“The Taste of the Nembutsu” — a new message published here each Sunday

We posted previously about The Taste of the Nembutsu, a volume published by the State Ministers’ Association containing dharma talks by active Jodo Shinshu ministers throughout Hawaii. With the partnership and approval of the association and the ministers, we are pleased to publish the dharma talks online in serial fashion.

Each Sunday morning at 8 a.m. for about one year, a dharma talk from the book will appear on our website (see Latest Messages on the home page).

To view the messages that have been published online so far, see:
All Messages for the Taste of the Nembutsu

We include below Bishop Eric Matsumoto’s foreword from the printed volume:


Bishop Eric Matsumoto in ministerial robes

On behalf of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii and especially the State Ministers’ Association, it is with great joy and gratitude that we are able to share this collection of Dharma Messages. Historically, with Shakyamuni Buddha initiating the “Turning of the Wheel of Dharma,” the Teachings have been continually shared through the ages with the aspiration that others would also attain the joy of the Dharma and freedom from suffering. Shinran Shonin towards the end of his Major Work expresses his reason for compiling it by quoting Master Tao-ch’o with the words, “I have collected true words to aid others in their practice for attaining birth (in the Pure Land of Enlightenment), in order that the process be made continuous, without end without interruption, by which those who have been born first guide those who come later, and those who are born later join those who were born before. This is so that the boundless ocean of birth-and-death be exhausted.”

It is with the same aspiration that the current ministers of the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii have written these messages and the motivation is very simple. I would like to offer one of Shinran Shonin’s poems as an explanation. “I praise Amida’s wisdom and virtue so that beings with mature conditions throughout the ten quarters may hear. Let those who have already realized shinjin constantly respond in gratitude to the Buddha’s benevolence.”

Naturally, one may ask, “What is the message that wishes to be heard?” To once again, refer to Shinran Shonin and quote him, “Entrust yourself to Amida’s Primal Vow through the benefit of being grasped, never to be abandoned, all who entrust themselves to the Primal Vow attain the supreme enlightenment.”

Finally, on behalf of the Ministers, I hope that you find these messages not only enjoyable, but meaningful and insightful. May the Nembutsu of Awareness, Joy and Gratitude for Amida Buddha’s All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion flow from your Entrusting Heart-and-Mind and lips.

Namo Amida Butsu/Entrusting in the Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Infinite Light.

In gassho/anjali,

Eric Matsumoto, Bishop
November 2015