstairs portion of the temple. No one skipped a beat. That is especially true for Mike Iseri. He is a multitasker extraordinaire. He was at the temple to meet adjusters, disaster cleaning crews, electricians, heating and cooling experts, altar cleaners from Wakabayashi Altar Company Japan, and other service experts. Then he was at Obon cemetery visits, outdoor services, board meetings, and convention planning meetings. Please give Mike your sincere thanks for all that he does for IOBT.

Two men watch as a man cleans Buddhist altar equipment at the front of a Buddhist temple

Photo:Bishop Marvin Harada and IOBT president Mike Iseri watch as altar cleaners from Wakabayashi assess the damage to the IOBT altar

Although this is not what we had expected 2022 to look like, these events were all “shikata ga nai” (it can’t be helped). We move on with “gaman” (perseverance). Things are getting accomplished, but it will be a slow and steady process.

I would like to share a few thoughts on the convention and IOBT’s 75th Anniversary.

  • It was so good to see the Bishop,Rev. Marvin Harada, and all the Northwest ministers in person. It has been two years since the Northwest ministers have gotten together other than on Zoom for meetings and joint services.
  • Seeing old friends and meeting new friends was a highlight. Those breaks between service and workshops and also shared meals were filled with happy conversation and outbursts of laughter. It was so good to hear happy voices again.
  • Hearing Rev. Marvin’s keynote address was a “quantum leap” into the past. (Sorry, TV show reference.) Loved seeing that 11thAnnual Northwest Convention photo from 1958 (featured at the top of this blog). I couldn’t believe I was there with my mom and dad. I would have been about 6 or 7 years old. There were so many faces that I remember from our temple.
  • The talent of our Northwest ministers is so vast. From hearingRinban Kusunoki (Seattle Betsuin) and Rev. Koyama (Tacoma) play gagaku music in person to having Rev. Hirano provide an introduction to Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu, we had no problem finding workshop presenters.

Photo: NW District Ministers: from Left to Right, Rev. Chatterton (IOBT), Rev. Opel (Spokane), Rev. Spencer (IOBT), Rev. Hirano (IOBT), Rev. Harada, Rev. Kusunoki (Seattle) Rev. Sugahara (OBT), Rev. Koyama (Tacoma), Rev. Yasaki (Tacoma)

 

Speaking of talent, we had our own homegrown talent presenting workshops. Stuart Hirai shared his knowledge of World War II and the bravery of the Nisei soldiers. We were reminded that we owe a debt of gratitude to these veterans. Debbie Tanaka and Megan Cook presented a yoga workshop incorporating the idea of mindfulness. Michelle Sadamori presented a Bon Odori workshop virtually with Rev. Carmella Hirano. Michelle also did a taiko workshop and performed along with Eric Spencer and the rest of Sangha Taiko for our banquet entertainment. Howard Matsumura organized a farm tour that was enjoyed by all (everyone who went got to take a real sugar beet home!) and served as a masterful master of ceremonies for the banquet. Randy Kameshige came up with a fun activity of “cornhole” that filled the lobby with sounds of bean bags hitting boards and cheers for the competitors. 

     Reflecting on IOBT’s past, there are so many causes and conditions that had to happen so that we can be where we are today. We have so much to be grateful for as we look at our 75-year past. When we return to the temple for services, look at the onaijin/altar with gratitude for all that went into its creation and for the fact that it survived the fire. It is our symbol of resilience.

      Looking ahead to IOBT’s future, there is work to be done by all of us Sangha members. We have so much to share with our community about the history of our temple and the Teachings of the Buddha and Shinran Shonin. As Rev. Marvin Harada told us during his keynote address, we have a baton to carry and pass on. Let’s not fumble the chance to share the Nembutsu teachings.  

Namo Amida Butsu

Rev. Kathy Chatterton

Female Buddhist Minister in Black Robes and yellow wagesa

15. October 2022

Fire, Convention, Clean-up & Community!

October 15, 2022

Black and White Photo from 1958 of attendees from Ontario, Portland, and Spokane of the NW District Convention

Photo: 1958 Northwest Convention (Left Half)

 

Black and White photo of the attendees of the NW District convention in 1958 from Wapato, White River, Tacoma, Portland, Spokane

 

 Photo: 1958 Northwest Convention (Right Half)

NOTE:  Feel free to leave the names of folks you recognize in our comments section!

This summer has been a whirlwind. We started with the promise of in-person services inside our temple. That changed with the July 8th fire, but we adapted and moved outdoors to hold services under the awning in the parking lot. Along with all the work to inspect and assess the damage of the fire, we had to plan for a convention. No one from IOBT gave any thought to canceling the convention. It was our “baton” to pass on in the convention relay circuit. We continued having convention planning meetings to discuss this Northwest event. We continued our temple board meetings to hear updates on the basement rebuilding and the smoke damage to the upstairs portion of the temple. No one skipped a beat. That is especially true for Mike Iseri. He is a multitasker extraordinaire. He was at the temple to meet adjusters, disaster cleaning crews, electricians, heating and cooling experts, altar cleaners from Wakabayashi Altar Company Japan, and other service experts. Then he was at Obon cemetery visits, outdoor services, board meetings, and convention planning meetings. Please give Mike your sincere thanks for all that he does for IOBT.

Two men watch as a man cleans Buddhist altar equipment at the front of a Buddhist temple

Photo:Bishop Marvin Harada and IOBT president Mike Iseri watch as altar cleaners from Wakabayashi assess the damage to the IOBT altar

Although this is not what we had expected 2022 to look like, these events were all “shikata ga nai” (it can’t be helped). We move on with “gaman” (perseverance). Things are getting accomplished, but it will be a slow and steady process.

I would like to share a few thoughts on the convention and IOBT’s 75th Anniversary.

  • It was so good to see the Bishop,Rev. Marvin Harada, and all the Northwest ministers in person. It has been two years since the Northwest ministers have gotten together other than on Zoom for meetings and joint services.
  • Seeing old friends and meeting new friends was a highlight. Those breaks between service and workshops and also shared meals were filled with happy conversation and outbursts of laughter. It was so good to hear happy voices again.
  • Hearing Rev. Marvin’s keynote address was a “quantum leap” into the past. (Sorry, TV show reference.) Loved seeing that 11thAnnual Northwest Convention photo from 1958 (featured at the top of this blog). I couldn’t believe I was there with my mom and dad. I would have been about 6 or 7 years old. There were so many faces that I remember from our temple.
  • The talent of our Northwest ministers is so vast. From hearingRinban Kusunoki (Seattle Betsuin) and Rev. Koyama (Tacoma) play gagaku music in person to having Rev. Hirano provide an introduction to Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu, we had no problem finding workshop presenters.

Photo: NW District Ministers: from Left to Right, Rev. Chatterton (IOBT), Rev. Opel (Spokane), Rev. Spencer (IOBT), Rev. Hirano (IOBT), Rev. Harada, Rev. Kusunoki (Seattle) Rev. Sugahara (OBT), Rev. Koyama (Tacoma), Rev. Yasaki (Tacoma)

 

Speaking of talent, we had our own homegrown talent presenting workshops. Stuart Hirai shared his knowledge of World War II and the bravery of the Nisei soldiers. We were reminded that we owe a debt of gratitude to these veterans. Debbie Tanaka and Megan Cook presented a yoga workshop incorporating the idea of mindfulness. Michelle Sadamori presented a Bon Odori workshop virtually with Rev. Carmella Hirano. Michelle also did a taiko workshop and performed along with Eric Spencer and the rest of Sangha Taiko for our banquet entertainment. Howard Matsumura organized a farm tour that was enjoyed by all (everyone who went got to take a real sugar beet home!) and served as a masterful master of ceremonies for the banquet. Randy Kameshige came up with a fun activity of “cornhole” that filled the lobby with sounds of bean bags hitting boards and cheers for the competitors. 

     Reflecting on IOBT’s past, there are so many causes and conditions that had to happen so that we can be where we are today. We have so much to be grateful for as we look at our 75-year past. When we return to the temple for services, look at the onaijin/altar with gratitude for all that went into its creation and for the fact that it survived the fire. It is our symbol of resilience.

      Looking ahead to IOBT’s future, there is work to be done by all of us Sangha members. We have so much to share with our community about the history of our temple and the Teachings of the Buddha and Shinran Shonin. As Rev. Marvin Harada told us during his keynote address, we have a baton to carry and pass on. Let’s not fumble the chance to share the Nembutsu teachings.  

Namo Amida Butsu

Rev. Kathy Chatterton

Female Buddhist Minister in Black Robes and yellow wagesa

15. September 2022

Practical Lessons from Jodo Shinshu Buddhism: Guest Blog from an IOBT Member

Editor's Note:  In this guest blog Melody Smit, a long-time resident of Idaho and member of IOBT, shares her thoughts on Buddhism and her recent move to South Carolina

I am so pleased to be writing to you but I do not come to you as a minister's assistant or a scholar of Shin Buddhist teachings, but as a fellow member of Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple (IOBT) who would like to share with you some of my thoughts and experiences.  Some of you may know that I recently moved from Southwestern Idaho--where I enjoyed membership at IOBT--to South Carolina.  

Trees and green field with mists rising

 

I know what you must be thinking, “why?”.  Well it has to do with long term retirement plans that would not work out in the cold winters of SW Idaho, and as beautiful as the Treasure Valley is, the Midlands of South Carolina are just at beautiful, albeit very different.  I can ride my horses all year long in relative comfort, that is a big plus, I don’t have to deal with dust and mud, and I still can’t get used to the idea that I don’t have to irrigate my pastures all summer!  How great is that?  
Three Horses
 

Pasture, Barn, and Hay Bales

 


Through the long process of the move I came to be ever more grateful for the Shin Buddhist tradition I have come to know and love.  I am especially grateful for all the long-time members of IOBT who served as such wonderful models of Buddhist life.  I will never be able to express how much that has meant to me and that I carry those lessons with me wherever I go.

7 brown eggs in plastic bowl

When I first came to IOBT, it immediately felt like I was coming home.  Mostly because the teachings of impermanence and inevitable change mirrored my chosen profession as a health educator in which we acknowledge that all of the pieces of a person’s health are, in fact,  interchangeable and interdependent.  Add to that my personal philosophy that life is a series of long processes that we learn from through our whole lives; IOBT was a wonderful fit for me.   

 

So when I decided to move my farm from Southwestern Idaho to the Midlands of South Carolina, one of the emotional issues I had to come to terms with was leaving behind my beloved home temple.  In some ways the process felt like it did when I went off to college, leaving behind comfort and security and knowing literally where all the roads lead, to move to a new  landscape with all its uncertainty and adventure.  

Two white dogs on field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My home life prepared me to leave home for the first time and I have come to realize the lessons at IOBT had prepared me for this move in ways I would never have imagined.  The concepts of impermanence and change usually move through our lives slowly at intervals that we notice in varying degrees depending on how uncomfortable we are with the situation.  But when you pick up and move to a different region of the country, into a new culture, nothing is the same and everything changes right before your eyes.  Asian food, sadly, tastes different, you have no idea what back roads to take, speech patterns are different.  (I find myself asking for people to repeat themselves a lot!) And there are the cultural expectations of behavior that are unwritten and mysterious!  

Orange Sunset over green pasture

 

Never would I have thought while listening to a Dharma talk that so many of those lessons would prepare me for the this big change I have chosen for myself.  However, the consistency of interdependence has given me so much comfort.  It is the constant that I depend on: the fact that no matter what, we are all in “this” together.  The truth is that what I do affects others even while living in times that are not quite what we recognize, there are people to count on who do and say what they mean.  And while I miss all the Sangha members, especially some members that hold special places in my heart, I know that I have taken with me the really important things: lessons from howas about patience and the balancing between wisdom and compassion, images  of Ruth Harada’s ever present smile, Sue Ueyeki’s dedication to doing a great job, Mike Iseri’s quiet and constant presence around the temple, Jim Mizuta spraying weeds in the back lot, Akiko Rucker bouncing on the balls of her feet when she is excited and happy about something, usually food or a road trip.  And other images, of devout men and women bowing before Amida Buddha, the role models I had and will always have in my mind’s eye of quiet knowledge and assurance.  

I may not be there physically any longer, but just like when I left home for the first time, I have taken with me the most important things, the things you carry in your heart that the wise and compassionate people around you give so willingly.  Sun on horizon with wooden fence

Now as I go out each morning to start my day, the air above the pastures is filled with dragonflies of all kinds of colors.  I can’t help but think of all of you; I am transported back to the temple with all my lovely friends, my heart swells with gratitude and my mind is filled with namoamidabutsu, namoamidabutsu, namoamidabutsu, namanda, namanda, namanda.

Your friend in the Dharma, 

Melody

07. September 2022

Schedule: Northwest District Buddhist Convention Sept 16-18, 2022

September 03, 2022

Registration Q&A

1) How do I register for the Convention

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or 

 with

name.  Payment can be made at iobt.org with the donate button on the right, noting

that it's for convention. 

2) What do remote registrants need to provide us in order to receive the link to the convention website?   Is there a deadline for online participants? Best to 

register at least 2-3 days prior.  Last minute may work but I don't want to depend on it.

3) Is there a deadline for meal orders?  7 days ahead is best.  Any less and there

may be problems ordering more of some ingredients.  If you prefer vegetarian, please note that when you email Mike

4) Do I need to register for Rev. Jerry Hirano's Intro to Buddhism talk and the Sunday closing service? The plan will be to have these available from a link on our website--no need to register

5) Anything else? Not really.  ALL registrants will get an email (if they have email)

with virtual instructions. 

6) Do I need to be Buddhist to participate? Our diverse program is designed to attract a variety of people with a variety of interests.  It includes history, activities, as well as Buddhist teachings.  We have programs for a variety of ages, backgrounds, as well as some activities in Japanese. 

7) What if I want a registration form?  You can find a picture of the form here  with more details and pricing. 

 

 

 

 

Schedule

(NOTE: Of course, like everything these days, the schedule is subject to change!)

BCA Northwest District Convention "Reflecting on the Past; Looking to the Future"

Hosted by Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple Sept 16-18, 2022

Location Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario Oregon

In-person and Online Attendance Available

Friday, September 16, 2022

5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Registration and Hospitality

Lobby

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Northwest District Council Meeting

Collins Gallery

Saturday, September 17, 2022

8:00 – 9:30 am

NWD BWA Representatives Meeting

Collins Gallery

 

FRCC Gift Shop

Hongwanji Place (virtual)

(Open throughout the weekend.)

 

8:00 – 9:45 am

Registration

Lobby

9:15 am

Oshoko (Incense Offering)

Theater

9:45 am

Opening Service

Theater

10:30 am

Keynote Address—Rev. Marvin Harada

Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America

Theater

 

(Students participating in the Farm Tour will leave after the Opening Service for the first portion of the tour and will return for lunch.)

 

11:15 – 11:30 am

Break

Lobby

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Session #1 Workshops

Group Project

“Reflections of the Past”

“Plans for the Future”

“Indra’s Net”

Lobby

English Workshop #1

Owyhee River Room

Rev. Katsuya Kusunoki

Rev. Tadao Koyama

“Chanting in Challenging Times”

English Workshop #2

FRCC Museum Tour

Diana Morinaga

Activity Workshop for all ages

Malheur River Room

Debbie Tanaka

Megan Cook

“Mindfulness of Yoga”

(Comfortable clothing suggested. Bare feet recommended.)

Dharma School

(K-5)

Farm Tour (in person)

“Let’s Dance!”

Bon Odori

(Virtual from Theater)

Michelle Sadamori

YBA

(Gr. 6-10)

Farm Tour (in person)

“Let’s Dance!”

Bon Odori

(Virtual from Theater)

Michelle Sadamori

12:30 – 1:45 pm

Lunch

Snake and Malheur River Rooms

1:45 – 2:45 pm

Session #2 Workshops

Group Project

“Reflections of the Past”

“Plans for the Future”

“Indra’s Net”

Lobby

English Workshop #1

Theater

Rev. Marvin Harada

“Growing Our Sanghas”

English Workshop #2

Collins Gallery

Dharmathon

Japanese Workshop

Harano Gallery

Rev. Sugahara and IMOP ministers: Rev. Yukari Torii and Rev. Hiroya Sato

Dharmathon

Dharma School (K-5)

Farm Tour continued

YBA (Gr. 6-10)

Farm Tour continued

2:45 – 3:00 pm

Break

Lobby

3:00 – 4:00 pm

Session #3 Workshops

Group Project

“Reflections of the Past”

Plans for the Future”

Lobby

English Workshop #1

Owyhee River Room

Stuart Hirai

“Remembering the Legacy of Our Nisei Soldiers”

English Workshop #2

Collins Gallery

 

Rev. Jerry Hirano

“Intro to Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu”

 (Open to the Public on-line and in-person)

Japanese Workshop

Harano Gallery

Rev. Kusunoki and Rev. Sugahara ”Chanting and Ritual for Shinran Shonin’s 850th Birthday”

Dharma School (K-5)

Theater

Taiko Workshop with Sangha Taiko (in-person)

YBA (Gr. 6-10)

FRCC Museum Tour

Diana Morinaga

4:00 – 5:30 pm

Northwest Ministers Association Meeting

Payette Room

5:30 – 6:15 pm

Social Hour

Lobby

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Banquet (Please register 1 week in advance to assure availability of ingredients)

River Rooms combined

8:30 – 10:30 pm

Entertainment

TBD

       

Sunday, September 18, 2022

8:00 am

Northwest District Council

Collins Gallery

8:00 – 9:30 am

Northwest District BWA General Meeting

Harano Gallery

9:30 am

Oshoko (Incense Offering)

Theater

10:00 – 11:00 am

Closing Service (Open to Public-online and in-person)

Theater

11:00 am

Bento Pick-up (Pre-order Required)

Lobby

11:00 am

Seating for lunch

Lobby and Owyhee River Room

07. August 2022

Temple Fire and Gaman ( 我 慢)

August 07, 2022

“The first time I ever heard that word [Gaman] was when I was standing in line, waiting to use the latrine. As a child, this was sheer torture. But my mother looked down at me and said, ‘George, gaman.’ She wanted me to endure, with fortitude and dignity, the injustice of having to wait in the cold even to go to the bathroom. Throughout our time in the camp, the spirit of gaman is what buoyed us, even in the darkest of hours. By holding our heads up high, and carrying on, they could not take from our basic humanity.”

--George Takei (History Channel Interview, Feb. 10, 2017)

As I reflect on the July 8th fire in our temple basement, the Japanese word “gaman”, referred to by George Takei in the opening quote, comes to my mind. 

industrial kitchen after major fire has destroyed most of its contents and covered it with smoke and ash

Photo:  Three refrigerators in the IOBT temple basement after the July 8th fire.  The fire was started by a bad electrical outlet in this area. 

This word “gaman” means to patiently persevere in tough times. When the Japanese and Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during World War II, older Issei/first generation reminded the younger Nisei/second generation that they must practice “gaman”. They had to bear the unbearable and not lash out in anger and frustration despite the injustices that they were suffering.

Today, Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and the Sangha are facing their own disaster aftermath. We are devastated by the loss of personal property in the basement of the temple. So much has been consumed in the fire and destroyed beyond repair or salvage.  Sangha Taiko drums, musical instruments, and stands are gone or irreparably damaged. Kimonos were destroyed. Photo albums are gone. Cooking utensils that were specially designed and made for the temple’s needs are gone. Even our beloved bingo machine and display board were melted.

Debris including burned furniture and pictures in temple basement

Photo:  Temple basement social hall after the fire. Most of the items in the basement were damaged beyond repair from fire, smoke, and water. 

Practicing gaman will help us to move forward. Why is gaman important? How does gaman fit in with our Shin Buddhist practice? There are 3 practical ways in which this perspective can help us. 

First, our Buddhist Teachings remind us of impermanence. Everything changes. Nothing stays the same. Even our temple is not safe from change. In a blink of an eye, a fire changed everything. The fire serves to remind us that this temple is a precious treasure that we should appreciate every single day. We should not wait for a disaster to remember all the causes and conditions that made this temple in Ontario, Oregon possible. Remembering all that had to happen to make the temple possible and that change will happen, no matter what, we practice gaman, persevere, and move on with our temple services and activities as best we can.

Second, those causes and conditions remind us of our interconnectedness with others. We have experienced an outpouring of support from our Sangha and from the community at large. Northwest District ministers and temple members have reached out with words of support and donations. Community members have offered rooms to hold services. Sangha Taiko is receiving donations of drums and money to help them return to their performances. Knowing that we have all this support helps us to persevere and move forward.

Fire fighters and fire trucks gather in the temple parking lot

PhotoFirst responders in temple parking lot on July 8, 2022

 

Finally, gaman gives us the patience needed to step back and appreciate everyone and everything that has made our temple possible. We remember and thank our Issei and Nisei Sangha members who made this temple what it is today. We appreciate the efforts of the many firemen who withstood the heat of the fire and managed to contain the fire to the basement, saving the onaijin/altar upstairs. Our surrounding community has shared messages of support, making us realize how important this temple truly is.

 

View of Amida Buddha statue through partially closed doors.

Photo:  This picture, taken on the day of the fire, shows that our precious Amida Buddha statue on the altar, the Gohonzon (御本尊) of our main hall, remains intact!

Another Japanese phrase that I want to apply to our current situation is a proverb, Nanakorobi yaoki (七転び八起き), which literally means “fall seven times, stand up eight”. This proverb reminds us that life is a bumpy road. You will be knocked down many, many times. To be able to overcome unfortunate circumstances, we need to stand up one more time. We must patiently persevere (practice gaman). Our temple has withstood many bumps in the road. Our Issei and Nisei have withstood many hardships and obstacles, but they stood up one more time. It is our turn to do the same.

Fire fighter equipment and clothes on the ground outside of a building

Photo:  July 8, 2022, It must feel so good to take off the heavy protective clothing and Oxygen tanks after all that hard work! 

During this 75th Anniversary year, Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple has much to be grateful for, despite the fire and the resulting destruction. We have a long road to recovery before us. We know that with the support of everyone far and near, we have the resilience to push forward. Our Issei and Nisei would have done nothing less.  GAMAN! ( 我 慢!)

Ministers and lay people gather at makeshift altar outside of Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple for Obon Service on July 10, 2020.  Just 2 days after the fire

Photo: Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple holds their annual Obon/Hatsubon service outside, just two days after the major fire in the basement. 

NAMO AMIDA BUTSU

Rev. Kathy Chatterton

Assistant Minister, Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple

 

Female Buddhist Priest in black robes and orange wagesa