The Way To Know Our Everyday Life - Living Dharma


T H EG A T E WAYW E S TC O V I N AB U D D H I S TT E M P L EMarch 2014  - -   Vol. XLVIII No. 3The Way to KnowOur Everyday LifeRev. Nobuko MiyoshiThe West Covina Family Retreatwas held at San Luis Obispo BuddhistTemple from Friday, February 14 toSunday, February 16. Thirty peopleattended and for some of them it wastheir first retreat. I was one of themand it gave me a great opportunity toget to know our Sangha members.The temple is surrounded bybreathtaking natural beauty. Wesavored the morning mist, the fresh air,and the sound of birds singing. It wasdefinitely worth the four hour drive.Leaving our busy lives, we were able todevote ourselves to listening to lecturesand learning about Buddhism.It is a wonderful opportunity thatwe are able to take a break from ourdaily life to learn about Buddhism.However, we know that ShinranShonin was unable to listen to theteachings apart from his daily life.Shinran Shonin was the one who leftthe monastery on the mountain andtried to find the way to encounter theteaching in the midst of his everydaylife.Does leaving the hustle bustle of LosAngeles to attend a retreat at a peacefulsetting sound like a way to learnBuddhism? What is the real meaningfor us to have the retreat in this way?The most important benefit of thisretreat was to help us see more clearlyhow we live our daily life. We arePlease see THE WAY, con’t on page 2Temple Event Highlights: Mar. 16, Spring Ohigan Mar. 22, Oldies Dance Mar.29, Cherry Blossom Fest. Apr. 6, Hanamatsuri Apr. 6, LABCF Hanamatsuri Please See Temple NewsThe 2014 San Luis Obispo Family Retreat: “The Golden Chain”Starting AgainThe Golden Chain of LifeStephanie JitoshoEvery year, I look forward totraveling to San Luis Obispo for ourannual family retreat. These retreatsare always thought provoking andinspiring. I have grown up with mostof these members who make the 4-hourtrip and feel fortunate to be able toget to know them a little more eachyear in SLO. This year was even moreexciting with the return of Dr. Metcalf,a new outing to Montana de Oroand new young faces. Since movingto the Antelope Valley, I often feeldisconnected from WCBT, as if my timeat West Covina was in a different life.However, when I come to the retreatand I am with my temple family, it feelslike I have come home again.Seeing and listening to Dr.Metcalf brought back some bittersweetemotions. The first year that werestarted these retreats, he was ourspeaker. That was also the only yearmy dad attended the retreat becausePlease see THE GOLDEN , con’t on page 4Micheal JitoshoStarting Again by Michael JitoshoAs a Dharma school student I usedto wonder why we always went to SanLuis Obispo year after year and did notgo to any other location for our annualfamily retreat. The people in attendance, the meals and the outing whilethey sometimes varied , the programhas always been at the same S.L.O. forthe past several years.Many long time Sangha members,including myself, have grown up reciting the same Golden Chain for yearsto the point that when recited it comesout like butter, nice and smooth. Withthe changes made to the Golden Chaina few years ago, reciting it becomesa little more challenging. Reciting itis not as smooth as before in its newform without being mindful of whatwe are saying. For example, one ofthe changes we talked about duringthe weekend was the last line. In theprevious version it read, “and may wePlease see STARTING, con’t on page 5

March 2014Page 2THDHARMA SCHOOL NEWSThe Dharma school students,teachers, and parents visiteda retirement home to helpcelebrate Valentine’s Day withthe residents of the home. Thecolorful valentines that thestudents and teachers designedand made brightened theholiday for the residents.With beautiful weather and awonderful program that Mrs. PatSato and TCS organized, familiesexperienced a great time at theSan Luis Obispo retreat.   Manythanks to Dr. Metcalf for beingthe guest speaker!The blooming of trees andlonger days means that Ohiganis “around the corner”. Hopeto see all of you at our SpringOhigan service on March 16!With Gassho,Claire HansenQuote of the MonthWe don’t worry about thefuture. We worry about thepresent, because we knowthat if in the present moment we do our best, that ismore than enough. That isall we can do for the future.-Thich Nhat HanhEGATEWAYDharma School VisitationTHE WAY, con't from pg. 1easily swayed by our busy scheduleand only focus on how to manage it.We look back at the past or worry aboutthe future, and keep losing the presentmoment and forget what we have. Thisbrings us stress and dissatisfaction,yet we do not even realize where itcomes from. Worst yet we are unableto see our problems when we are in themiddle of our daily life.Master T’an-luan, one of sevenmasters, said, “The cicada knows nospring or autumn, so how can it knowthe season of the red sun? Only onewho knows the seasons can speak ofsummer.” If we only live in our dailylife, we cannot know what life is.This also reminds me of myexperience about Japan, my homecountry. I realize that I can see moreclearly the beauty and issues of Japan,once I moved to United States. Theywere very much part of my everydaylife, yet they went unnoticed while Ilived in Japan for all those years.The retreat takes us out of a dailylife and gives us opportunities to thinkabout how we are supposed to live ourlife. During the retreat, we enjoyedwhat we were doing each momentand appreciated everything aroundus. At the same time, we were awarethat we lose or forget those feelings ofappreciation in our daily life. Bringingus to awareness is the foremost benefitwe can receive from the retreat.It is almost impossible to maintainappreciation and joy for living eachmoment after we go back to our busylife. However, now that we knowwhat we lose in our everyday life, thatawareness moves us to listen to theteachings more.In closing, I would like to express myappreciation to Pat Sato and membersof the TCS committee for planningand preparing the retreat. I wouldalso like to thank Dr. Franz Metcalffor his thought provoking lectures. Iam deeply grateful to Hisako andDick Koga and the kitchen crewsfor their delicious meals. Thanks toMerry Jitosho, Frank Tanji, and JoanieMartinez for the great time we had atthe evening activities. And of course,many thanks to all those who joinedthe retreat to make it very successfulretreat. And lastly, I would like tothank the San Luis Obispo Templeand Rev. Naomi Nakano for thekind hospitality and the use of theirbeautiful facilities.

March 2014Page 3TTEHMThe Study ClassThe Study Class will meet on March11 and 25 at 10:00 AM. Discussionswill continue to focus on the Shoshinge. The class meets on the second andfourth Tuesday of every month. Formore information, please contact Rev.Miyoshi at (213) 219-6140.Spring Ohigan ServiceSpring Ohigan will be observed onMarch 16 at 4:30 PM. Rev. NobukoMiyoshi will be our speaker. Please joinus for this special service and stay forthe complimentary otoki dinner following the service.Oldies Dance XLVII“Dancin’ and a Revvin’ at Oldies XLVII!” will be held on Saturday,March 22. It’s our 47th Oldies with SteveKikuchi & High Resolution providingfavorite hits from the 60’s, 70’s and80’s. The dance begins at 8:00 PM andwill end at 12:00 AM with lots of dancing and fun in between. Presale ticketsare 15 or 18 at the door. For info andsong requests, call Joanie at (626) 3008947 or Lillian at (626) 780-9866Your Toban chairs will contact youabout work shifts and assignments.Plan to come by the center about 6 PMto help with the set-up. Donations arewelcome for raffle prizes and drinks.Sign-up sheets for drinks will be at theSunday service.Special Dharma MessageThere’s always a special reason tocome to WCBT and on Sunday, March23, there will be a special story just forthe Dharma School children. Pleasebring your Dharma School age children on this day and remember thatthese stories are equally meaningfulfor adults as well. The Dharma is foreveryone!Cherry Blossom FestivalThe West Covina Cherry BlossomFestival will be on Saturday, March 29,from 12:00 noon to 6:00 PM and will beEPGLATEEWNheld at South Hills Plaza, on the cornerof Azusa Ave & Aroma Dr, more commonly known as the Marukai shoppingcenter. The Temple will be selling delicious chicken teriyaki as a fundraiser.Work schedule sheets will be availablefor sign-up at the services or contactMerry Jitosho at (714) 271-3803 formore information. Keep that day openand come out to support the Templeand the Center.WCBT HanamatsuriWest Covina’s Hanamatsuri Servicewill be held on Sunday, April 6, at 10:00AM. Everyone is invited to arrive earlywith flowers to decorate the Hanamido.There will be a special performance bythe Dharma school children and lightrefreshments will be served after theservice. We invite you to come and joinus to celebrate the Buddha’s birthday!AEYWSGATEWAY StaffLayout & Editing: Rev. Nobuko Miyoshi,Hisako Koga, Claudia HaraguchiContributors: Rev. Fred Brenion, ClaireHansen, Merry Jitosho, Joanie MartinezCirculation: Joy KitauraWest Covina Buddhist Temple Mission Statement:In the spirit of universal brotherhood,West Covina Buddhist Temple providesthe opportunity for all to listen to andshare the Teachings of the Buddha in orderthat we may awaken to our true selves,living our lives fully and dynamically.The Temple’s mailing address is:West Covina Buddhist TempleP. O. Box 1616West Covina, CA 91793(626) 337-8373Website: www.livingdharma.orgFacebook: dharma@livingdharma.orgLABTF HanamatsuriThe Federation Hanamatsuri Serviceand will be held on the April 6 beginning at 1:00 PM at the Betsuin in downtown LA. Everyone is encouraged toattend the LABTF service after WCBTHanamatsuri Service.April Shotsuki ServicePlease remember that the AprilShotsuki Service will be held on April13 since Hanamatsuri will be celebratedon the first Sunday.MARCHBrandon Kawaguchi,Kendra Kagawa, BrionMartinez, EdwardMiyashiro, Cathy Nakano,Karolyn Fujimoto, JoyKitaura, Steve Takemoto,Kelley Sakoda, FrankKonno, Kathy Masai,Bob Yamashita, DannyIwama, Lee Ezaki, KarenEzaki, Clare Hansen, DickKoga, Leo Kowalski, KenKawawata, Miki Fukusumi,Tamara Teregawa, AlisaArnheim, Dana Yamada

March 2014Page 4TTHE GOLDEN, con't from pg. 1Hhe passed away shortly after thatweekend. The following year whenwe returned to SLO to hear Dr. Metcalfagain, I heard his lectures throughdifferent ears. I was able to internalizehis words in a different way than Iwould have previously. Now we areback years later and I listen to him yetagain through different ears. Each timeI see him, my conditions have changedso I hear his lectures with an alteredmindset. I am able to relate his talks tomy situation at the time to hopefullyimprove my life.Dr. Metcalf’s lectures about theGolden Chain helped me understandand realize the changes in the wordingthat were made some years ago. Thatdoesn’t mean that I can recite it withoutreverting to the former version, but I’mtrying. I have a better understandingof the changes that were made. Thesechanges have made the Golden Chainmore inclusive of all living things,bring about more intention on the sideEGATEWof the Sangha and Bodhisattva, putmore focus on other’s happiness ratherthan your own, and hope for the trueawakening of all people rather thanbeing at rest in peace.When we recite the GoldenChain and try to incorporate it in ourdaily lives, we are all connected by theGolden Chain. When this happens,the chain is essentially alive and fullof energy because of the people whoare practicing it. By integrating theGolden Chain into our lives along withthe other Buddhist teachings that wehear every week, we will be able toembrace life and live in the presentmoment as we continue to strive fortrue awakening.Dr. Metcalf turned the tableson us on Sunday morning as hechallenged us to dissect and expand themeaning of the 5 Precepts (a conceptthat might be next year’s theme forDharma School *hint hint*). It is easyto take these Precepts at face value:I vow not to harm through Killing,AYStealing, Sex, Lying, and Drinking.However, when we broke off into smallgroups to discuss these Precepts andreally examine what they mean, wewere able to come up with a collectiveunderstanding of them. We based ourinterpretations on the 5 MindfulnessPractices as (1) Reverence for Life,(2) True Happiness, (3) True Love, (4)Loving Speech and Deep Listening,and (5) Nourishment and Healing.Rather than just simply telling us this iswhat some people have said about the5 Precepts, he allowed us to talk abouttheir meanings, which made it morerelevant and applicable to us. Bravo,Dr. Metcalf!Coming back to the retreatyear after year gives us the opportunityto take a step out of our hectic dailyroutines to reflect on our lives. We arereminded to be mindful and aware ofourselves and others as we continue toincorporate the Dharma into our wayof life.From top left: Rev. Miyoshi rings the morning bell, Dr. Metcalf’s lecture, youth group game table,Dr. Franz Metcalf and retreat participants listening to the Dharma.

March 2014Page 5TSTARTING, con't from pg. 1Hall attain perfect peace.” In the mostcurrent version it now reads, “and maywe gain true awakening.” This encounter with change, although it doesnot come without the excruciating painand agony of jump starting our longterm memory storage noggins to adaptto the new version, it also comes with agolden opportunity to once again learnthe Golden Chain. Now we must onceagain learn the Golden Chain. Notonly learn how to recite it but also to bemindful of new Golden Chain and itsnew meaning.During the course of the 2014 family retreat Dr. Metcalf dove into theverbiage of each versions of the GoldenChain and gave us his thoughts onwhat the changes mean to us today. Onthe lengthy drive back home I askedmyself if changes can be made to ourpractice as Jodo Shinshu Buddhists,then what are we practicing and whyare we practicing it? I concluded thatmaking changes for th

THE WEST COVINA BUDDHIST TEMPLE March 2014 - - Vol. XLVIII No. 3 Please see THE WAY, con’t on page 2 Please see THE GOLDEN , con’t on page 4 The 2014 San Luis Obispo Family Retreat: “The Golden Chain” The Way to Know Our Everyday Life The West Covina Family Retreat was held at San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple from Friday, February 14 to Sunday, February 16. Thirty people