Helping the Helpers

By Phillip Underwood

This is the story of how I ended up a member of the West Covina Buddhist Temple. It starts with the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

I was a captain for the Los Angeles Fire Department when I was called to respond to the New York City attack. I did not go as part of the Urban Search and Rescue Team. Instead I was committed to helping the rescuers themselves, or as we called it, “helping the helpers.”

Continue reading “Helping the Helpers”

Shin Family Ties

First his grandmother died, and then his uncle died, just a year after the end of World War II. That’s when Masayuki Saito began thinking more deeply about life. In 1958, Masayuki moved to Brazil, leaving behind a Japan battered by post-war recession.

In Brazil, he met Setsuko, whom he married. They began regularly attending services at Higashi Honganji Betsuin temple in Sao Paolo and learning about Jodo Shinshu.

Continue reading “Shin Family Ties”

Advice to Teenagers

By Rev. Ryoko Osa

The teenage years are an especially bright time. At that time I had lots of imagination, passion, energy, strength, beauty. Unfortunately, I have lost most of those things now. But all of you have all of them now.

On the other hand, the way the world is today, I think you might also be experiencing some stress, some anxiety. You are finding out the world is not perfect. And so as you start out in life I want to give you these three words of advice. First: Don’t compare. Second: Don’t rush. Third: Don’t give up. Got it? Never compare, never rush, never give in. In Japanese 比べず、焦らず、あきらめず. So what do I mean by this.

Continue reading “Advice to Teenagers”


By Rev. Hideaki Nishihori

Do you have anxieties? How about Buddhist ministers? Do you think they live without worries? Well, I have many anxieties. Sometimes I think I am a coward.

I guess no one in this world can avoid anxiety. Everyone has anxieties and fears, especially when life unexpectedly changes or seems beyond our control. That’s why I think people generally don’t want to make any big changes in their daily lives. We usually want a life that’s stable.

Of course, we like some changes, and we easily can tolerate small changes that we anticipate. If they are acceptable to us, we can enjoy change.

Continue reading “Anxiety”