The Origin of Obon

Obon season has come. “Obon (盆)” is an abbreviation of “Urabon”. There are three theories about the origin of “Urabon”.
• ullambana or avalambana (Sanskrit) which means “hanging upside down”
• urvan (ancient Iranian, Avestan) which means “spirit”.
• “Ura” came from odana or olaha (Sanskrit) rice / food. “bon” means tray. “Urabon” originally means “a tray to serve food/rice to monks”.

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The 75th Anniversary of the A-Bomb, Part 2

“The basis for peace is for people to understand the pain of others.”

An atomic bomb victim, Mr. Katsuji Yoshida, left this message for us before he passed away in 2010. He was a member of my family temple, Kougenji and also a good friend of my father. He was thirteen years old when the A-bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945. He was badly burned because he was close to ground zero. Later, he made a big effort to tell his experience to younger generations. He also came to the U.S.A. to convey his experience and wish for peace. I truly appreciate his words, which are related to the Buddha’s great compassion. I would like to introduce his article written in 2005 and think about “Peace” with you. – Rev. Kusunoki

<Two students died in front of me>

We went back to the commercial high school where we took refuge before. The pain that I suffered when the glaring sunlight hit my burned flesh was like hell on earth. After sunset, my pain became better. However, my face started swelling. One of my friends cried and said that he wanted to go home. I told him that it was better to wait for someone to come to rescue us. But, he didn’t listen to me. He left there and crossed over a hill even though his right eye was blind. Luckily he got back to his home. He also visited my family and told them. Continue reading “The 75th Anniversary of the A-Bomb, Part 2”

Dana for World Peace, part 4

The BCA National Council Meeting and the NW Convention is coming around the corner. They will be held on Feb 21st – 23rd at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington. You can find the details on the Seattle Betsuin website. I hope many people come to the convention and enjoy the Dharma.

For this convention we would like to try a new approach. We will not print any sutra for the services in the program booklet. We will provide a limited number of service books for those who have not brought one. I would like to ask you to bring your own service book which includes “Juseige” and “Amida Sutra.” (Don’t forget to write your name on it.) Please use a small bag or Furoshiki to bring your service book. Continue reading “Dana for World Peace, part 4”

Dana for World Peace, Part 2

The NW District of Buddhist Churches of America (BCA) is going to hold its annual Convention in conjunction with the BCA National Council Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Renton, Washington February 19 – 23, 2020. Seattle Betsuin is hosting both these big conferences. The theme is “Dana for World Peace”. We took this theme from the slogan of our sect, Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha. Our Gomonshu also mentioned this slogan in his New Year greeting message. (Please see the January Wheel of Dharma.)

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