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    October 2010 Web Edition

    Our Temple A Place To Begin A Place To Grow

    Our Path

    The Path Of Enlightenment, The Way Of Oneness

  • October 2010 t h e P a d m a BERKELEY BUDDHIST TEMPLE 2121 Channing Way, Berkeley, California 94704 (510) 841-1356 WEB EDITION

    Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat

    NOTE: For temple matters, please contact Rev. Matsumoto at (510) 841-1356, or leave a message on the temple answering machine. Temple web: Temple e-mail:


    2Temple Picnic @ Richmond Country Club

    11:00 am 3:00 pm

    3 9:30 am Comb. Dharma Family/ Eitaikyo Service







    FBWL Delegates Mtg. in Sacramento

    10 9:30 am Dharma Family Service

    Onenju Repair Workshop 1:30 3:30 pm



    10:00 am 1:00 pm

    Temple Board Mtg. 7:30 pm





    BDBWA Conference @ Enmanji

    17 9:30 am Comb. Dharma Family/ Eshinni/Kakushinni Svc Guest Speaker: Ms. Edythe Vassall



    Padma Newsletter 6:30 pm



    22 23Dharma School

    Halloween Party

    5:30 pm

    24 9:30 am Dharma Family Service



    Crafts 10:00 am 1:00 pm


    28 29


    31 9:30 am Comb. Dharma Family/

    Shotsuki Hoyo Service 11:00 am BBWA Cabinet Mtg for


  • FUTURE DATES TO REMEMBER October 2 - Temple Picnic October 3 - Eitaikyo Service October 10 - Onenju Repair Workshop October 17 - Eshinni/Kakushinni Service October 23 - Dharma School Halloween Party October 31 - DFS & Shotsuki Hoyo Service November 7 - Keiro Kai Luncheon (re-scheduled) November 14 - Ho-on-ko Service and BBWA Sushi

    and Crafts Sale November 28 - DFS & Shotsuki Hoyo Service

  • A Finger Pointing to the Moon

    From this treasure ocean of oneness form was manifested, taking the name Bodhisattva

    Dharmakara, who ... became Amida Buddha. ... [This] refers to manifesting form,

    revealing a name and making itself known to sentient beings.1

    SYMBOLS ARE IMPORTANT to us. For instance, a country's flag is a symbol. It represents the

    ideals and principles of a nation, as well as its history and its future. A symbol has the power to

    say many things to us, in ways that mere words cannot. Think of it. Our lives are filled with

    symbolsstatues and images, sights and sounds that resonate with meaning for us.

    There are symbols in Buddhism as well: the Wheel of Dharma, statues of Buddhas, portraits

    of bodhisattvas, images of the Pure Land, and the like. For Buddhists, these religious symbols

    represent the teachings and the reality that they direct us to.

    Shinran Shnin goes even further in explaining the importance of religious symbols. He

    teaches us that the Buddha's enlightenment is formless; we cannot see it, touch it, or grasp it. But,

    because it is true, it makes itself known to us by taking form. Shinran says that formless truth

    takes the form of the light of wisdom and the Name of Amida BuddhaNamu Amida Butsu. The

    images and stories of Amida Buddha are all religious symbols, the form taken by wisdom and

    compassion in order to guide us to enlightenment

    This is pretty confusing stuff. So Shinran Shnin and Ngrjuna (ca. 150250 C.E.) used

    the idea of a finger pointing to the moon to explain it. Picture this: We are walking along a path

    at night, staring at our footsteps as we try not to stumble. Suddenly, someone comes up to us,

    taps us on the shoulder, and points up into the sky. We follow the direction of his finger and, for

    the first time, we see the moon, gleaming high up in the dark sky.

    Here, the finger is a symbol. It represents the teachings or imagery which point us to the

    moon. The moon is like enlightenment itself. Normally, we don't see it and, when we do, we

    don't know what it is. It seems so far away. We're disconnected to it. Shigaraki-sensei says,

    "What we need is a finger that can point us to the moonthe dharma, a teacher or a symbol,

    which can connect us to it. Teachings of Amida Buddha, also painting and statues of Amida are

    the finger. Enlightenment, to which a Buddha awakens, constitutes the moon."2

    Religious symbols, such as teachings, images, songs and stories, all help to direct our

    attention away from worldly matters and toward ultimate truth. Without the finger, we could not

    see the moon. But, we should not mistake the finger for the moon. Religious symbols all help to

    change the direction of our lives or the way we see things. A statue of Amida Buddha may focus

    our reverence and help to generate a sense of joyful faith in our hearts. But it is a statue

    nonetheless; it is not the Buddha.

    At the same time, however, Shinran Shnin's insight was deeper. A finger is just a finger. It

    simply points to the moon. However, without the light of the moon, we could not see the finger.

    It could not guide us to see the moon. In other words, a symbol takes on religious power only

    when it acts together with the working of enlightenment. A statue, story or word can only do its

    "symbolizing work" when enlightenment makes itself known to us through it.

    Through the images of the Buddha, the story of Amida Buddha and even the Name of the

    Buddha, timeless and formless truth takes the form of a symbol, pointing us to that truth and

    revealing the deepest levels of our lives.

    Namu Amida Butsu

    Rev. D. Matsumoto

    October 2010

    1 Shinran Shonin, Notes on Once-Calling and Many-Calling, Collected Works of Shinran, I, 486.

    2 Takamaro Shigaraki, A Life of Awakening (Kyoto: Hozokan, 2005), 26-7.

  • Presidents Report

    Renovations at the Temple continue in preparation for our centennial next year. In August, the Founders Rock was placed. It will be dedicated with a plaque to commemorate our Temples founders. Thank you very much again to everyone for your continuing support.

    Metta, Scott Takeda

    Mr. Namba is a prominent landscape designer specializing in rock gardens. His work is well known throughout the U.S. and Japan, and his clients include Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison. The new Dharma School term began in September. We welcome returning and new students, families and friends. Our Gohonzon is also atop the onaijin again after a brief summer retreat. Rev. Matsumoto conducted a special service to rededicate the enshrinement.

    Meet our Ministers Assistants

    Diana Thompson

    Degree in Religious Studies, University of Colorado

    Ministerial Candidate, I.B.S.

    Certified as a BCA Ministers Assistant, March 2009

    Diana will be going to Kyoto, Japan this month for Tokudo ordination. Tokudo is the initial step in which one makes a commitment to learning the Dharma and is the first step in becoming a BCA minister. The rite will be conducted at Honzan in the Goeido (Founders Hall) of the Hongwanji. We are fortunate to have Diana as part of our sangha and wish her happiness and success in all that she does.

    With gratitude and appreciation, the Berkeley Buddhist Temple and BBWA presented Diana with an orei at the Ohigan service. We invite everyone to join us in support of her endeavors.

    Welcome New Members Molly Momii

    Karen Sugiyama

    BBT Trivia Can you name these Sunday School students? Answers in the e-Edition

    BBT Courtyard, Halloween 1951 Photo courtesy of Kenji and Amy Ota

    Thank You to our supporters

    Shigeru Namba and family Wes Fukumori

  • Shotsuki Hoyo Service October 31, 2010, 9:30 AM

    The following persons will be remembered during the Shotsuki Hoyo (monthly memorial service) for October.

    Walter Clough

    Jean Mieko Doi

    Nancy S. Fukumori

    Misao Handa

    Rev. Taigan Hata

    Tatsuo Hataye

    Stephen Hedani

    Denman Honda

    Riku Honda

    Jack Y. Imada

    Kiyo Inouye

    Doris Marie Kami

    Seiichi Kawamoto

    Matthew U. Koblick

    Masao Maki

    Tatsuyo Marubayashi

    Ariya Masuda

    Sakae Masunaga

    Frank H. Matoba

    Shizuye Matsumoto

    Han Mayeda

    Jun Morita

    John N. Muranishi

    Chiyoko Nakagaki

    Kiyoto Nakagawa

    John Y. Nakahara

    Yei Nakahara

    James S. Nakashita

    Reiji Nakaso

    Noboru B. Morita

    Gotaro Ota

    Jane T. Richofsky

    Kameyo Sasaki

    Toshiko Sasaki

    Yukichi Sasaki

    Ryotaro Shimada

    Risuke Takemori

    Asa Tanaka

    Namie K. Tsuda

    Mamoru Ueda

    Tsutomu Uyesugi

    Kazue Yamashita

    Fumi Yokoyama

    Katsuzo Yonekura

    Note: If there are any additions, corrections or deletions to the above list, please notify the Berkeley Buddhist Temple at 510-841-1356.