2019 New Year’s message from President Pieper Toyama

Embrace Change: Transformation
(Walk in Peace)

HHMH President Pieper Toyama

It is my hope that the 2019 theme speaks to all of us personally. At the heart of the theme is the call for us to transform ourselves and from this profound change to walk in peace. The transformation we seek is borne out of awareness. As our awareness allows us to see, hear and feel with clarity, we come to know all that is given to us in our lives. Our appreciation of life itself becomes a real and true experience. And when we become aware of the preciousness of our lives, the ordinary is transformed into a miracle of perfection. This is the transformation we seek: to see our lives as miracles because of the forces and people known and unknown have created the causes and conditions for us to be alive in this very moment. In these moments of transformation, we can only say, Namo Amida Butsu. And it is in this instant we walk in peace.

The reality is that these moments of transformation are short-lived because our self-centered egos wrench us back to attend to our attachments and our unreasonable desires. But this should not deter us from being open to the next moment of transformation and the next and the next, even though they may be so short-lived, for each is a step in peace.

As 2019 unfolds one day from another, it is my hope that we will all find perfection in ordinary moments and in that perfection a profound appreciation for our lives. In that morning cup of coffee, in the smile of the cashier at the supermarket, in the “shaka” sign of a grateful motorist you allowed to merge into traffic, in the quiet loneliness of an empty house, in the Sunday morning greeting of a fellow temple member, in the laughter of your child, in the glow of the setting sun, I hope you feel the perfection of life, the perfection of your life. I hope in that instant your life is no longer ordinary but is transformed into a miracle. And I hope you walk in peace with the only sound on your lips, “Namo Amida Butsu.” Such is my hope for you in 2019.

Namo Amida Butsu

Pieper J. Toyama, President