Rissho Kosei-kai
Buddhist Center of New York

Contact: Rissho Kosei-kai of NY
Phone:212-867-5677
Home
  What is Rissho Kosei-kai ?
  Dharma Teachings
  Monthly Wisdom
  New York Church Sangha
  Calendar
  Contact Us
 

320 East 39th Street
New York, NY 10016
(39th St bet. 1st Ave & 2nd Ave.)
212- 867-5677
Fax: 212-697-6499

 

Minister's Message

Issue August 2017

【First of all, we ourselves must believe in the teachings and grasp them correctly 】

In New York City, the temperature is 33℃ (91.4⁰F) today, and it’s expected to be 35℃ (95⁰F) tomorrow. Could this be the peak of the hot spell? ・・・The days certainly have been hot. Hope everyone is doing well despite the heat.

I know this is sudden, but I would like to continue to share our experience during our missionary trip to Florida.

After leaving the Hunter’s residence, we stayed overnight in Palm Coast. The next day we continued our drive southward for three hours, making a dash toward the Wekarski’s residence in Orlando…we were welcomed by Kayo-san and her husband Mike.

We immediately started the leadership training session. It began with Kayo-san giving a lecture on “the Eightfold Path.” They are: right view・right thought・right speech・right action・right livelihood・right endeavor・right mindfulness・right concentration/meditation. Together, these are the eight “right” paths which comprise the method of practice for the extinguishing of suffering.

The word “right” is a prefix to every word in the Eightfold Path. We are taught that “right” means to be ‘in accord with the Universal Truth,’ that the viewpoint that sees・thinks in accordance with the Universal Truth will surely ‘be in harmony.’ Furthermore, the viewpoint that sees・thinks in accordance with the Truth will ‘perfectly fit the objective, to deal with any circumstance.’

We all contemplated the deep significance imbued in the word “right.” Another expression for this is the “Buddha’s viewpoint,” the Buddha’s vision which can see through things clearly without error, to see the ultimate reality of all things (the real state of things). As we learned this, all of us, once again, felt we had reaffirmed the profound depth of the teachings.Although it may be extremely difficult and seem far-fetched to think that we could have a viewpoint which is similar to that of the Buddha, we learned the importance of wanting to become more like the Buddha, and of repeatedly making the effort to encounter everyone and everything with a pure, open-minded and unbiased heart.

Time passed in a flash. That night, the six members Kayo-san had guided to the faith came to the meeting on their way home after work.

When we began the Hoza to read the President’s Dharma guidance together, Rosie-san stated, “The way I view things has changed. I used to have a strong tendency to think I was never wrong. However, instead of reacting, I can now pause and reflect before I respond.”

Then, Solange-san also commented, “The way I view things has also changed. As I try to revere others, I feel I am developing my patience. I am starting to notice my good points when I interact with my friends. I am inspired by the realization that my growth is connected to my becoming a Buddhist. My husband also told me that I have changed.”

The smiles on their faces shone brilliantly as each one tried to grasp the true teaching.

Here in Orlando as well, such wonderful members are living with a purpose as they put the teachings into practice in their daily lives.

The next day, we headed south for about three hours on the Florida peninsula toward Fort Lauderdale, where Mrs. Nobuko Steele lives. Our drive continued.

As to be expected in Florida, it was truly hot as result of the midsummer sun. In the clear blue sky, the cumulonimbus clouds would billow in and soar powerfully, at times causing a heavy downpour. Seeing such vigor and force seem to recharge our energy. Gratefully, just moments after the pounding rain had stopped, we arrived at Mrs. Steele’s residence.

That was the first time Yasuko-san and I met Nobuko-san. Yet, it was remarkable. Because we are mutually connected by the Founder and the President’s teachings, we already felt close. For Yoshi-san, it was a reunion after many years with Nobuko-san. We were all moved by the joy of encountering one another. The flower of the Dharma bloomed, as if the gap between the past and present time and space had instantly disappeared.As she related the joy of meeting her late husband, Bob, raising their children, and living together as husband and wife, actively seeking the teachings – what we saw in Nobuko-san was the spirit of taking refuge in the Three Treasures, and her gratitude. She grasped the value・the virtue of the teachings. Her heart and her smile, overflowing with gratitude from within, was certainly healthy and strong.

After that, we headed toward our final destination, Fort Myers and Mary Sigman’s home. I think it took us about three hours to drive northwest from the previous inland area.

Next morning, it was a reunion with Mary-san. Since it was a weekday, we could not meet with the members who usually gather for the Sunday service.However, this visit’s objectives were a training session on the invocation ceremony for this October’s Gohonzon recipient Marilee Kaufman-san, and receiving Mary-san’s missionary report and leadership training for the Lotus Sutra study session.

Pennee-san also participated in Marilee-san’s training on the invocation ceremony for the Gohonzon. Pennee-san shared the joy of Marilee-san’s invocation and was given the opportunity to join the training.

Learning about the establishment of the Eternal Buddha as our focus of devotion, that all things are caused to live by Original Life Force・the Great Life Force of the Universe・Truth of the Universe・the Dharma・・・・to the explanation on our taking refuge in the Eternal Buddha.Marilee responded that she had learned from the Episcopal Church as well, and that she can fully understand the viewpoint on the Eternal Buddha. I was very grateful. All of us present were able to also confirm our mental attitudes as leaders.

Furthermore, through three days and two nights, we held a study session with Mary-san on the Lotus Sutra’s Chapter 21, “The Divine Power of the Tathagata.” Because this is the overall summary of the teachings of the Lotus Sutra, we must know in what sequence and what the Buddha had expounded as his teachings up to this chapter.

The source of life for all living beings is the Eternal Buddha; we all live the same eternal life as the Buddha. Moreover, we are children of the Buddha; that is, to realize that we possess the buddha nature・・・we were able to study together in various ways.

The five-day missionary trip, filled with much gratitude, ended here.

At present, after having completed it, there are thoughts that well up in my heart.

There is a saying, “One must believe, then help others believe.”

It is often used to express the attitude we should have as members and as the objective of our practice. This means, “First we should believe in the teachings, accept them rightly and appropriately, share the teachings with as many people as possible, and guide them to have faith.”

Particularly on this trip, I felt that Mary-san as leader of the center and Kayo-san as area leader, first of all, believe in the teachings themselves, are rightly accepting the teachings, putting the teachings into practice, and that their wish and belief to share the Dharma with as many people as possible, is being conveyed to each and every member. I am very grateful.

And, whenever one encounters the magnificence of each and every one putting into practice one’s faith, many people will come to believe, and the circle will continue to become larger.

 

Gassho

New York Center Minister

Etsuko Fujita

 
 

Monthly wisdom from Rissho Koseikai of Japan

 

 

sept 2017
ENG

JAP
Aug 2017
ENG

JAP
July 2017
ENG

JAP
June 2017
ENG

JAP
May 2017
ENG

JAP
April 2017
ENG

JAP
March 2017
ENG

JAP
Feb 2017
ENG

JAP
Jan 2017
ENG

JAP
Dec 2016
ENG

JAP
Nov 2016
ENG

JAP
Oct. 2016
ENG

JAP
Sept 2016
ENG

JAP
Aug 2016
ENG

JAP
July 2016
ENG

JAP
June 2016
ENG

JAP
May 2016
ENG

JAP
April 2016
ENG

JAP
March 2016
ENG

JAP
February 2016
ENG

JAP
Jan 2016
ENG

JAP
Dec 2015
ENG

JAP
Nov 2015
ENG

JAP
Oct. 2015
ENG

JAP
September 2015
ENG

JAP
August 2015
ENG

JAP
July 2015
ENG

JAP
June 2015
ENG

JAP
May 2015
ENG

JAP
April 2015
ENG

JAP
March 2015
ENG

JAP
Feb 2015
ENG

JAP
Jan 2015
ENG

JAP
Dec 2014
ENG

JAP
Nov. 2014
ENG

JAP
Oct. 2014
ENG

JAP
Sept. 2014
ENG

JAP
Aug 2014
ENG

JAP
July 2014
ENG

JAP
June 2014
ENG

JAP
May 2014
ENG

JAP
April 2014
ENG

JAP
March 2014
ENG

JAP
Feb 2014
ENG

JAP
January 2014
ENG

JAP
December 2013
ENG

JAP
November 2013
ENG

JAP
October 2013
ENG

JAP
September 2013
ENG

JAP
August 2013
ENG

JAP
July 2013
ENG

JAP
June 2013
ENG

JAP
May 2013
ENG

JAP
April
ENG

JAP
March 2013
ENG

JAP
February 2013
ENG

JAP
January 2013
ENG

JAP
 
 
 
 
Rissho Kosei-kai New York Center for Engaged Buddhism