It has already begun: fireworks and big booms can be heard. Yes, 4th of July is just around the corner. Summer is in full swing with vacations, fun in the sun and relaxation. It is the joy of traveling and mindless enjoyment. However, it is also the middle of Obon observance.

There is a misunderstanding in the meaning of Obon. It is not welcoming our ancestors back but our deepening gratitude and thankfulness to generations of loved ones for their influence and teachings they shared with us while they were alive. These people have been influential directly or indi-rectly in our lives. In other words, they contributed to our search of our definition of Namu Amida Butsu. These teachings have been passed down to us through generations yet there is a connection or interrelationship with them and others. Their contributions of action and concern enable us to have a temple that provides a gathering place to hear the Buddha Dharma. They have sustained us with a temple of quietude, security and safety. It is with their contributions that enable us to still exist. Their guidance and concern has given us something that will last beyond the present.

We observe Hatsubon in honor of those who have passed from this earthly realm during the past 12 months. Those who have passed during this period may be unknown to us, however, their actions have supplied us with a continuance of our well being. We share our appreciation by putting our palms together in Gassho.

During Obon season, we honor our departed loved ones by dancing traditional folk dances. Each dance is a narrative describing the difficult labor they endured to assure us of Nembutsu. Our Obon dancing is also a path in recognizing how our ego can deter us from the realization that we are not perfect beings. We live each moment with our blind passions of greed, anger and ignorance. However, to dance is to “let go” of those blind passions and to help us to see our “foolish selves.” It is a breath of fresh air to be able to release that ego and yet another way to also honor those who were hard workers of Nembutsu and shared so much with us.

Obon observance is a time of fun but it also contains many lessons of sharing, guidance and direction. It is a time to express our gratitude to the many people who donated their time and actions for our welfare. We share our Namu Amida Butsu in paying our respects and to honor those who made us who we are.

It takes many people working countless hours to put on an Obon Festival. Although it is stress-ful and tiring, when all is done, we look back and can see the success and actions that we have in-herited from our ancestors. We can see what they did for us and we can then share what we learned to future Nembutsu followers. I have always said that even if you have 10 minutes we can always use your help. If you cannot stand for long, we have chairs to sit on. You can fold napkins or do whatever you can — we appreciate any amount of you voluntary time. At our Obon Festival let us gather in honoring our departed loved ones, learning to “let go” while having fun, enjoying what was given and sharing with each other and future Nembutsu followers.


Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
6996 Ontario Rd., San Luis Obispo, CA 93405
(805) 595-2625
Res. Minister: Rev. Naomi Seijo Nakano
A little consideration,
A little thought for others,
Makes all the difference.
~Eeyore of Winnie the Pooh
Sun. 7/14/19 at 11am
Obon/Hatsubon Service
Bon Odori practice @ 1pm

Tues. 7/16/19 at 5:00pm
Basics of Jodo Shinshu

Thurs. 7/18/19 at 6pm
Bon Odori practice

Sun. 7/21/19 at 1pm
Bon Odori practice

Mon. 7/22/19 at 6:00pm
Intro to Buddhism

Thurs. 7/25/19 at 6pm
Bon Odori practice

Sun. 7/28/19
Guadalupe Obon

Sat. 8/3/19
in Arroyo Grande
OBON 2019