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Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
April 7: Clean up day
          8: Hanamatsuri Service

May 6: Gotan-e
        13: Eshinni/Kakushinni Service
        19: Annual Golf Tournament
         27:Cemetery Services

                 AUGUST 4: OBON
To study the Buddha is to study the self.
To study the self is to forget the self.
To forget the self is to be actualized
By myriad of things.
~Dogen Zenji
As I was driving home from an errand, I heard the term “archaeology of life”. According to several definitions, the common word connecting them is human history, analysis of people’s culture through artifacts, inscriptions, monuments and such. It also defines it as a study of the past. We direct our attention at our past through our ancestors and teachings. So in a way, we have become archaeologists of life.

Archaeologists excavate ruins, examine artifacts and venture to “guess” what the culture of people may be. As Buddhists, we are also explorers in search of what we truly are. Instead of having to travel afar, our search begins in the now, right here, inside of us. At times, our insights may seem far, far away. However it is right inside of us. We search within our hearts and minds. As we examine the rituals and traditions of Buddhism, read the sutras and listen to the Buddha Dharma, our artifacts are found in the Golden Chain, the Three Treasures, and hearing the Buddha Dharma as we walk the path of Nembutsu.
Shinran Shonin, the “founder” of Jodo Shinshu, throughout his life searched for his Truth. His life was of suffering and sorrow and he sought answers to the question, “Why do sentient beings have to suffer so?” As a young monk, he practiced meditation, studied the sutras and sought Enlightenment on his own. He soon realized that after 20years he could not find the answers by depending on his own power. Although he sought self-power, he realized he could not do it alone. He sought guidance from others.

We all want to have a joyful and happy life, however, it is the study of our true self that can provide that knowledge of self. We excavate who we are and search deep within. We follow the clues that have been left behind by our ancestors, teachers and those who somehow influenced our lives. They may be anyone, even strangers. Whoever they are, they influenced us and they shared an experience with us.

It may have been a simple chat or a passing word, however, their thoughts and ideas shared a truth for us to research. These people have planted a seed and we have a reason to excavate our selves. We must examine that big word EGO and where our self-centeredness and arrogance comes from. It is not an easy journey and at times can be very fearful.

In that unknown archaeological dig into self, there is always Namu Amida Butsu. It holds our hands in the darkest and scariest times. As the “dig” continues, we share our gratitude and thankfulness that Nembutsu is always with us. It is Namu Amida Butsu that will lighten the load and help us to see what we are and what we can change. our true selves. We can start by examining what and who we truly are and to try to free our selves from arrogance. It is a most difficult thing to do, however, we can begin by admitting our inability to free our selves from arrogance. We put our palms together, take a deep breathe and rely on Namu Amida Butsu to give guidance, direction and bits of wisdom.

Gassho, Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd., SLO