May the presence of the Buddha, who said that
He would live in his teachings, be our guide.
May we follow this path until we too, realize Nirvana.
Excerpt from
Eightfold Path to Happiness
San Luis Obispo Buddhist Temple
6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 595-2625
Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
email: minister@slobuddhisttemple.com

Besides Halloween being one of my favorite enjoyments, I like television commercials. Some commer-
cials can make us laugh, some are aimed at provoking tears, and some are just down right silly. I especially like the commercials during the Super Bowl game. You are probably wondering why I am writing about advertisements.

While playing a game, I had one ear open to the television and a pizza commercial came on. This commercial was not exciting nor was it funny, however towards the end the announcer said, “...the first bite is Nirvana’. My head popped up and I asked myself if I heard correctly. What did he say? I was taken back by the use of the word ‘nirvana’.

“...The first bite is Nirvana”, hmmm. The Buddhist definition of nirvana is the extinguishing or blowing
out of all blind passion. These blind passions are greed, anger and ignorance. So I am pondering on this statement. If the first bite is Nirvana, does it mean that having a bite of this pizza I should never have a desire for pizza or even food again? That first bite should be all I want to satisfy all my cravings.
Of course there could be another meaning. This pizza and this pizza alone will extinguish or blow out all my desires for pizza again or that first bite I will not want to eat it again.

I will admit that I have never attained nirvana” and that I have tasted this brand pizza before. I did not attain ‘Nirvana”. It seems commercials use words just to sell their products and that is their goal to sell their product. However, many misconceptions can arise by using certain words.

I did see a commercial for a higher education school and it seemed very Buddhistic in some ways. A
young man was walking down a path along with many other people in the direction of education. He said that he was not the type to take the traditional route and he was not afraid to take his own direction. As he turned against the crowd, he found others who followed their own dreams.

Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo Shinshu decided to take a different route from his teacher, Honen.
He was grateful to Honen however he struggled in the traditional practices and he sought answers to his questions. He felt that he had to find a new path.

We have many teachings and Jodo Shinshu does not “force” one to accept them. If some of the teachings confuse us, we are able to question and continue to question until we are satisfied with the answers. We are given a freedom to seek our way and we have Nembutsu if we lose our way. It is our gratitude and thankfulness that we share every moment of our lives. We are awakened to our goals and we eventually will understand these words of wisdom.

Have a thrilling Halloween and when we are given that treat we show our appreciation through
Namu Amida Butsu. Happy Haunting and Namu Amida Booootsu!


Gassho Rev. Seijo Naomi Nakano
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