NYBC COMMUNITY PAGE:
Community Notices, Dharma Sharing, Links
A MESSAGE FROM BCA BISHOP REV. MARVIN HARADA
A Reflection on the Rise of Asian Hate Crimes
We have all been concerned about recent events in the news about the rise of hate crimes and violence against Asians.
It feels like as human beings, we are going backwards in time to the era of our parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents, many of whom lived through prejudice and discrimination against Asians. Some of you today lived through that era firsthand, being incarcerated in the internment camps. My mother, who is 92, was one such person. She also faced discrimination growing up in Hood River, Oregon. But you wouldn’t know it now. She has friends of all ethnicities.
The other day, she received a phone call from a Hispanic woman whose family worked on our farm. This woman called to thank my mom for taking her and her sister to elementary school when she was a young girl to get an education. Because she got an education, she had a wonderful life. Fifty years later, she called to express her gratitude.
Buddhism teaches us to see our true essence that is beyond race, gender, social economic background, sexual orientation, gender expression, religious faith, physical disability, and so on. Why can’t the rest of the world see the world of oneness that we are taught in Buddhism?
Thich Nhat Hanh, the wonderful Vietnamese Buddhist master, uses a wonderful metaphor of chocolate chip cookies to illustrate what happens when we fail to see our true essence.
He says, when you make cookies, you put all the ingredients in the bowl and mix them together. You know they all have the same ingredients, but what if after you put them on the cookie sheet, some cookies think, “I am the perfect cookie. I am the perfect color. That cookie is too dark. That cookie is too light.”
Isn’t that absurd? The cookies are of the same essence, and so are we. How can we single out ourselves as superior or inferior by the color of our skin or by any kind of distinction? But yet, isn’t that what is occurring in the world today, and has been occurring for eons?
I think our greatest response to a world that is tending towards hatred and violence is to share our view of the world as Buddhists, to see our true essence and essential oneness of all beings, of all of life. As Shinran Shonin so eloquently expresses in his words, “May the Buddha-Dharma spread and may the world be at peace.”
N.Y.B.C. REGULARLY SCHEDULED ACTIVITIES
Buddhist Chanting and Meditation: every Wednesday evening from 7 pm
Sessions are now being held via Zoom. Please contact email@example.com to receive an invitation to join the sessions.
Japanese Howakai: Monthly (usually first Thursday) 7:00 - 8:30 PM
Classes conducted in Japanese are now on Zoom. Please contact Yuko Tonohira (firstname.lastname@example.org) to receive a Zoom invitation to join the class.
Sunday Services: during this time, we are livestreaming our Sunday services through Facebook and posting them also on YouTube for additional viewing. Please visit NYBC Facebook Page for livestream, and NYBC YouTube Channel for archived recorded videos.
Monthly Dharma Gathering Study Class with Rev Earl Ikeda meets first Saturday of each month from 10 to 11:30 am. Check calendar to verify.
DHARMACHAT is a twice monthly discussion group facilitated by Minister Assistants Revs. Isabelle Shinjo Bernard and Gary Shobo Jaskula on Saturdays from 11:00 am-12 noon. The Zoom link is at the end of this message. No need to RSVP in advance.
In this discussion group you will deepen your understanding of Jodo Shinshu through articles by Buddhist teachers and scholars. The next classes are on May 8th and 22nd. Let's read and discuss the article "To the Pure Land and Back" by Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tanaka published in Tricycle magazine (Spring 2019). A pdf copy is attached. Please try to read the article beforehand. We'll discuss it in segments, taking as many meetings as needed to go over it.
Link to article: "To the Pure Land and Back" by Rev Dr Kenneth Tanaka (Professor Emeritus, Musashino Univrsity, Tokyo, Japan)
Hope you can join! Tell your friends, too. In February and March we will meet on the 13th and 27th from 11am -12pm.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89732107976?pwd=MEtYSnc2UFRLU0hKa0pRakZVWEsvUT09
Recent talks and events sponsored by the BCA Center for Buddhist Education are now viewable online (please click on links below to access)
· Gregg Krech: "Finding our Spiritual Hearts in Turbulent Times"
· Rev. Ken Yamada: "Higashi Honganji and Nishi Hongwanji: History and Thought"
· Dr. Funie Hsu: "Looking to the Future of American Buddhism"
· Dr. Scott Mitchell: "Looking to the Future of American Buddhism"
· Dr. Wynn Kiyama: "Traditions & Innovations in American Bon Dance"
· BCA Virtual Obon Dance
BCA SANGHA DHARMA SHARING:
Enjoy dharma messages from Socho (Bishop) Marvin Harada on the Buddhist Churches of America website
Topic: "TWO LEVELS OF BUDDHISM" (click on blue title to go to linked page)
Enjoy these poems by Rev. Dr. Mark T. Unno
Happy New Year! This last year, 2020, was quite the year.
So many lives lost, so many sacrifices, such deep suffering,
but also hope, light, life, vows (earthly and bodhisattva),
love, togetherness, and compassion!
Burdens shared, burdens lightened
A shoulder to cry on, a weight lifted from one's shoulders
Anger, frustration, searing tears of pain
Joy, levity, bearing tears of laughter
We walk together as snow falls, through gentle rain
If there is a before, there is always an after
Life impermanent, death a reminder
Fully in the moment
Foolish in the ferment
Of my heart's desire
True desire, oh my passion
Deep within, heart of compassion
Thank you all, Friends of the Way
This journey together, come what may
Deep bows to you
As the vast sky comes into view
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Statement from the New York Buddhist Church
The New York Buddhist Church deplores all forms of racism, oppression and injustice. Everyone deserves to be heard and treated with dignity and respect, and to live without fear of emotional or physical abuse.
Recent events have once again shown us how our country and society will not and should not remain silent when discrimination results in shocking and needless deaths. We cannot accept acts of racism and injustice, and we cannot accept any institutional support, implicit or otherwise, of those acts.
As a Buddhist community (Sangha), we stand with Black Lives Matter and all people who peacefully protest social injustice and inequality and who seek a more equal and just society. Our Values Statement affirms that “we listen, speak and act with compassion, respect and gratitude because we believe that everyone can be enlightened.”
Let’s continue to listen deeply, have open hearts and understanding minds, and ally ourselves with those seeking a world where everyone is treated with respect, dignity and compassion. Let’s commit ourselves to these actions as a community.
Namo Amida Butsu
New York Buddhist Church Board of Trustees
Reverend Earl Ikeda, Resident Minister
Minister's Assistants: Revs. Isabelle Shinjo Bernard, Cheryl Joko Ikemiya and Gary Shobo Jaskula