WEST LOS ANGELES BUDDHIST TEMPLE BULLETINwestlosa ... WEST LOS ANGELES BUDDHIST TEMPLE BULLETIN 2003

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  • WEST LOS ANGELES BUDDHIST TEMPLE BULLETIN

    2003 Corinth Avenue Los Angeles, California 90025

    (310) 477-7274 Fax (310) 477-6674

    Vol. 48, No. 1 & 2 January - February 2005

    2005 – The Year of the Cock

    ありがたや Arigata ya! 衾の雪も Fusuma no yuki mo 浄土から Jōdo kara. - Issa How very welcome! Even snowflakes on bedding Are from the Pure Land. When Issa died this poem was found under the pillow of his bed. The Pure Land (Jōdo) is the Buddhist paradise. The poet, who was very poor, lived in a wretched hut. Through cracks in the window and wall, snow often drifted in and fell on the bedding and floor. Yet Issa maintained his cheerful spirit. (from One Hundred Famous Haiku, Daniel C. Buchanan)

    “Happy New Year!” from the 2004 Bulletin staff

    Reverend Harold Oda (to October 31)

    Reverend Fumiaki Usuki (from November 1) Advisor

    Reverend Ensei Nekoda Religious – Japanese Mas Sasaki Printing

    Sei Shohara Managing Editor Richard Stambul Assistant Editor Yasuko Shohara Computer Processing - English

    Ted & Betty Takahashi Business & Mailing Toshiko Uyekubo Calendar - Japanese

  • Rev. Usuki’s Page

    HAPPY NEW YEAR

    Rev. Patti and I would like to extend our heart- felt HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you while expressing our appreciation for your gracious welcome. As I sit in the office with Haru Matsumune, your office manager, admiring the view of the beautiful garden and the street, I reflect on my new life at this temple. I cannot tell you how much I am enjoying the honor of being your new minister. In the coming days and months, I hope I will have the opportunity to personally meet all of you to share in this joy, so if you are in the neighborhood please stop by the office.

    In the short time I have been here, your temple leaders and I have met continually to discuss my role as your minister, with a view to continuing in the great West Los Angeles Tem- ple tradition. First, I owe a special thanks to Oda Sensei and Mrs. Oda for their support and graciousness in making my transition very comfortable. I am also thankful to Nekoda Sensei for his help with the services, and to all the temple leaders for their wonderful guidance. I have learned a great deal about this temple, and knowing that I have the support of every- one makes my job much easier than anticipated.

    This temple is made up of wonderful, hard working members with varied backgrounds and talents who graciously accept any duty that is necessary to sustain its continued life. The history of this temple goes back to your family history when your parents and grandparents were the founding members. The photos of the past board members and ministers that hang in the office hallway reflect this proud history and heritage. Much more, I hope that you are comfortable and will continue to enjoy coming here with your family and friends, making the temple a central part of your life. As we con- tinue to be challenged by the changing times and the needs of the new generations, we must also be prepared to change and to meet these challenges. I count on you for support.

    Beginning on January 9, we will have a regular Sunday Service for both Dharma School chil-

    dren and all adults. This will be followed by an adult study session where we will discuss many topics and pertinent issues in Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu. I hope all of you can spend this time to reflect on your spiritual and reli- gious needs as well as to raise the many ques- tions you may have. In addition, I will conduct a weekly study class on Thursdays at 1:00 pm. At this time these classes will be in English, but hopefully we can add Japanese study ses- sions in the future. On Wednesday evenings at 7:00 pm we will start a full scale recreational TAIKO class. It is open to all ages, including seniors. As this will be a brand new class, we will learn to make our own taiko and equip- ment so please join us for this exciting new venture. You may sign up for the class at the temple or call the office.

    Well, as you can see I am very excited to be here and look forward to developing new pro- grams to strengthen our temple. However, this aspiration can only become a reality with the participation and support of the entire Sangha. A minister does not have ownership or com- mand of a temple but is considered to be the religious leader and “caretaker” of the facility and the Sangha. This means that during my stay here we will try to walk the path of Onem- butsu together, guided by the teachings of Shinran Shonin, so that we can enjoy its many benefits. Our Jodo Shinshu temples have al- ways provided for the religious and community needs of those generations who pioneered be- fore us, and they continue to do so today. I hope all of you will see how valuable this tem- ple can be to you and your family, and I hope each and every one of you will renew your vigor so that your children and their children can follow in this great tradition.

    Again, Rev. Patti and I hope the New Year will bring much happiness and awareness to you and your family in the life of Onembutsu.

    In Gassho.

    Rev. Fumiaki Usuki

    SHINSHU CORNER

    Just Right You, as you are, you are just right Your face, body, name, surname For you, they are just right

    Whether poor or rich Your parents, your children, your daughter-in-law, your grandchildren They are, all for you, just right.

    Happiness, unhappiness, joy and even sorrow For you, they are just right

    The life that you have walked, is neither good nor bad For you, it is just right

    Whether you go to hell or to the Pure Land Wherever you go is just right.

    Nothing to boast about, nothing to feel bad about, Nothing above, nothing below. Even the day and month that you die, Even they are just right.

    The Life in which you walk together with Amida, There is no way that it can’t be just right.

    When you receive your life as just right Then a deep and profound faith opens up.

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  • WELCOME REV. PATRICIA KANAYA USUKI

    (EDITOR’S NOTE: In the last issue of this Bulletin, we intro- duced our new resident minister to our readers by publishing his biography. In this issue, we likewise introduce his spouse known affectionately as Rev. Patti. Rev. Patti was appointed as resident minister of San Fer- nando Valley Hongwanji Bud- dhist Temple a few months be- fore her husband was appointed to our Temple. The reader is

    also advised to read an article written by Rev. Patti for the Southern District Newsletter quarterly that appears elsewhere in this issue.)

    3

    Rev. Patti is a sansei, born and raised in To- ronto. Her mother still lives there and her fa- ther passed away three years ago. Her mother's clan in Hiroshima-ken are devout Shin Bud- dhists, and her father's side in Oita-ken has a Nishi Hongwanji temple.

    The ministry is Rev. Patti’s second career. By one of those fascinating coincidences that il- lustrate how our lives are interconnected, it was Mrs. Oda's nephew, Rev. Grant Ikuta of Toronto Buddhist Church, and his father, for- mer Bishop Ikuta of the Buddhist Churches of Canada, who set her feet on the ministerial path. She completed Buddhist studies at Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin in Kyoto (Honka graduation in 2002) and the Graduate Theological Union (MA degree in 2004), with which the Institute of Buddhist Studies is affiliated. She received her Tokudo and Kyoshi ordinations at Jodo Shin- shu Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto (the mother Temple of our Jodo Shinshu sect) in 2001 and 2002 respectively.

    After receiving her BA in Modern Languages and Literature in 1975 from University of To- ronto, Rev. Patti had a distinguished career in the Canadian Government, eventually rising to the lofty position of advising the Prime Minis- ter, members of his Cabinet and senior minis-

    try officials on economic policy issues related to Energy, Science and Technology. Some of her duties along the way included serving as the Canadian Customs Representative at the office of the Canadian Consulate General in New York City, and performing diplomatic duties at the Canadian Embassy in Quito, Ecuador.

    From1988 to 1993, she was granted an official leave of absence from the Government of Can- ada, after which she left government service. During this period and until she entered Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin in 2001, she pursued many interests. She served for two years as the Di- rector of the Asia Pacific Group of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Ottawa, Canada (the capitol city of Canada), where she directed an international division responsible for Canadian trade programs with Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ja- pan, Korea and Southeast Asia. She branched out into the Education field by earning a Bachelor’s degree in Education and teaching certificate from University of Ottawa, and then teaching elementary school in Toronto for two years, including French. She also taught Eng- lish in Japan for many years. Finally, a year before she entered Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, she worked at Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha in Kyoto editing English translations and trans- lating from European languages. Besides Eng- lish and Japanese, Rev. Patti is competent in French, Spanish, Italian, and German. The main project she worked on was the book Jodo Shinshu: A Guide