I hope that everyone is staying safe and healthy as the weather turns cooler. Due to the spread of Covid-19, we still are unable to physically meet at the temple. I just wanted to check to see how everyone was doing with the Time Capsule project. I am thinking that we will postpone the due date of the project to the end of the year. By then I am hoping everyone has had a chance to complete the Time Capsule and return it back to the temple so it can be included in the capsule. I'm still looking for the appropriate vessel for the Time Capsule items.
I also want to thank everyone who helped with the Care Packages to the Seniors. Special thank you to Aya for buying most of the product items and stepping in to be the head contact for this project. ARIGATO!!!
I apologize for not being more attentive to Dharma School matters lately. I am dealing with a loss in the family and it is taking a lot of time and energy right now. I will send a short message just to the students shortly. If you can forward the message to your children, I would greatly appreciate it.
In closing, I would like to recite "White Ashes" from the Gobunsho - Rennyo Shonin: It is a good reminder that we can't take life for granted.
In silently contemplating the transient nature of human existence, nothing is more fragile and fleeting in this world than the life of man. Thus, we have not heard of human life lasting for ten thousand years. Life swiftly passes, and who among men can maintain his form for even a hundred years? Whether I go before others, or others go before me; whether it be today or whether it be tomorrow; who is to know? Those who leave before us are as countless and as fragile as the drops of dew. Though in the morning we may have radiant health, in the evening we may be white ashes.
When the winds of impermanence blow, our eyes are closed forever. and when the last breath leaves us, our face loses its color. Though loved ones gather and lament, everything is of no avail. The body is then sent into an open field and vanishes from this world with the smoke of cremation, leaving only the white ashes. There is nothing more real than this truth of life.
The fragile nature of human existence underlies both the young and the old, and therefore, we must - one and all - turn to the Teaching of the Buddha and awaken to the ultimate source of life. By so understanding the meaning of death, we shall come to fully appreciate the meaning of this life which is unrepeatable and thus to be treasured above all else. By virtue of True Compassion, let us realize the unexcelled value of our human existence; and let us live the nembutsu, Namo Amida Butsu, in our hearts.