Monthly Event Schedule
Oct 12 (Sat) at 10 am. Traditional Japanese Art Workshop & Concert
Oct 20 (Sun)at 10 am. Oeshiki Thanksgiving Ceremony with Various Cultural Performance
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).
Chanting of the Mindfulness Meditation and Namu Myoho Renge Kyo
An Inquiry Into the Buddhism Called Mindfulness
Forty years have passed and what is called mindfulness in Europe and the America, which is a meditative technique, whose fundamental truth for its practice is shikan, is reimported into Japan. Mindfulness seeks the meditative experience of the elimination of stress to respond to the needs of stressful modern society. This meditative technique, which is based on the traditional shikan of Theravada Buddhism, has done away with the religious observances of conversion to and worship of the Buddha, and it is applied and practiced as a psychological therapeutic method. Mindfulness refers to awareness. Mindfulness is this meditative experience.
While concentrating and focusing our consciousness on our breathing (shi), and by observing what transpires during that period (kan), we leave our idealistic speculations and take notice of the present moment of now. This is the meditative experience. Through this experience, we are released from the stress (illusions) that afflict that mind and body (Jon Kabat-Zinn, Mindfulness ni Motozuita Stress Kanwaho (MBSR), 1979).
The Mindfulness of our founder St. Nichiren
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. Indeed, the chanting of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is mindfulness.
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.
The meditative experience through the chanting of Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is mindfulness. When we read this experience from the literature of Buddhism, since the attainment of Buddhahood (Buddha world) through chanting the Namu Myoho Renge Kyo is a spiritual (wondrous) matter, it cannot become a part of our consciousness. That is why St. Nichiren stressed the peaceful state of belief and told us to guide ourselves to the state of consciousness of non-discrimination through faith. Moreover, the mindfulness through the chanting of the Namu Myoho Renge Kyo becomes an object for our consciousness until the level of a healthy loving mind (bodhisattva world). Indeed by becoming aware of a healthy state of consciousness, we aim for the attainment of Buddhahood, and the faith and practice for Buddhahood is born. This is a traditional Buddhist practice, the world of the two paths of practice and learning.
By Rev. Kyoshun Kageyama
Revised by Rev. Takamasa Yamamura
Translated by Mr. Dean Makinodan.
Meditation at Temple
DATE and TIME:
Every Friday 6:00~7:00 p.m.
Rev. Takamasa Yamamura (Head Minister)
Free Admission, light cloth
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
Rev. Takamasa Yamamura
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.
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.
Italian, Japanese, English
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.
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.
To seek the spiritual happiness of all people.
The founder of Buddhism, Buddha Shakyamuni’s wish is the spiritual happiness of all sentien beings.
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.
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
Daily Morning Service at 8:30 a.m.
Friday Meditation Class from 6 p.m.
Regular Sunday Service (Once Monthly) from 10 a.m. (Except last Sunday of month)
Meditation at Temple
DATE and TIME:
Every Friday 6:00~7:00 p.m.
Rev. Takamasa Yamamura (Head Minister)
Free Admission, light cloth