At Sorrow’s Edge

Reiko Ikehara Nelson first encountered the Shinshu teachers when her father passed away, more than two decades ago.

At his funeral, she heard a reading of “White Ashes,” a letter written 600 years ago by Honganji abbot Rennyo Shonin that is traditionally read at funeral services. Rennyo writes about impermanence, how a person may have a healthy face in the morning, but suddenly may die and become “white ashes” (cremated) in the evening. The service was held at the Los Angeles Betsuin temple. Continue reading “At Sorrow’s Edge”

My Inner Strength

By Masago Asai

Masago Asai was born and raised in Nagasaki, Japan. She moved to Honolulu in 1986 to study at Hawai‘i Pacific University where her future husband, who originally came from Bangladesh, was also studying. After their graduation, they married and had two daughters. Masago, who is a second-generation A-bomb survivor, currently is engaged in activities to create and enhance “inner peace” in her community. Continue reading “My Inner Strength”

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.”

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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”