I hope everyone is doing well. As this week's weather is forecasted for rain, please be careful if you are going outside. I would like to share a passage from Monshu Kojun Ohtani's book Moving Forward Just As You Are:
When faced with what seem to be insurmountable personal problems, we can overcome these ideals by remembering that we are not alone.
I believe the reason why we are able to cope with our anxieties and sorrows is because we are not alone. We are able to live by supporting one another through our connections with each other. I myself, have special bonds with those around me. That is why I always feel that we should not ever leave alone those who are left in solitude.
In Japan, people often used to say, "okagesamede' thanks to everyone and everything'" or "otagaisama' we are in this together.'" When something good would happen to a person, he/she would say "okagesamade," not forgetting to give appreciation to the other person. When something bad would happen, people would say to each other "otagaisama" in order to express solidarity in identifying with each other's struggles. These people understood the idea that "Being on my own, I am not a complete person," that without the support of each other, we cannot live. That is precisely why these words naturally came about.
"Okagesamade" and "Otagaisama" are words that have a deep meaning for us all - especially right now. We are always thankful for all the older members of our Sangha who have built and sustained our temple all these years. That is why it is so important that we show our appreciation - even if it is a small token. We will be putting together another Care Package for our homebound seniors just in time for Valentines Day. On February 13th, we will be giving out a Care Package and Valentine's card. I am hoping that all the Dharma School students will help out in the creation of the cards. Kyoko-san will be sending out more information regarding this project.
Take care and stay safe and healthy.
P.S. - How are the time capsule projects going?