Register today for the NW Buddhist women’s conference

Buddhist Women’s Association conference:  October  7-9, 2016

All Buddhists or those interested in learning more about Buddhism are invited to attend the 44th NW Buddhist Women’s Association District Conference on October 7 – 9, 2016  at the Bellevue, WA Westin Hotel.

The theme, “Linked in the Nembutsu, Tsunagatte” promises an exciting program with outstanding  speakers, Dr. Sharon Suh (English) and Rev. Mutsumi Wondra (Japanese).

Registration has been extended until September 15. Full registration cost is $195.

We hope you will join us to share the Buddha Dharma. Expect a meaningful and enjoyable conference. We all look forward to seeing you.

Questions? Contact:  Buddhist


Participate in Fred Meyer rewards and benefit temple

For those who have signed up for Fred Meyer Rewards Card to benefit the Seattle Buddhist Temple, please look for an email from the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program and re-enroll in the program.  The re-enrollment program runs from June 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016.  If you don’t re-enroll, you will be dropped as of July 1, 2016 and a percentage of your qualified purchases will not be donated to the Temple.   You don’t even have to wait for the e-mail; go to the Fred Meyer website to renew now.

Currently we have 16 households signed up for the program, which does not cost anything to the purchaser. This is a program to benefit non-profits in areas Fred Meyer serves. Fred Meyer has given approximately $2.6M in donations to qualified non-profits.  The Temple has been a participant since mid-2014 and increasing the number of households who participate would increase the donations to the Temple each quarter.

If you don’t have a rewards card, you may sign-up for one at the Customer Service desk at any Fred Meyer store and you should be able to link your new rewards card to benefit the Temple.

Five ways to support Seattle Buddhist Temple

1. Open up a Bartell Drugs Community Caring Card and present the card at check-out. Qualifying purchases earn up to 4% as a donation from Bartell to the Temple. There is no additional cost to you, as the donation is part of their community benefit plan.

Simply pick up a registration form that includes our group name and number (forms in temple foyer), complete the registration form and bring to any Bartell Drug store.  If you pick up an in-store registration form include our group name, Seattle Buddhist Church and group # 163944317.  You will be given a B’Caring Card that will need to be registered by phone (800) 931-6258 or the web,

Please keep in mind that qualified purchases do NOT include:  pharmacy prescriptions, alcohol, tobacco, postage stamps, lottery tickets, transportation passes, gift or phone cards.

2. Sign-up for a Fred Meyer Rewards Card and/or if you already have a Fred Meyer Rewards card, link the card to the Seattle Betsuin (ID# 85804). You can do this by following this link: Fred Meyer Community Rewards. You will still earn your Rewards points, fuel points, and rebates, but the added benefit is that Fred Meyer provides a donation as part of their community program to benefit non-profit organizations.

3. Another way to donate to the Temple is to take advantage of Amazon Shop Now, which has a benefit program for non-profit organizations.

4. (New!) You’re ONE CLICK away from supporting Seattle Buddhist Church! The online shopping you do is the ticket. It’s easy! No cards to register and it can mean hundreds of dollars to us. Click this link: eScript Shopping and donate to the Temple!

5. Another opportunity is available as a mobile app.  People need to sit through a short webinar but the Betsuin can earn funds from anyone who purchase electronic gift cards that show up on their smart phones.  They then use the amount showing on the smart phones to pay for goods at the particular store. More information here.
a. Link to donation form.

Ganjin lives, part 1

My first wife, Linda Luebke, was very impressed by the heroic story of Ganjin. When I was first assigned to Seattle Betsuin in 1986, our two sons were young and Linda became very involved in the Betsuin choir, Dharma School and initiated an annual Buddhist Arts Retreat that lasted for about ten years. Seeing a need for more contemporary children’s gathas, she composed and published “Six Songs for Buddhist Children” in 1990 which included “Ganjin’s Journey.”

For Linda, Ganjin’s selfless missionary spirit is the same spirit that motivated the issei ministers who crossed the sea from Japan to establish what would become the Buddhist Churches of America. For the issei, it was not the ocean journey that was so perilous but what they encountered when they arrived here; they spread the Dharma in the face of racial prejudice, religious intolerance and great economic hardships. The ministers persevered like the words of the gatha,“ Foreign lands, does it matter? Foreign tongues may speak the same thought.”

A few days before she died of pancreatic cancer in December 2013, I went to visit Linda. She had given up her teaching position in Indiana and moved to Milwaukee to be close to her mother and sister. Our two sons Quincy and Ted had taken family leave from their jobs to share a two bedroom apartment with her and, with hospice care, to take care of Linda’s needs. Thankfully, Linda was lucid and able to stay in her apartment
until the last day of her life.

The last time I spoke with her, I said, “You are on Ganjin’s journey now.” I told her I would try to take Quincy and Ted to Ganjin’s temple in Japan and to present her gatha. She smiled and replied,“That would be nice. ”

Eleven months later, in November 2014, I travelled with Quincy and his wife Caitlin to Toshodaiji and was received by the abbot Rev. Chien Ishida who was extremely kind but who didn’t speak any English. With my extremely limited Japanese, I presented Linda’s gatha to him and tried to explain the reason for our visit. Somehow we communicated and, after talking and serving us tea, Rev. Ishida gave us a wonderful tour of the monastery complex. The three of us agreed our visit and the kindness we received were the highlight of our Japan trip.

With our busy, complicated schedules, it was impossible to coordinate a trip for both my sons and their wives and me to visit Japan at the same time. So, once again, I am off to Japan to visit Toshodaiji with my younger son Ted and his wife Hanine. Thanks to the help of our new minister Rev. Sala Sekiya, I was able to make contact with Rev. Taichi Ishida who is the son of the abbot we met last year. I hope I will be able to report on a successful journey in the next newsletter.