By Rev. Chōyū Ōtani
To all of you Jodo Shinshu Buddhists, I wish you a Happy New Year! It’s a joy to welcome the year 2020 together with everyone in our sangha.
This year beginning in July, I will become Abbot of the Shinshū Ōtani-ha denomination (Higashi Honganji), based in Kyoto, Japan. During the past few years, I’ve been serving as Overseas District Abbot, during which time I’ve visited our overseas districts and temples in North America, Hawaii and Brazil. With those experiences firmly in mind, I will assume my new responsibilities.
I welcome all of you to visit Shinshū Honbyō (Higashi Honganji’s main temple in Kyoto), which is the spiritual focus for Shinshū followers. With hands in gasshō before Shinran Shōnin’s image, let us deeply reflect on the spirit of his teaching, which says, “throughout the world, we are all brothers and sisters.”
On April 20 through April 22 this year, we will have the 13th World Dōbō Gathering at our mother temple in Kyoto. I encourage you to attend. If you’re interested, please contact your local temple. I look forward to seeing you there to share the joy of listening to the nembutsu teachings.
May each of you be awakened by the call of the Tathāgata.
Rev. Chōyū Ōtani currently is Overseas District Abbot of Shinshu Otani-ha, also called Higashi Honganji. On July 1 this year, he will become Abbot of Higashi Honganji.