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Introducing Buddhist Values and Japanese Culture 
70th Anniversary 
1951-2021
President's Message
This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the American Buddhist Study Center.  Over the coming months, we will give gratitude and appreciation to our forefathers and mothers who started the ABSC and to all the unsung heroes and their untold stories.
 
The history of the American Buddhist Study Center in all aspects is the realization of the American dream.  It is the story of the Japanese and Japanese Americans coming together to build a cultural bridge between East and West.  

At the end of WWII, Rev. Hozen Seki and a small group of Japanese and Japanese Americans established the American Buddhist Academy to share all the fine qualities and culture of Japan, including its Buddhist roots of peace and harmony and its beautiful arts and crafts. This initiative was not prompted by the U.S. Government or Japan but by concerned local Japanese/Japanese Americans who wanted to be good neighbors and share their religion and culture with the community.  Here in action exemplifies what the American dream is all about – different cultures banding together, sharing their traditions, and building a united and harmonious community.
 
If you have a story you would like to share, we would like to hear from you.  We are working on stitching together our history and the history of the Japanese and Japanese Americans and how their accomplishments and culture became part of mainstream America. Please
click here to contact us.

 
Gassho, 
Hoshina Seki
Understanding Buddhism
不二の法門
Kyo Ichinichi No Inochi
Today life of one day

On New Year’s Day, monk Ikkyo would go from home-to-home singing about getting one day closer to the other world, and it is a pleasant as we as an unpleasant feeling.

Rennyo Shonin once said, “Our life exists only for today; there is no tomorrow.”
So, give gratitude and be your best today.
Dashboard Buddha
Wisdom: a Dharma Message
Agongyo
 
In one of the sutras called Agongyo, a collection of Gautama Buddha’s sermons, there is an interesting story:
 
Once there was a man who had four wives.  According to ancient India’s social system and circumstances, a man could have several wives.  Also, during the Heian period in Japan, about a thousand years ago, it was not unusual for a woman to have several husbands.  The Indian had become terribly ill and was about to die.  At the end of his life, he felt very lonely and asked the first wife to accompany him to the other world.

“My dear wife,” he said, “I love you day and night. I took care of you throughout my whole life. Now I am about to die.  Will you please go with me wherever I go after my death?”

He expected her to answer yes.  But she replied, “My dear husband, I know you always loved me.  And you are going to die.  Now it is time to separate from you.  Goodbye, my dear.”

He called his second wife to his sickbed and begged her to follow him in death.  He said, “My dear second wife, you know how I loved you.  Sometimes I was afraid you might leave me, but I held on to you strongly.  My dear, please come with me.”

The second wife expressed herself rather coldly. “Dear husband, your first wife refused to accompany you after your death.  How can I follow you? You loved me only for your own selfish sake.”

Lying on his deathbed, he called his third wife and asked her to follow him.  With tears in her eyes, the third wife replied, “My dear, I pity you, and I feel sad for myself.  Therefore, I shall accompany you to the graveyard.  This is my last duty to you.”  The third wife thus refused to follow him to death.

The three wives had refused to follow him after his death.  Now he recalled another wife, his fourth wife, for whom he did not care very much.  He had treated her like a slave and had always shown much displeasure with her.  He now thought that if he asked her to follow him to death, she certainly would say no.

But his loneliness and fear were so severe that he made an effort to ask her to accompany him to the other world.  The fourth wife gladly accepted her husband’s request.

“My dear husband,” she said, “I will go with you.  Whatever happens, I am determined to be with you forever.  I cannot be separated from you.”

This is the story of “A Man and His Four Wives.”  Gautama Buddha concludes the story as follows:
 
Every man and woman has four wives or husbands.  What does this signify? 

The Great Natural Way, Rev. Hozen Seki, Part 2 next week
Rev. Dr. Mark Unno talk now on Youtube


The Future Past

The Unfurling of Great Compassion Beyond Time

In July of 2020, Rev. Mark Unno gave a virtual talk about compassion, Amida Buddha, Namu Amida Butsu, and recollections of his father, Rev. Dr. Taitetsu Unno.

Click here to view 
ABSC Art Gallery and Trailblazer
The ABSC Art Gallery 

We are featuring Ken Horii’s Illuminating Reflections series of sculptures and small and large works on paper.  These fine art pieces were part of our end-of-the-year art auction fundraiser.   

In the coming weeks and months, Ken will add to his collection, and we will add other artists to the gallery.  

We are now assembling a series of photographs by Japanese photographer Nobuyoshi Fukushima, which will be shown in the art gallery.  Here is one of his photos.




Click here for the Art Gallery
A portion of all purchases will be tax-deductible as ABSC is a 501(c)3 corporation.
Trailblazer Rose Ochi

We are honoring a new Japanese American Trailblazer.  Her name is Rose Ochi, who broke the glass ceiling as the first Asian American woman assistant to the U.S. attorney general.

Click here to read her whole story
Coming ABSC Events in March
Book Discussion, Saturday, March 20, from 1 to 2 pm EST
History of Harakiri and Seppuku
A fascinating video on the history of the differences between Harakiri and Seppuku.  
Your Support Matters
Please give a donation so we can continue to bring you these emails along with many programs we are planning in 2021. Any donation is humbly appreciated. 
Click here to Donate
My Favorite Buddhist Quote

Buddha’s mind is my true mind,
for Amida and I cannot separate.


Rev. Hozen Seki
 

Please send us your favorite Buddhist quote at info@ambuddhist.org
Calendar of Events
Saturday, Mar 20,  from 1 pm to 2pm EST

Book Discussion TBA
 
Stay Safe, Stay Calm, Stay Mindful.
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