by Overseas District Abbot Chōyū Ōtani
To all of our fellow followers in the overseas districts, I wish you a Happy New Year. It is with great pleasure that I can share the joy of welcoming the new year together with you as a member of the sangha.
It has already been seven years since I was appointed as Overseas District Abbot. I have been given precious opportunities to listen to the teaching together with you at the Hōonkō services of the temples in your districts.
Recently, I also have had the chances to welcome you at the Honzan during your visit to Kyoto for Hōshidan tours or other activities. When I see those of you who came all the way from Brazil, North America, and Hawaii at our spiritual home, the Shinshū Honbyō, and pay our respects in front of Shinran Shōnin’s image together, I always find myself embraced by the spirit of the Shōnin’s teaching that “throughout the world, we are all brothers and sisters” with a renewed feeling of deep appreciation.
In the spring of 2020, the 13th World Dōbō Gathering will be held in Kyoto. I sincerely look forward to sharing the joy of listening to the teaching with as many of you as possible at that event.
I wish to conclude my message by expressing my wish that each of us will be awakened to the vow of the Tathāgata. Thank you.
Choyu Otani is Overseas District Abbot of Shinshu Otani-ha (Higashi Honganji)