NICHIREN-SHU

HONOLULU MYOHOJI MISSION
Honolulu Buddhist Temple in Hawaii

Honolulu Buddhist Temple

Monthly Event Schedule

Due to the state emergency order by the State of Hawaii, at present, the gate of Honolulu Myohoji is locked.
We will reopen the temple when the conditions have improved
We will inform you when we will open the temple

The Facebook Sunday Service that is held every Sunday at 10 a.m.

On the full-moon day of each month, we are participating in the twenty-four-hour prayer through the Odaimoku gathering of the world.

The Zoom Lotus Sutra class, for Japanese residing in Hawaii, is held on the evening of the third Monday of the month.

For the morning of each Saturday at 10 a.m. Zoom study class and Shodai practice(English) is held. Those who wish to attend, please send us an email: info@honolulumyohoji.org

HONOLULU MYOHOJI MISSION

Honolulu Myohoji Mission was established in 1930 by Bishop Nisshu Kobayashi of the Kenpon Hokke-Order in Japan. In May of 1954, Venerable Rev. Nittatsu Fujii of Nihonzan Myohoji offered a set of Busshari (Shakyamuni Buddha’s Relics).

Meditation heals the sufferings of human beings

The chanting of the sacred title is the meditative experience of chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. That technique is described in the Kanjin Honzon Sho of St. Nichiren (13th century). And its central topic is observing our consciousness as a meditative experience. 

St. Nichiren called the chanting of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, kanjin (observation). We observe our ego consciousness and become aware of the ten realms (the worlds of hell, hungry spirits, animals, asuras [fighting devils], men, heaven, hearers, cause knowers, bodhisattvas, Buddhas). That technique is called projecting our own consciousness on the mirror of mind.

Since the ego consciousness is that state of suffering where the continuum of memory is projecting on the mirror of the mind, St. Nichiren says to chant the Namu Myoho Renge Kyo to escape from that suffering. The chanting of the sacred title is to project Namu Myoho Renge Kyo onto the polished mirror of the mind. That is why through that observation the ego consciousness is separated from the continuum of memory (illusion), and if there are no waves on the mirror of the mind, we no longer worry about this or that, and a consciousness state of no thought can be induced.

It is Buddhism that heals the sufferings of human beings.  It is probably true that Buddhism is not necessary for people who do not feel suffering.  Yet to a greater or lesser degree human beings are experiencing suffering and trouble.

Many people think that suffering comes from the outside.  They think that the suffering that they are feeling is being caused by happening in the outside world.  I am suffering because that person is bad.  I am irritated because of that event. 

Nevertheless, the cause for that suffering is within the person.  Moreover, it can be thought that in the cause for many sufferings there are mental wounds such as trauma. 

Many people do not know this, but it is the religious training of the Odaimoku that can heal the mental wounds and trauma in the depths of the human mind. 

While the mindfulness meditation and psychological treatment, which is popular at present, has symptomatic results, it does not lead to a fundamental permanent cure.  In particular, strict caution is necessary in the use mindfulness meditation to treat patients with depression.   Through mindfulness, the cover over the trauma, which is deep within the person’s mind, is opened and there is a possibility that the suffering of that person will be further intensified.  However, the chanting of the Odaimoku does not require such caution, and it is useful in the treatment of such mental disorders as depression and schizophrenia.

For the cause of such mental illnesses such as depression, there is the enlargement of the amygdaloid nucleus in the brain.  The amygdaloid nucleus is essential for the preservation of life through the avoidance of danger in daily life.  It is the organ in the brain that remembers the information of past anxiety, fear and anger.  It is known that the enlargement of the amygdaloid nucleus is the cause of extreme worry and depression.  And for the cause for the enlargement of the amygdaloid nucleus, such conditions as a harsh living environment during childhood are mentioned.  The influence of the amygdaloid nucleus is strong and extends over the entire brain.

Those with depression cannot control their emotions because the amygdaloid nucleus cannot be suppressed by reason or thought.  From research it is known that amygdaloid has more nerve fibers in the brain than the frontal lobe that controls reason.  That is why it is difficult to control the mind with reason.  Even for healthy person, while he knows through reason that anger is not good, he cannot control such emotions as anger and sadness.  All of you have probably experienced the same.  It is very difficult to control the amygdaloid nucleus with reason and thought.  That is why many people are suffering mentally.

Nevertheless, there is a way to control the problem of the amygdaloid nucleus.  It is the chanting of the Odaimoku.  And to recite the sutra.  That is why it is receiving the attention of psychologists and neuroscientists. 

According to the research, it was recently learned that by activating the frontal lobe, the problem of amygdaloid nucleus can be controlled.  From research it was learned that when the Odaimoku is chanted, the frontal lobe is activated.  In the research of the psychiatrist, the recitation of the sutra, in particular the chanting of the Odaimoku, the concentration of the blood flow of the frontal lobe increases.  In other words, it was discovered that the frontal lobe is activated.

In addition, when the frontal lobe is activated, the activities of other portions of the brain come to a standstill, and a mind that accepts things as they are is fostered.  And it was also learned that when the frontal lobe is activated, the release of the happiness hormone serotonin is accelerated.  Serotonin brings a state of peace to the mind.

It was further discovered that during the practice of shodai, in addition to serotonin, oxytocin was also released within the brain.  Oxytocin is an intracerebral substance that is secreted when we pray for or are kind to another.  Moreover, oxytocin human life energy and it works to heighten life energy. 

Since oxytocin itself is life energy, we possess it from birth.  That is why to live our life and the bodhisattva practice (to benefit others) are rationally in agreement.  To live with the practice to benefit others through oxytocin is to heighten our own life energy.  This is scientifically proven.  This is an astonishing research discovery.

By chanting Namu Myoho Renge Kyo, we can receive the two effects of the mental stability of serotonin and the heightening of life energy by making people happy of oxytocin. 

Revised by Rev. Takamasa Yamamura 

Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan.

Meditation on Zoom
DATE and TIME:
Every Saturday 10:00~11:00 a.m.
Rev. Takamasa Yamamura (Head Minister)
Those who wish to attend, please send us an email: info@honolulumyohoji.org

Prayer for deities in Hawaii

We residents of Hawaii must never forget this existence. It is the deities that have continued to protect Hawaii since ancient times. When we of Japanese ancestry first came to Hawaii, we were foreigners to these islands.

The deities that protected Hawaii welcomed we foreigners with the Spirit of Aloha. We must not forget our debt of gratitude to the deities of Hawaii.

At present, many forgotten deities exist in Hawaii. We must recognize their existence, respect and offer our gratitude to them. To do so is the true feeling of the spirit of Aloha.

To pray to the God is good. To pray to a single Buddha is also good.   Yet, I ask that you not forget the existence of the many deities that protect Hawaii.

The gentle breeze, warm weather and the beautiful ocean—these are all the blessings from the deities of Hawaii.

O gods of Hawaii, we are grateful for the blessing!

May the nature of Hawaii be protected eternally.

May the world be in peace.

May we, who reside in Hawaii, live with love for others with a calm and gentle heart.

Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

*At the Annual Gala of Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii in 2016

 

Nature Too Is Sacred

Animism is the thinking that a spirit dwells in all matter and it is also related to nature worship. Nature worship recognizes an indwelling divine nature in the mountains, sun, moon, starts and so forth. It revers them as gods and worships them.

Nature worship has been continued by the Japanese from ancient times. There are similarities between Japanese nature worship and Hawaiian nature worship. For example, in Hawaii, Pele is the goddess of the volcano. In Japan, the volcano, Mt. Fuji is worshiped as the goddess, Konohanasakuya-hime. Moreover, in Hawaii, the sun god is worshiped as Ku—. In Japan, the same god is Amaterasu Omikami, and in the Nichiren Order, the sun god is worshiped as Dainichi Tennno. The moon god in Hawaii is called Hina. In Japan, the moon god is Tsukiyomi-no-mikoto. In the Nichiren Order, the moon god is worshiped as Daigatsu Tenno.

In this way, from ancient times in both Hawaii and Japan, the name of a god was assigned to each manifestation of nature and worshiped.

   The truth is that the thinking that recognizes manifestations of nature and worships them has come from the Lotus Sutra. Chapter 2 of the Lotus Sutra affirms all existences as being an aspect of Reality and teaches that all existences, including matter, have life.

There was a holy man who spoke of a similar teaching. He was St. Francis of Assisi, who lived in 14th century Italy. St. Francis said that all forms of nature, the sun, moon and stars are all blessings from God and all are our brothers and sisters, who are living the same life as ourselves. This truth is teaching that human beings are originally existences that are one with nature and we should never think of ourselves as being apart from nature. It is teaching that we are living together with nature and that nature and ourselves are living the same life. There is essentially no difference between this truth and the teaching of the Reality of all things of the Lotus Sutra.

From ancient times, the Japanese people recognized the divine nature within all manifestations of nature and worshiped nature as god. This is also due to the fact that Japan is a country of agrarian people, who could not live without the blessings of nature. Moreover, to have awe and respect for nature, to revere nature and to live in harmony with nature, is indeed an essential way of life for human beings to maintain their life in this world. When we compare the teachings of St. Francis and the thinking of Shinto of Japan, we can understand that the way of life of worshiping nature is truly the way to live as a human being.

The Nichiren Order was unique among the Buddhist denominations in giving form to the influence of Shinto from ancient Japan as Hokke Shinto. By influence, I am referring to worshiping the gods, who are manifestations of nature, as being existences that protect the Lotus Sutra. That is because, as earlier mentioned, within the Lotus Sutra there is the important teaching that recognizes life in all existences.

The way of life that recognizes all manifestations of life as god is the very basic faith for human beings to live as human beings. We are now able to live because of the sun. It is because of the sun that there is warmth and it is due to sunlight that plants grow. If the sun were to disappear, the plants would die. Without the moon, the earth’s axis would shift and the resulting abnormal weather would make it impossible for human beings to live. It is for the very reason of the presence of the sun and moon that human beings can maintain their life on earth.

There are many people in the world who pray to God. Yet, how many turn toward the sun and moon with their hands in prayer and express their gratitude? Furthermore, human beings seek objects of their faith in such things as images, Buddhist statues and crosses. However, the fact of the matter is that there are existences that we should worship, which are near at hand. They are the sun and the moon. A person, who daily faces the sun or the moon and places his hands in prayer and offers his gratitude, will surely be protected by heaven. That is because to do so is the true path and it is the way of a human being that has continued without end from ancient times.

By Rev. Yamamura, Translated By Mr. Dean Makinodan

jushoku2

Rev. Takamasa Yamamura

Education

Education

July, 1993         English language training, Wimborne Kings school. England

March 31, 2003 M.A. in music Graduate school of Showa University of Music. Japan

October, 2006   Graduated from Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Music Rome, Italy.  Earned Diploma in Music.

Experience

May 19, 2008  Installed into Ministerial Rank.  (Nichiren-Buddhism, Japan)

September, 2008  Instructor of the retreat in Renko-ji Temple (Milan, Italy)

May, 2009~July, 2009    Training as an Overseas Minister.  (Sarnath, India)

Currently, Head Minister of Honolulu Myohoji Temple.

Language Spoken

Italian, Japanese, English

Prayer Service

According to Nichiren Buddhist tradition, we are born with two Buddhist deities on our shoulders. Because the Buddha knows that this world is full of suffering, he sends us two deities to protect us from various accidents and misfortune so we can live better lives. One deity is called Doshoten and the other is called Domyoten. Have you ever had the experience where you almost get hit by a car, but you manage to avoid the accident? Or where you want to try and do something, but you have a strange feeling about it, so you don’t do it. And afterwards you realize that what you wanted to do was very dangerous and you were fortunate not to have done it? These two deities are protecting and guiding you. When we realize their presence we can appreciate to their guidance and benefit from their protection. The protective power of these two deities become stronger the more we chant Namu Myoho Renge Kyo. It may be hard to believe but actually, many people have been saved by the merits of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo.

Among the special prayers that may be requested there are prayers for the health of individuals or families, business success, prayers for safe delivery, infant’s first blessing, prayers for safe travel and a good marriage. Home purification and office blessings may also be requested.Please contact Rev. Yamamura at 808-524-7790 or email info@honolulumyohoji.org for appointment.

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Memorial Service

Worshipping our ancestors is part of our custom. After living in Hawaii, I sense that young Americans do not pay much attention to their ancestors. I also sense that they are not making food or water offerings to their ancestors. This is probably influenced by Christianity

In Christianity, the belief is that Adam and Eve were created by God, and we are their descendants, and have nothing to do with our ancestors. How do Buddhists think? We have a father and a mother. The lives of both our fathers and mothers come together, and we are a product of this union. The same goes for our parents. They are descended from our grandparents. Our lives go back to the beginning of mankind. Life has continued, and the lineage has never been broken. The Japanese say that we are linked to our ancestors, and we are grateful for that.

Among the special prayers that may be requested there are prayers for the health of individuals or families, business success, prayers for safe delivery, infant’s first blessing, prayers for safe travel and a good marriage. Home purification and office blessings may also be requested.Please contact Rev. Yamamura at 808-524-7790 or email info@honolulumyohoji.org for appointment.

Mission Statement

  1. To seek the spiritual happiness of all people.

        The founder of Buddhism, Buddha Shakyamuni’s wish is the spiritual happiness of all sentien beings.

  2. To make a better and peaceful community in Hawaii.

         Our founder of sect, St. Nichiren’s wish is world peace through the teachings of lotus sutra.  The teachings of Nichiren Shu is the method to realize a better community in Hawaii.

  3. We always strive to serve society and by so doing, we will contribute to the development of humankind.  Furthermore, our efforts will add to the value of Hawaiian Society’s existence. We should be helpful temple in Hawaii’s community.

    To serve society through providing the services such as learning and practicing the Buddha’s Dharma,  meditation, the service for comforting the people’s mind. The sharing our place for community’s needs as people’s wellness and health, world peace, and people’s spiritual development, and we ourselves provide the such as events

 

Temple Activities:

Daily Morning Service at 8:30 a.m.

Saturday Zoom Meditation Class from 10 a.m.

Regular Sunday Service from 10 a.m

Meditation on Zoom

DATE and TIME:

Every Saturday 10:00~11:00 a.m. (Those who wish to attend, please send us an email: info@honolulumyohoji.org)