The Wailuku Hongwanji Mission’s (WHM) Board of Directors initiated the Vision 2030 project as a means of defining strategic directions which will enable WHM to successfully increase its capacity to serve as a vibrant home of Jodo Shinshu teachings. More information...
To commemorate its 115th anniversary, Wailuku Hongwanji Mission will renovate its social hall. The renovations involve removing the existing wood sliding glass doors and replacing them with commercial grade, aluminum sliding glass doors. More Information...
AS WE BEGIN THE YEAR 2017,may we all recite the Nembutsu with the true mind of gratitude, joy, and appreciate the infinite Light and Life of Amida Buddha.
On the first day of January, which is New Year’s Day, traditionally many people eat "OZONI,” which is Mochi soup.
However, before we consume the "Ozoni" soup, we should put our hands together in "Gassho," to express our gratitude and recite the Nembutsu, Namo Amida Butsu, Itadakimasu. Then, we can partake this New Year’s special food.
The old Japanese saying said, "Ten people like ten different colors." Yes, all of us who make "Ozoni" soup, use different styles and tastes in "Ozoni" soup. People prepare their soup based on their district’s traditional or their families’ special taste.
In order to make this particular dish, I believe what is important for this is all up to the cook who makes the "Soup." Some people use "chicken broth," others use "Konbu" which is a seaweed base, and some use "Kasai," which is dried bonito base. But, all of them never forget to add salt and soy sauce. These two special seasonings create the secret for this special dish.
The ingredients are varied, too. Some are very simple and use only minimum items such as mizuna. However, many people adopt other people’s recipes and create their own Ozoni soup by adding other ingredients such as "shiitake mushroom," "gobo" which is burdock, "araimo," "mizuna," "chicken," and so on.
So with the mochi, this Ozoni soup becomes kind of a big dish on New Year’s Day. After we eat this traditional soup, we all are truly satisfied and at the end of the meal we offer the great words of appreciation and say "Gochisou sama, Naman da--bu, Nam man da--bu".
Maybe this is a biased comment, but I think this feeling of satisfaction or fulfillment is so peaceful. The words, "Gochisou sama, Naman da bu, Naman da bu" is "Ah, I am so satisfied and truly appreciative of this moment" which expresses true gratitude.
When the Nembutsu comes out from our mouths, especially old timers— they are reciting Naman da--bu, Naman da—bu." It seems to me they are truly expressing their gratitude to Amida Buddha. I don’t know what they are expressing their gratitude for but I firmly believe that it is for "Amida’s spiritual guidance, compassion, wisdom, courage, and sincere heart to all of them and makes their lives more meaningful.
Nembutsu guidance is not only for people who are facing difficult times, but it is for our daily lives to be aware that his great compassion and wisdom are reaching into our heart and showing us the great path of the truth.
Let us all have a mind of gratitude for what we have around, what we receive, and that we are able to share our thoughts of minds with our ohana from the beginning of the year. Let us rejoice and share in the spiritual joy and happiness with the Nembutsu in our precious life.
May Peace prevail in our community with the great guidance of the Nembutsu throughout the year of 2017 with Amida Buddha’s infinite wisdom and compassion.