Showing posts from January, 2022

HOONKO: Repaying a Debt of Gratitude

“In gratitude to Amida, the Buddha-as-words, I dedicate my whole being to realizing Buddha’s intent. In gratitude to the masters of teachings and the countless good Dharma friends among our ancestors, I dedicate my total efforts to spreading the Nenbutsu.”    Translation of the  Ondokusan  from Shinran Shonin’s Shozomatsu Wasan #59. ( Translation by Rev. Kakei Nakagawa, Rinban of Fresno Betsuin based on Bishop Kenryu Tsuji’s writings) (Shinran Shonin Image from Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple Altar) . January is the month for a major service called “ Hoonko ” which is typically observed on January 16 th in the Nishi Hongwanji tradition.  “ Hoonko ” means “repaying our debt of gratitude”. This is a time for us to reflect on and appreciate the life and teachings of Shinran Shonin, the founder of our Jodo Shinshu tradition. Our debt of gratitude to Shinran Shonin extends to our ancestors who walk together with us on the path of the Buddha Dharma. The Japanese term for this idea of goo