On Sunday, January 29, 2023, the Betsuin hosted our annual Dana Day and Volunteer Recognition Service. Created and hosted by Terry Oshidari, this service recognizes the dana (selfless giving) of volunteers. Congratulations to this year’s honorees (Elaine Ando, Mitchell Beutler, Lily Hayashimoto, Mike Mori, Janice Oda, Linda Onishi, and David Tsukimura) and thank you for helping the Betsuin in so many ways.

You probably know of many things that people do to help the Betsuin. I thought I would take this opportunity to highlight a couple instances of dana that you may not be aware of.

On Saturday, January 14th, at 7:30 am, members of San Jose BWA gathered for the first time in a few years on a cold rainy morning for “Omigaki”. What is Omigaki? Omigaki translates to “polishing”. Before the pandemic, our BWA members would gather once or twice a year to polish the items from the onaijin in the Hondo. This requires people to disassemble the decorations, transfer them to the multipurpose room where they are polished, and then taken back to the Hondo where they are reassembled. If you attended the Ho Onko service on Sunday, January 15th, you should have noticed that our onaijin was shinier than normal thanks to their hard work. Thank you to our San Jose BWA for doing Omigaki every year!

Another recent event that took place was San Jose Jr. YBA’s annual Spaghetti Dinner that was held on Saturday, February 4th. It was great that they were able to hold this event in-person for the first time in several years. Those of us who attended had a wonderful time as we were able to enjoy good food and catch up with friends who we hadn’t seen in several years. Thank you to the Jr. YBA members and advisors for hosting this event. And I would like to give a special shout out to Cyndi Sakuma! Many of you are not aware but Cyndi has been making the awesome spaghetti sauce for the Jr. YBA Spaghetti Dinner for the last 25 years even though her daughters haven’t been in Jr. YBA for a long time. Thank you, Cyndi, for all that you’ve done for Jr. YBA!

You probably spent February 12th (Super Bowl Sunday) eating good food and watching an entertaining Super Bowl even though you are probably not an Eagles or Chiefs fan (I assume most of you are 49er fans and I am a long-suffering Raiders fan). But there were other things going on that day at the Betsuin. In the morning, Boy Scout Sunday was held in the Hondo for Troop 611, Pack 611, and Troop 29 from S.F. where 5 Cub Scouts received their Metta awards and 9 Boy Scouts received their Sangha awards. Then later that evening, the Girl Scouts held their annual Thinking Day event. Each of these events requires a lot of planning and hard work so thank you to all the Scouts, Scout leaders, parents, and volunteers who give their time and energy to help our youth through our Scouting programs.

These are just a few examples of the many instances of dana that I’ve observed at the Betsuin. I know all of you contribute in many ways, so on behalf of the Betsuin, thank you!!  And please practice dana in your everyday lives as well as at the temple (like contributing aid for people suffering from natural disasters including the earthquakes in Turkey & Syria or helping at Yu Ai Kai or local food banks), as we try to live the Golden Chain by “protecting those who are weaker than ourselves”.