This is the Mission and Vision Statements of the Betsuin. These statements guide us in our decisions and our responsibilities.
Be a community of peace, happiness and understanding by sharing and practicing Buddhist teachings.
We are striving to create an inclusive environment of unconditional acceptance, respect and gratitude where we honor the past, appreciate the present, build for the future, and learn to engage in a life of compassionate action.
There is a banner that hangs on our Education Building, written on it is an early version of our statement of purpose. For the past decade we continued to work with our understanding of who we are. Reflecting on the intention of previous generations, honoring that commitment then clarifying a means to carry us into the future.
As a temple of the Hongwanji we share the Buddhadharma and Shinran’s understanding and appreciation of it. Sharing the Buddhadharma must include the practice of the Buddhadharma. Our practice is the Nembutsu.
The Nembutsu of Jodo Shinshu is Namo Amida Butsu. It is simply an expression of gratitude for all that makes my life and enlightenment possible. When we carefully think about our life we are able to live because of the life around me. I do things, I go to work, I study, I write monthly articles, I eat. If however there was no place to work or people to work for or if there were not things to learn from then my work and my study would not be possible. We can extend this relationship infinitely, to all life. My life is possible because of the life that I am a part of. Life of the infinite past that makes this present life possible that will affect future life. I do not exist apart from this deep connection with all life. Mindfully, I respond in gratitude.
Mindfully responding in gratitude is to care about what and from what we receive. Gratitude is expressed as kindness and humility. When we realize the deep connection we share with all life our response is to care for the life we share.
We are a part of the community we live in. A community that is diverse. A community that is complex. A community is rich in history and culture. Our community does not end at the boundaries of Japantown or in San Jose or the Buddhist Churches of America. Our community is a world community that includes all. In that community we are people who respond to the world with kindness and humility.