Rissho Kosei-kai
Buddhist Center of New York

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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 July 2017

Sharingthe Joy of the Dharma further increases ourjoy 

From May to June here in Manhattan, the days we experienced “the season when the pleasant winds flow through green and young leaves” were really just passing moments. By the time the leaves on the trees finally turned darker green, continuous days of clear sky with dazzling sunlight made us feel that summer was upon us. We thought…would summer be rushing in…? Then, spring returned again, and the relatively cool and mild days continued.

In June, we decided to go for several days on missionary visits to Florida. There were three of us in the group: Yasuko (Chapter Leader), Yoshi (Chief of the Dharma Center), and me.  

We flew out of NY’s LaGuardia Airport to Jacksonville, where we rented a car with Yoshi-san at the wheel. From Jacksonville, we headed south of the Florida peninsula – to Palm Coast, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, and then finally Fort Meyers – experiencing sweltering hot weather. After concluding our five-day missionary visit, we returned to LaGuardia Airport.

 

Reiko Fountaine and Masako Campbell were waiting for us in Jacksonville. Reiko-san had been ill so we were concerned, but I felt that her amazing recovery was a testament to her earnest effort to return to normal daily life, and an indication of how sincerely she is living her life cherishing the “here and now.” At any rate, we were all delighted with Reiko-san’s spirit and recovery. And constantly at her side, helping her, was Masako-san. She cheerfully told us, “I am happy I can be of help. But I am the one who is learning so much.”

By all means, we were “toasting” Reiko-san’s recovery. And we are praying for the day when members can gather again at Reiko-san’s home to read and discuss President Niwano’s monthly Dharma Guidance, led by Masako-san.

Next, we drove south for about two hours to visit the Hunter Family’s home in Palm Coast. Kazuko-san and her husband, Tony-san, welcomed us. We began our visit by paying our respects at their altar. The altar was perfectly set with offerings and felt refreshingly pure. The home was bright with high ceilings, and here and there, the atmosphere vividly reminded us of Japan. We got a glimpse of how Tony-san had kind-heartedly accepted Kazuko-san’s preference and taste.  

This was the first time Yasuko-san and I had visited their home. Although we met Tony-san before, it had been just to say hello. This was our first opportunity to spend unhurriedtime together. What I saw during that time was how mentally and physically in harmony they were – Tony-san’s thoughtful kindness as he always supported Kazuko-san in such a calm and relaxed manner, and Kazuko-san accepting his gestures with gratitude. I was thoroughly enchanted. I was delighted. I was immersed in happiness. The atmosphere was full of warmth and tenderness. When Yasuko-san asked Tony-san “What inspired the two of you to marry…may I ask you to share it with us?” he started to speak earnestly. We listened attentively to the wonderful story of their past, beginning nearly forty years ago.

With conviction, I said to both of them, “Thank you for letting us spend such a long time with you. You certainly have found happiness, Kazuko-san, to have met and married someone as wonderful and marvelous as your husband." Kazuko-san responded saying, “Yes. Thank you very much.” Then, without a moment’s pause, Tony-san said, “I am the one who found happiness. It is all because of Kazuko.” 

“My goodness; that’s wonderful!” I could not hold back my tears of gratitude. Here again was a husband and wife who had found happiness by applying ‘the teaching on the importance of revering and acknowledging each other’ in their daily lives.

There were more missionary visits during this trip, but for this month, I will stop here. 

As I reflect on all the visits we made over the five days, in each encounter, one by one, we received abundant opportunities to experience, “Ah! How grateful we feel!” We were able to mutually affirm the Joy of the Dharma together.   

The joy of the Dharma is to experience the joy of faithfully following the teachings in our lives. We are told, however, that this joy doubles when we bring joy to others as we share the Dharma.

I wish to diligently continue my practice, as I repeatedly recite the Lotus Sutra, over and over again, so I may hold the teachings very deeply in myself.

The lingering memory of the inspiration from encountering such a wonderful couple will be connected, like a baton in relay race, to the visits to come.

(To be continued in August…)

 

Gassho

New York Center Minister

Etsuko Fujita                    

 
 

Monthly wisdom from Rissho Koseikai of Japan

 

 

July 2017
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June 2017
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May 2017
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April 2017
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March 2017
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Feb 2017
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Jan 2017
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Dec 2016
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Nov 2016
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Oct. 2016
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Sept 2016
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Aug 2016
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July 2016
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June 2016
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May 2016
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April 2016
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March 2016
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February 2016
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Jan 2016
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Dec 2015
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Nov 2015
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Oct. 2015
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September 2015
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August 2015
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July 2015
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June 2015
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May 2015
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April 2015
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March 2015
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Feb 2015
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Jan 2015
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Dec 2014
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Nov. 2014
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Oct. 2014
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Sept. 2014
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Aug 2014
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July 2014
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June 2014
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May 2014
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April 2014
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March 2014
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Feb 2014
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January 2014
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December 2013
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Rissho Kosei-kai New York Center for Engaged Buddhism