6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA  93405          Tel.  805 595-2625

   Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano


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6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA  93405          Tel.  805 595-2625


Resident Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano


My “stay-cation” (thank you Marty for this word) is over and the summer seems to be quickly fading into fall. The summer Ministers’ fuken (retreat) has come and gone. Centuries ago, it was a tradition for monks to gather during the monsoon months, to study and meditate. But we do not have a monsoon season, for that matter, no rain. However it is still time to study and reflect on the heard lecture. We, ministers, also have to develop good study habits, as well.


There are subtle signs of the approaching autumn. There are more rental trucks on the freeway heading towards Cal Poly. Parents and students are storming the stores for school supplies. The tourists in their RV’s are getting their last hurrahs in. It seems that daylight is shorter now and the nights are creeping in sooner. The marine layer is rolling in earlier than normal and burning off later and later. The morning air is crisp. I think the trees are also feeling the change.


For parents and students, it is time of adjustments. It may mean facing a new phase in their children’s life. For many tykes, it may mean graduating from preschool into kindergarten. My friend’s twin daughters started kindergarten this year. One of the twins said she does not like school because “…other kids are bigger than me.” But we reassured her by telling she may be bigger and older than some of her classmates. One could see the “brain-wheel” turning. I was told that they are taking it slow and cautiously. Their anxiety seems to be easing day by day.


Adults can also be apprehensive at times. Sometimes when adults are put into new situations or meet new people, our stress level climbs. We assume children can adjust to change better than adults, but they also have their fears and struggles, no matter what the age. However Nembutsu is strength. We share our Namu Amida Butsu and it gathers our courage and entrusting that everything will work out.

With a new school year starting and autumn “just around the corner”, we observe Shuki Higan-E, which means “Autumn Higan Gathering”. Some would know it as Sanbutsu-E or “praise-Buddha-gathering”. Higan (in Japanese) and Paramitas (in Sanskrit) mean Other Shore. We are faced with challenges of everyday living and we tend to dwell on all the imperfections of life.


During this time we focus on the ever- changing harmony of nature and of self. We also focus on the in-ner harmony, which autumn seems to bring. Yes, we are preparing ourselves for the winter.


This is good time to put our efforts on selfless giving (Dana) of time, patience and guidance. We are good examples of behavior (Sila) to our children and for others to follow. There is always the practice of patience (Ksanti) in whatever situation we are given. We put effort and endure (Virya) all the ups and downs in life. We try to be mindful (Dhyana) of our actions and all the practices. The final Paramita is wisdom (Prajna). This is what we gain from all the lessons we try to practice, every single day. These practices are what we try to do in our lives; we just do not label them as such.


It is through the guidance and direction of Nembutsu and Amida Buddha that will lead us to the Other Shore of entrusting. We continue to live a fulfilled life with harmony and peace. Good luck in the search of our true self and good luck to our students as they venture into another school year.


Gassho Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano

Charity, virtue, forbearance, effort meditation, and knowledge

Shall be of the best; becoming a Buddha I shall realize this

Vow and give peace and tranquility to all who are full of fear.

5th Verse in gatha, Sanbutsu Ge