HikaritheLight - Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta

January 2015
As we mark the beginning of a new year,
I extend to you my greetings.
Last year, since having succeeded the Jodo Shinshu tradition in
June, I have taken on the posts as the resident jushoku minister
of Hongwanji and the Monshu of Jodo Shinshu Hongwanjiha. Living among today’s society in which the conditions are
quickly changing, I shall help share the Jodo Shinshu teaching
with as many people as possible, so that it will become a
principal religious foundation for daily living. To do so, I
humbly ask for your support.
The Jodo Shinshu teaching was expounded by Shinran Shonin.
Since then, the teaching has been transmitted for well over 790
years, reaching us here today in this present day and age. This is
because regardless of time and location, the Nembutsu teaching
has always been able to serve any persons as a spiritual guidance
to their life. Buddhism detaches from self-absorption and
encourages living a life based on the Dharma. However, due to
our own limitations being unable to put this into practice, we are
faced with sadness and suffering.
Shinran Shonin has taught us that it has been predetermined that
we will be led to the Pure Land and attain Buddhahood through
the working of Amida Buddha. With the working of Amida
Buddha’s infinite wisdom and compassion, we are enabled to
realize one’s true self through the Truth.
In closing, let us live a life reciting the Nembutsu as we receive
the Dharma.
Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha
新しい 年 の 初 め にあ たり、ご 挨 拶 申し上 げます。
昨 年 、6月に 法 統 を 継 承し、本 願 寺 住 職・浄 土 真 宗 本 願 寺 派 門
主となりました 。社 会 状 況 の 変 化 が 激しい 現 代 社 会 に お いて、浄
土 真 宗 の み 教えがより多くの 方 にとって生 きる依りどころとなる
よう、伝えてまいります。どうぞよろしくお 願 い い たします。
浄 土 真 宗 の 教えは 、親 鸞 聖 人 によって説 か れました 。以
来 、7 9 0 年 以 上 に わ たり受 け 継 が れ 、今日の 私 たちに 届 いていま
す。そ れ は 、み 教えが 、時 代 や 場 所 に 関 係 なく、すべての 人 にとっ
て生 きる依りどころとなってきた からで す。仏 教 は 、自己 中 心 的 な
とらわ れ を 離 れ 、真 理 に 基 づ いて生 きる生 き方 を 明らか にして
います。しかし、そ のようにで きな い 私 たちは 、様々な 悲しみ や 苦
しみ を 抱えることに なります。
親 鸞 聖 人 は 、このような 私 たちを 必 ず 仏 に ならせようと阿 弥 陀
様 が は たらいていて下さると教えてくださいました 。この 阿 弥 陀
様 の は たらきによって、私 たちは 、真 理 に 気 づ き、わ が 身 の 姿 を
省 みることが 出 来ます。
本 年も、み 教えを 聞 き、お 念 仏 申 す 生 活 を 送らせてい た だ きま
2 0 1 5 年 1月1日
BTSA Minister: Rev. Yasuo Izumi
403.382.7024 • [email protected]
470-40 St S • Lethbridge, AB T1J 3Z5
403.327.1260 • www.theBTSA.com
門主 大谷光淳
A Happy New Year
to you, all readers of Hikari, The Light!
新 年 にあたり
明 けましてお めでとうござ います。新 年 の 初 め を、仏 様 の 限り
な い 光 ( 智 慧 )と命 ( 慈 悲 ) の 働 きの 中で 迎えさせて頂 い たこと
を、まず、よろこばさせて頂 きましょう。そして南 無 阿 弥 陀 仏と
感 謝で 応えさせてい た だ きましょう。お 念 仏 ( 南 無 阿 弥 陀 仏 )
は 、私 たちの 愚 かさを 心 配して下さる仏 様 の 働 きが 、私 たち
に 届 いている姿で す。人 に 聞 か せるもので は ありませ ん 。自
分 が 聞 きな がら、自分 が 返 事させて頂くもので す。私 たちの
愚 かさは 底 なしで す。世 間で 少し人 の 上 に 立 つような 地 位で
At the beginning of 2015, I recite a familiar phrase with
gassho (putting palms together in one) “Take refuge in
Buddha’s immeasurable life (Namo Amida Butsu)!” in front
of my family o-butsudan. This means “To return to the
life which is true, real and sincere.” I am sure that many
of you recite the same phrase either before your family
o-butsudan or the temple shrine. The phrase appears at the
very beginning of Shoshinge (Song of True Entrusting Heart)
written by Master Shinran (1173-1263). In the original
Japanese, there is no subject in the phrase. It is common in
Japanese sentences to omit the subject. We understand that
the subject of the phrase is “I” or “We”. But do we mean
what we recite? Would we rather take refuge in the things in
our secular life, such as money, health, social position, human
relationships and so on? Although we intellectually know
that from the moment we become attached to these things,
our worry, frustration and even fear will begin, our sense of
attachment and clinging mind is so deep that we are hardly
able to let things go.
These days, I often hear the words “let go” among those in
the West. But by saying it, they again become attached to
the notion of “letting go”. It is easy for us to say “let go” but
are we actually able to “let go”? Do we really mean what
we say? Master Shinran’s struggle on this point is depicted
as follows: “The waves of senses rise and fall incessantly
in spite of my endeavours to calm the water, and clouds of
delusion hide the moon though I wish to see.”
What he experienced in his despair and spiritual blindness
was that the great compassion of the Buddha expressed in
Namo Amida Butsu has been working for such a human
being. No wonder the subject is omitted in the first phrase
of Shoshinge. Yes, the phrase “Take refuge in Buddha’s
immeasurable life” (Namo Amida Butsu) is actually a
beckoning call of the Buddha of unconditional compassion
toward us who are unable to “let go”. Only when we hear the
call of the Buddha, are we able to be brought to the life which
is free from the bondage of the notion of “letting go”, thereby
able to live in peace and serenity.
Always in gassho!
Yasuo Izumi, Minister
Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta 2
も得ると、権 力 の 乱 用 、公 金 の 乱 費 等 が はじまります。仏 様 の
光 に 照らされ た 者 は 、
「 周りの 人 のことを 考え、思 い やる」や
さしい 心 が 生まれると言 わ れています。そ のことは 、他 の 宗 教
で も言 わ れています。今 の ロー マ 法 王 は 、質 素 を 生 活 の 中 心
に お き、バ チカン の 官 僚 制 の 根 本 的 改 革 を目 指し、教 会 を「 野
戦 病 院 」に たとえています。損 得 、愛 憎という戦 い のような 世
間 にあって、教 会 は 、心 身ともに 安らげる場とならね ば ならな
い、と言 わ れるので す。お 寺もまた 、聴 聞 を 通して、安らぎを 感
じさせる場となるよう、新 年 に 当 たり心 新 た にしています。い
よいよ、み 仏 の 心 を 聞 か せてい た だ きましょう。
合 掌 南アル バ ータ仏 教 会 開 教 使 泉 康 雄
January & February 2015
Rev. Izumi
Jan 04
Chair: John Dubbelboer
Audio: Sway Nishimura
Chair: Sway Nishimura
Audio: Akira Ichikawa
Jan 18
Chair: Florence Senda
Audio: Brenda Ikuta
Jan 25
Chair: Katie Nakagawa
Audio: Tak Okamura
Chair: Robert Takaguchi
Audio: Sway Nishimura
Feb 08
Chair: Sylvia Oishi
Audio: Brenda Ikuta
Chair: Val Boras
Audio: Akira Ichikawa
Feb 22
Chair: Sway Nishimura
Audio: Tak Okamura
MC designates: if you are unable to chair on your assigned
date or have made other arrangements on your own, please
inform Sway Nishimura. Thank you.
A note from the WBWC Convention
Committee: Although the deadline to register
for the 15th World Buddhist Women’s Convention
was Nov 29/14, there is still space available! Online
registrations are continuing to be accepted.
Everyone, including family and friends are
encouraged to register as soon as possible.
A cordial and heartfelt Happy New Year
to everyone.
The dawn of a new year always promises great things, but
it’s well to remember that they won’t occur on a clean slate.
As is so often noted, we build on our past where auld ( as in
Auld Lang Syne) acquaintances aren’t forgotten. Even as we
bid farewell to 2014, its activities and relationships inform
and serve as solid foundations for 2015. As in 2014 and
years previous, BTSA looks to its membership for its vitality
and strength in the new year.
We share a culture that often refers to the 12-year Chinese
animal zodiac cycle and the imputed animal characteristics
that are thought to shape the days ahead. 2015 is the Year of
the Sheep...or the Goat...or the Ram. The confusion seems
in part to arise from translations of the Chinese to other Asian
cultures adopting the idea. But, whatever the designation, a
healthy and fruitful 12 months for BTSA are something we
can all toast.
Looking ahead, the major 2015 event is the World Buddhist
Women’s Convention in Calgary on May 30 and 31. Our
members have been planning for years with the organizing
committee to host the get-together that will attract delegates
from all countries with a substantial Jodo Shinshu presence-besides Canada, the United States (including Hawai’i), Japan
and Brazil.
BTSA undertakes a financial obligation with the $200,000
loan it approved to the Calgary Buddhist Temple which
is in the midst of a renovation program in advance of
the convention. Look over the related article about this
elsewhere in this Hikari.
Planned events in the past--among them chow mein suppers,
annual picnic, bake and craft sale, and sandai hoyo (the
three major holidays of Ho-onko, Hanamatsuri and Obon)-continue as mainstays of the temple, along with numerous
other activities. The human power required to put on these
events is considerable and their success rests with our reliable
and enthusiastic member volunteers. We are truly fortunate
to have had the eager participation of great numbers of
members and friends since the dedication of the temple in
2009. May it always be so.
The Year of the Horse--2014--faded into the night with the
New Year’s Eve bell-ringing at the Nikka Yuko Garden, and we
welcomed the Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram with the New Year
Service at the temple on the first day of 2015. Please check the
following article for the Ho-onko service on Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.,
followed by the New Year’s Party. Ho-onko is combined with
the monthly memorial for January.
Reminder: the 2015 membership fee remains at $100 an
individual and is payable to the temple. Although April will
be the official membership campaign month, renewals will be
accepted anytime.
Repeating warm wishes to everyone for a Happy New Year.
Akira Ichikawa
Ho-onko Service On January 11
Ho-onko--one of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism’s three important
memorials*--is scheduled for Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. The occasion
commemorates the death of the founder, Shinran Shonin
(1173 - 1263), and is usually accompanied by the chanting of
Shoshinge composed by him.
The service will be combined with the monthly memorial for
January. Those who lost family members or friends during that
month are asked to bring the document bearing the deceased’s
homyo or Buddhist name to display in the naijin.
The day’s activities will include a meal which also will be part
of the temple’s annual new year’s party. For entertainment,
there will be bingo to round out the day’s activities. Please
plan on attending this solemn as well as joyous event.
(*The other two memorials are Hanamatsuri in April that
celebrates the birth of the historic Buddha and Obon in July
that honors ancestors. The three together are called sandai
hoyo in Japanese.)
Having a temple reassures members that when the time
comes, it will be available to meet their spiritual needs. In
keeping with its main rationale, the temple looked after
numerous funeral and family memorial services in 2014.
The death announcements in successive issues of The Hikari
indicate we said our goodbyes to 22 Dharma colleagues
during 2014. Among them were stalwarts such as Kyojo
Susumi Ikuta sensei, a long-time minister and a former
bishop of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada;
and Robert Hironaka, a onetime chancellor of the University
of Lethbridge, who was instrumental in the establishment
of the Nikka Yuko Garden. We keenly miss their presence
and those of our deceased Dharma friends, all of whom
contributed mightily to the wellbeing of the temple.
Memberships to
Dec 19, 2014 - 225
Other Donations
Shotsuki Hoyo
Joyce Adachi
Mitsuko Arizona
Jim & Atsuko Hagihara
Hatanaka Family
Marshall & Sally HIronaka
Tucker Hironaka Family
Robert B & Margaret Hughes
Rumiko Ibuki
Haruko Ikeda
Sue S Kado
Esther Kanegawa
Anna Kert-Kravitz
Dave & Val Kunimoto
Lethbridge Karaoke Club
Akira & Misae Masuda
Douglas & Susie Mikado
Shig & Katie Nakagawa
Kazuo & Nancy Nakamura
Mac & Reyko Nishiyama
Norreen Nishiyama
Arlene Oishi & Jeff Coffman
Heidi Oishi
Sut & Neva Oishi
Lyal & Dawn Sakamoto
Roy & Pat Sassa
Florence Senda
Soni Takasaki
Barbara Takeda
Elaine Tanaka
Jim & Irene Tanaka
Masaye Tanaka
Yuko Tsuji
Wayne & Amy Tsukishima
December 2014
Dorene Gordon
Shinako (Sheila) Higa
Neil Hinatsu
Marie Hirashima
Gene Horii
Terry Horii
Violet Horii
Akira & Lorita Ichikawa
Tom & Lily Kaga
Eleanor Katakami
William T & Setsuko Nagai
Shig & Katie Nakagawa
Sway & Toshiko Nishimura
Mac & Reyko Nishiyama
Kimiko Ohno
May Ohno
Heidi Oishi
Lilly Oishi
Evelyn Osaka
Jaglit S (Jack) Panesar
Hisae Price
Darcee Richardson
Ken & Nancy Setoguchi
Emily Stitt
Noris & Sachiko Taguchi
Tom & Tsuyako Tajiri
Barbara Takeda
Eichi & Betty Tanaka
Glen & Pamela Tanaka
George Tokuda
Keiko Kay Tsukishima
Total $1,575
December 2014
Is Buddhism idol worship? 仏 教 は 偶 像 崇 拝で す か?
Definitely not, although this is a common
misunderstanding. Buddha’s statue is not only a form
but also a body of wisdom and compassion. Even
Buddhists, however, who should know better think that
Buddhism is idol worship and pray to try to fulfil their own
desires. They ignore the law of cause and effect. Our
selfish desires often use whatever we see for our own
sake. We are greedy. Even a head of a fish becomes
an object of worship to fulfil our endless desires. This is
called blind faith. There is a Japanese proverb: “If you
believe in even a head of a sardine and worship it, your
desires will be fulfilled.” The proverb always gives us
a good lesson. Blind faith, I think, results from failing to
listen to the Dharma. Listening to the Dharma means to
hear Buddha’s compassion in our heart of egocentricity.
The mind of egocentricity is the direct cause of our
suffering, affliction and frustration and creates even
more suffering. For such beings the Buddha of boundless
compassion is working.
Total - $5,807
We try to be as thorough as possible but occasionally make errors. Please inform us if your name has been omitted from or misspelled in
the donation lists. Anyone wishing his/her name not be acknowledged in print, please let us know so it won’t be published. Thank you.
2015 Membership Form
Full Membership
Student Membership*
($100 for each member)
Last Name: _____________________________First Names(s): ___________________
Last Name: _____________________________First Names(s): ___________________
Home Address:_________________________________________________________________
City, Province, Postal Code:_____________________________________________________
Telephone No.:___________________________________________________
Cellphone No.:___________________________________________________
Check to receive The Hikari newsletter by Email only.
Please send this form and your remittance to:
Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta
470 40th Street South
Lethbridge, AB, T1J 3Z5
*Student membership is limited to persons 18
years or older who are currently registered
in a recognized educational institution. It is
free of charge with a valid student ID card.
Student Members are not entitled to vote
at general meetings or to hold office in the
BTSA and this category of membership does
not include membership in the Jodo Shinshu
Buddhist Temples of Canada.
Food Bank Box Filling Up
Into its second month, the annual food bank donation box in the multipurpose room at
the temple is slowly filling up. The collection period runs another month before the
goods are turned over to the Lethbridge Food Bank, this year’s destination. Thanks to
all members who have placed food parcels in the box thus far.
We invite all those able to contribute to help out. The estimated value of the donated
goods will be matched with a cheque from BTSA, as in past years. Most wanted items
are posted on the box. While perishable goods are included on the list, we request
that only non-perishables be given since the temple doesn’t have the facilities to keep
perishables for such a long period of time.
The donations (food and cheque) will be given to the Food Bank in February.
Southern Alberta Buddhist Choir
Scheduled practice January 4
Contact: Pat Sassa 403.329.3105 or Katie Nakagawa 403.327.4296
Tonari Gumi Tuesdays, 12-3pm
Taiko Class Tuesdays, 6:30 (Youth) and 7pm (Adult)
Contact: David Tanaka at 403.330.1548 or [email protected]
The Lethbridge Karaoke Club Wednesdays, 1pm
Minyo dancers Tuesdays, 4-6pm
Contact Pat Sassa 403.329.3105
Gentle Beginning Yoga for Seniors Thursdays 9 - 10 am
Restorative Yoga for Seniors Thursdays 10:30 – 11:30
Both yoga classes are for four weeks February 5-26
An eight week session will begin in April
Contact: [email protected]
The BTSA expresses heartfelt sympathy to those who have lost loved ones:
Sumie Itaya (83) Oct. 02
Tucker Hironaka (90) Dec. 8
William Hisao Kikuchi (95) Dec. 12
Mikaeri Buddha
(The Buddha of
Compassion looking
見 返り仏 : 都 の 禅 林
寺(永観寺堂)所蔵 This particular
Buddha’s statue is
preserved at the
Zenrinji Temple
(Eikando Temple)in
Kyoto. The Buddha
seems to call Monk
Eikan, “Eikan, are
you all right? Listen
to my call. Come
to me, to my life
which is true, real
and sincere. Please
come as you are.
Don’t be late,
The toban lists are currently being updated. If
you are not on a toban call list and would like to
help in any way, please contact [email protected]
gmail.com or 403.327.1668 Both members and
friends are welcome!
Toban 2015 Schedule
JAN Toban 3 FEB Toban 4
MAR Toban 2 APR Toban 4
MAY Toban 2 JUNE Toban 3
JULY Toban 2 AUG Toban 4
SEPT Toban 3
OCT Toban 2
NOV Toban 4 DEC Toban 3
Soup Kitchen 2015 Coordination
Wed, March 18 Toban 4 Jan/TakOkamura
Wed, April 1
Toban 3Pat/Roy Sassa
Fri, May 22
Toban 2Judy/Robert Takaguchi
Tues, June 23 Lily Oishi
Soliciting Temple-Related
Articles for the Hikari
Temple members are encouraged to submit
articles to the Hikari for publication. We ask
that they be pertinent to the temple and
its activities or to Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.
Submissions may be artwork, book reviews,
reminiscences, or related topics. We ask
that they not be too long because of space
restrictions and that they be submitted by
the 23rd of the month if they are intended
for the following month’s edition. Some
editing may be involved before publication.
Submission may be sent to the temple.
BTSA Loan to Calgary Temple
In a letter from Lester Ikuta, president of the Calgary Buddhist
Temple, BTSA has been assured that a letter of agreement regarding
the $200,000 loan from BTSA is forthcoming. (It may have been
received by the time this item is being read since it was expected
at the beginning of 2015.) The letter also noted that the temple
would offer a promissory note of repayment in place of the temple
The letter is addressed to several temples, including BTSA, from
which loans were sought. The key paragraphs are quoted as
“We do need to clarify the question of security. Our Board
has agreed that we cannot mortgage the Temple. A mortgage
would create priorities and inequities between the Temples that
have agreed to lend us funds as well as with our donors, some of
whom have given very substantial sums. We cannot encumber
the title to the building and land. We think that we are all
agreed that no one within the Buddhist community in Canada
would ever foreclose on a Temple, that a Buddhist-to-Buddhist
transaction is based on trust and honesty as well as in the spirit
of giving and understanding.
“We of course understand that as Directors of your Temples’
Boards, you have a fiduciary duty to handle your Temple’s funds
in a transparent and fiscally prudent manner. We would not
expect anything less, and, indeed, we apply stringent financial
guidelines to our own Temple finances.
“It is in light of that fiduciary duty that we are prepared to
provide a promissory note...to be duly formalized in writing.
Repayment will occur as the pledge donations come in, as we
continue our fundraising work, including our regular casinos
which raise in the order of $60,000 each, and as we put in place
a rental program for the renovated building to generate an
income stream. “
While the foregoing alters slightly the wording of the BTSA
resolution that approved the loan by deleting the reference to the
temple as security, the primary objective of a written agreement that
includes a promissory note would fulfill the intent of the resolution.
The board at its December meeting did agree that the expected
agreement should meet our original requirements.
It’s hoped that the transaction will be completed in early January,
For most recent developments of the Calgary temple building,
please refer to: http://us8.campaignarchive2.com/?u=50c1e3be09ff4
What’s Happening With the Renovation? The re-building
phase is now underway. Recently, Ken Nishi took a picture
of construction that was in progress on the back section of
the building (see top picture). The second picture shows the
removal of the old roof and trusses in November. With the
new building permit in place we should see some significant
progresses in the new year so keep posted! We are still on
schedule to move in before the conference.
children & youth dharma classes
Schedule 光 January & February 2015
Monthly Shotsuki Memorial Service 祥月法 要 (service in English)
Please bring Homyo (Buddhist Name) of your loved one. 法 名をご 持 参ください。
10:30am New Year’s
Day Service
Regular Service
BTSA Choir practice
12pm Tonari Gumi
4pm Minyo Dance
7pm Taiko
2pm Hoonko
Shotsuki Monthly
Memorial Service
New Year’s party 11
Regular Service
Regular Service
12pm Tonari Gumi
4pm Minyo Dance
7pm Taiko
12pm Tonari Gumi
4pm Minyo Dance
7pm Taiko
1pm Karaoke
1pm Karaoke
1pm Karaoke
12pm Tonari Gumi
Nirvana Day/Pet
Memorial Service
Regular Service
Explore Buddhism
10:30am Restorative
Explore Buddhism
6:30/7pm Taiko
12pm Tonari Gumi
4:30pm Minyo
16 6:30/7pm Taiko 17
6:30/7pm Taiko
9am Yoga for Seniors
1pm Karaoke
12pm Tonari Gumi
10:30am Restorative
Regular Service
9am Yoga for Seniors
Explore Buddhism
Explore Buddhism
Shotsuki Service
Correctional Centre
7pm BTSA Board
13 Meeting
12pm Tonari Gumi
4pm Minyo Dance
7pm Taiko
1 1pm Karaoke
7pm BTSA Board
9am Yoga for Seniors
1:30pm Karaoke
10:30am Restorative
7pm BTSA Board
1:30pm Correctional
Centre Visit
9am Yoga for Seniors
1:30pm Karaoke
10:30am Restorative