May peace and tranquility prevail

By Rev. Joshin Dennis Fujimoto, The Argus Observer, February 24, 2008

Ontario, Idaho (USA) -- This year in March, the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple, Ontario, is going to host a special event March 16 to commemorate the 750th Memorial for Shinran Shonin, the founder of Jodo-Shinshu Buddhism.

This event will be hosted by the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple and by the IOBT Young Buddhist Association.

We will host a Meditation Marathon of 26.2 hours from  9  a.m. March 15 to 11:15 a.m. March 16 to conclude during our Ohigan family service. 

This will be a Nembutsu recitation circumambulation walking meditation relay.  Participants will be primarily IOBT members and friends but will include open invitation to the general public. 

All temple groups and members will be invited and encouraged to participate.

Churches of other faiths in our community as well as the general public are invited to participate under the theme, “May Peace and Tranquility Prevail Throughout the World.”

This is a meditation relay, where we take turns in walking meditation while reciting the Nembutsu.

Ohigan is a Japanese Buddhist observance held twice a year during the spring and fall equinox.

This is a time of year when the length of time of day and night are in harmonic balance.

The weather is generally at a peaceful and serene calm. This peaceful harmony in the natural world around us is conducive to fruitful meditation where we grow our awareness of our own conditions of human existence.

During 2008, each temple within the Buddhist Churches of America has been encouraged to hold a special program or service for the 750th memorial.  In 2009, each of the eight districts is to hold special events. 

In 2010, the national level of BCA will host special events.  In 2011 and 2012, world events will be held in Japan, centered from Kyoto, Japan.

The purposes of the IOBT event are three-fold.

The first is to commemorate the 750th memorial for Shinran Shonin through recognition of the theme of ‘Yononaka Annon Nare,” “May Peace and Tranquility Prevail Throughout the World.” The second is to activate recognition of our own connectedness by dedicating our participation to family members and friends that we have lost.

For example, we can dedicate 20 minutes or one hour of walking meditation to a spouse or relative that we have lost.

And the third, and final reason for the meditation, is to utilize this event as a vehicle to educate about the life of our founder Shinran Shonin, the efforts and struggles he endured, and through this to gain insight into the Jodo Shinshu teachings.

 During the course of this event, there will be five services with emphasis on the chanting traditions of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

The opening service, Shi Shin Rai, Shoshinge (Sofu), Nembutsu, Ekoku, will take place at 8:30 a.m. The second, Ojoraisan (Shoyaraisan), Nembutsu, Ekoku, at 5p.m. March 15. The third of that day, Jusan, Sanbutsuge, Nembustu, Ekoku, will take place at 10 a.m. The fourth, Zensho Kada, Amida Kyo, Nembutsu, Ekoku, will be held at 5 a.m. March 16. Finally, the fifth, the Ohigan family service,  will be held at 11 a.m. March 16.

Services are open to the general public. The meditation walk will continue during the final four services.

No one is expected to participate in everything. There will be signup sheets to participate, and everyone comes when their schedule permits.

Signups are for those who wish to participate in the meditation walk.  Please contact Rev. Fujimoto at (208) 707-2021 to register.