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    2003 Corinth Avenue Los Angeles, California 90025

    (310) 477-7274 Fax (310) 477-6674 E-mail: westlabt@verizon.net Web Site: www.wlabt.org

    Vol. 48, No. 11 & 12 November & December 2005

    TEMPLE SPECIAL SERVICES (See Calendar pages for schedules of regular services)

    NOVEMBER 2005

    Sunday, November 13 9:30 a.m.

    Thanksgiving Sunday Service (E) Guest Speaker:

    Rev. Jim Yanagihara

    Sunday, November 13 2:00 p.m.

    Eitaikyo Perpetual Memorial Service (J) Guest Speaker:

    Rev. Jim Yanagihara

    DECEMBER 2005

    Sunday, December 4 9:30 a.m.

    Bodhi Day Sunday Service & Oseibo Taikai Guest Speaker: Rev. Seikan Fukuma

    Followed by lunch

    Saturday, December 31 8:00 p.m.

    Joya-E Year-End Service .




    Times of luxury do not last long, but pass away very quickly; nothing in this world can be enjoyed forever. Nothing in the world is permanent or lasting; everything is changing and momentary and unpredictable. But people are ignorant and selfish, and are concerned only with the desires and sufferings.

    Therefore, people should cast away, while they are young and healthy, all their greed and attachment to worldly affairs, and should seek earnestly for true Enlightenment, for there can be no lasting reliance or happiness apart from Enlightenment.

    Teaching of Buddha (pp.196-200)

    Coming to West L.A. was the best thing that happened to my career…so far. One of the many benefits for my wife and I is that we will not starve here nor be lost to find a good place to eat. We’re still exploring Sawtelle Blvd. and its many superb eateries. We also like a place called Souplantation and there is one in Cama- rillo, near my mother’s place. It is an all-you- can-eat salad bar complemented by soup, breads, pastas, and desserts.

    Have you ever noticed how people act when it’s a buffet? We have all this delicious-looking food spread out in front of us, and suddenly we’re acting like we haven’t eaten in weeks and may not eat again for several more weeks. Have you ever noticed how your sense-organs operate at times like this? I think we get pumped up by the aroma and presentation of the food. Our eyes grow as big as saucers looking at the many things that are there for the taking. Whatever you want, as much as you want, and we hear people saying “Oooh,” “Aaaah!” Our palms may get sweaty when someone else grabs the serving spoon we want… suddenly we’re racing for the next item to pile it on … It’s true that we are driven by our senses.

    Do you know that some of these buffet restau- rants now charge you extra if you don’t eat eve- rything you take? That’s not a bad idea. Here in the United States, we tend to be very wasteful about food. A recent survey said that Ameri- cans eat 10 times more food per person than the Chinese. In Japan, a nation of about 130 million people, the amount of food thrown away every day would be enough to feed about 10% of the population, or 13 million people in one day. That’s a lot of food wasted.

    Life is also like a smorgasbord and often out of control. Today, we can almost have anything we want and more. With everything we can eat and accumulate we think we’re going to be happy. Perhaps, you made a room addition or upgraded the kitchen. You may have bought new drapes or may have planted rows of new roses.

    I’m sure you enjoyed these things and your senses were satisfied after you got them. But, since then, have you noticed that your wants have changed to something else, perhaps to a new car or trip to Hawaii? Are we here to only satisfy our senses because we have so many things to pick from in our smorgasbord? Some- times we make our choices from what we think we want out of habit, or worse, desperation. As we get older and still can’t find that ultimate comfort in life, then we keep buying. So we catch ourselves playing these same games over and over…new toys, but same old thing. Eventually, everything loses its sparkle and we start to wonder what it’s all about. We spend our lives running after that elusive thing called happiness that still escapes us.

    Whether it works for you or not, the time is go- ing to come when you may start to wonder if you have really found the kind of peace and contentment that is going to allow you to move on without regret. All the things in our smorgasbord of life are okay to go after, but we have to understand that attaining these things is not what gives us the sense of well-being in the long run. Obtaining things like wealth, status, fitness, etc. is not going to make us eternally happy as stated in the opening passage above.

    However, we can enjoy all of these things fully if we live in a sense of security and peace of mind taught by the Buddha. It is difficult to change the many habits and attitudes that we already have, and it is in our karma to do the things we do and live out our lives. Yet, if we are aware of what we are doing when we make choices in life, then we can fully enjoy what we are doing everyday because we will stop being so desperate. On Thanksgiving and New Year Days, please take the time to eat slowly and enjoy just the right amount of everything that you like.

    Namo Amida Butsu (Continued on Page 3)

    IMPORTANT NOTICE To improve certain operations of our Temple, the monthly Temple Board Meeting day is moved from the second Monday to the first Monday, starting in December 2005.


  • REV. USUKI’S PAGE (continued from Page 2)


    Delusion In Buddhism there is a phrase that literally translates “One-water-four-views.” It means that we all view the same thing from our own perspective. For example, when a celestial be- ing looks at water, it sees a blue-green gem, a lapis lazuli. When a man looks at water, he sees water. When a devil (Oni) looks at water, he sees fire. When a fish looks at water, he sees his own living quarters.

    One could easily change the example. When a farmer, for example, sees manure, he sees it as fertilizer. When a fly sees manure, he sees food. When an ordinary man sees manure, he sees something dirty and foul-smelling. When a cow sees manure, he sees it as something cluttering the floor of his room.

    (Jodoshinshu Buddhism – Through Stories, Translations, Sayings, and Sermons, Tetsuo Unno)

    Buddhist Service Etiquette Flowers for the Altar

    Those with abundant flowers in their gardens should be encouraged to bring them to the temple so they may be arranged for services. For Hanamatsuri (Buddha Day Service), every child should be encouraged to bring at least a few blossoms to offer to the Hanamido (miniature flower altar).

    Giving of One’s Service

    Along with the giving of material goods and giv- ing of labor, love for the temple must be taught to the children. The unselfish concern for the welfare of the temple, which is necessary for all Buddhists, young and old, must be taught from an early age. Cleaning the temple and temple yard, helping with bulletin, volunteering for child care, and lining up chairs or distributing Gatha books can help the children acquire this unselfish concern.

    Religious Day Services Bodhi Day Service (Jodo-e)

    The service held on December 8th to commemo- rate the day of Buddha’s Enlightenment is called the Bodhi Day Service. This is the day Prince Gautama Siddhartha attained Enlightenment to become the Buddha, the Awakened One. Therefore this day signifies the dawn of man’s universal emancipation form suffering and ignorance.

    Year End Service (Joya-e)

    This service is held at all temples on New Year’s Eve when the old year is coming to a close to express our thanks for Amida Buddha’s guidance throughout the past year.


    Year 2005 is rapidly coming to an end but our WLABT's activities are still going strong. This past month, on Sunday, October 23, WLABT hosted an Appreciation Service and Luncheon for the former Tanomoshi members. Since 1961, the Tanomoshi group has been very ac- tive helping their members and the temple financially. They have supported the WLABT by helping to finance part of the construction of the Social Hall, and to pay for pews in the hondo, video and audio equipment, taikos, and computers. Many Temple members are un- aware of the many contributions to the Temple by the Tanomoshi group. The group dissolved on June 30, 2005 and although belated, the Temple wished to show its appreciation for all that they have done.

    HELP NEEDED! We desperately need people who can help maintain our temple. There are countless jobs that need attention. It's simple things that people do around the house such as, changing light bulbs, buying paper goods, and other tasks that keeps the temple running smoothly. We could also use help with memo- rial services, assisting in our rental properties, and maintaining our temple and parsonage. These tasks are all being done by volunteers. The more help we get, it'll make it that much easier for everyone involved. Please volunteer a few hours to help in the upkeep of the temple. Call Yuki Sakurai at (310) 820-3237 or the Temple office at (310) 477-7274.

    Our annual Mochi Tsuki will be held on Decemb