Aspiration and Reflection at VegFest Oahu 2019
Bishop Eric Matsumoto
September 21, 2019
As we gather at Vegfest Oahu 2019, illuminated by Amida Buddha’s nurturing Light of Wisdom and Compassion, let us deeply reflect.
A prominent Buddhist Spiritual Leader (His Eminence Monshu Emeritus Koshin Ohtani) shares, “All things on earth, all things in the universe, are in the fold of a great life-force linking us all together. In this world, there is no life that was ever lived in vain. There is no life that is meaningless. All life is linked together.”
Another eminent Buddhist Spiritual Leader (His Eminence Monshu Kojun Ohtani) further shares “Everything in this world exists based on interdependency.” “We are all living interconnected with each other in some way or another.” “It is extremely unfortunate if we forget that we have this beautiful connection with one another.” A local (former) Hongwanji Mission School student said in a poem, “There is something you should clearly see, I affect you, you affect me. People affect Nature, Nature affects people, we affect each other, whether it’s you or me. We all live together! You respect me, I respect you. I am responsible for you and you are responsible for me. I care for you and you care for me. I am grateful to you and you are grateful for me. We all live together! There was a bird that had many a feather, it had two heads that banged together. But one day it got smart and began to say “Hey, let’s live in peace and harmony, eh?” We all live together!”
A universal truth is the interdependent nature of all life, all existence. In the abundance of food, today, please let me share that there is a Japanese custom of Old to humbly express awareness and appreciation every time we partake of any food or beverage. Hence, at the beginning of each meal, the word “Itadakimasu” or “I humbly and gratefully receive this food” is said to express my awareness of the precious gift of life of the plants and animals that I am receiving which enables me to live another unrepeatable day. No one and nothing exists by itself and nothing and no one should exist for only oneself. The ideal way of life is one in which we simultaneously benefit both self and others.
Today, on September 21st, Peace Day in Hawaii, guided by All-Inclusive Wisdom and inspired by All-Embracing Compassion, may we aspire for the peace, the happiness and the well-being of all peoples of all lands including our natural environment as exemplified by the Koholā Ola Whale for World Peace Project with Sooriyakumar and many other noteworthy endeavors like the gifting of Sadako Sasaki’s Paper Cranes by the Sadako Legacy (Yuji Sasaki) which symbolize the wish for World Peace.
May we live each day, each moment, humbly and with deep gratitude acknowledging the preciousness of all life, all existence that we are each like the links of a Golden Chain, interconnected and interrelated, now and forever.
Namo Amida Butsu and thank you!
Hawaii Betsuin Choir performing “Golden Chain” at VegFest Oahu 2019