Bishop Eric Matsumoto
Summer is here! However, it is unusually quiet this year. I wonder “Why?” I know. There’s no music in the air. I don’t hear “The beat of the taiko goes boom, boom, boom” for Bon Dance.
Our circumstances this year, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, prevents us from gathering at our temples for any large scale O-Bon Services and festive Bon Dances. Truly, unfortunate, but at Headquarters we were determined that the Coronavirus may prevent us from physically gathering, but it will not stop us from expressing and celebrating our spirituality, awareness, joy, gratitude and sense of community. We just have to do it differently this year.
As Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii, we have delved into the virtual world as we have never done before and will continue to do so, so that we can continue to be able to keep connected with you and share the Wisdom and Compassion of the Buddha-Dharma with many more people.
This year especially this summer, I would like to encourage you to view, at least, three online videos for your enrichment, enjoyment and expression of your Buddhist spirituality. Hence, the title of this message “3, 2, 1 Start x 3.” For those who may need help to view them, I encourage you to ask family and/or friends especially younger people for their assistance and invite them to view it together with you. All of the 3 videos can be viewed on the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii YouTube Channel by going to the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii Website at hongwanjihawaii.com and clicking the YouTube banner which appears at the top.
Click a heading to view more information about and to access a video:
To conclude, a final word of thanks to the Hawaii Kyodan New Expressions Committee, the Monshinto Task Force and the Social Media Team including the State Ministers Association for spearheading and your continuing online endeavors in this most challenging of time of COVID-19, with so much suffering and loss of life. Let us be supported, motivated and inspired to persevere and do all we can to improve this situation by remembering how interconnected and interrelated all of our lives are. O-Bon is the perfect time for this kind of reflection, realization and response. It is a time to think about the past, the present and the future, and all peoples and all life, all existence! Thank you very much.
In gassho, Rev. Eric Matsumoto, Bishop
Namo Amida Butsu/Entrusting in All-Inclusive Wisdom and All-Embracing Compassion (Amida Buddha)