Showing posts from July, 2022

Past, Future & Present

This year’s celebration of the 75 th anniversary of IOBT coincides with our hosting the NW District Buddhist convention and it also marks 20 years since my first visit to IOBT.  These milestones, along with the recent fire that destroyed most of our temple basement, have me thinking more deeply about our convention theme: “Reflecting on the Past, Looking to the Future.”   Photo: Fire trucks outside Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple on 7/10/2022. This incident reminds us of the Buddhist teachings or impermanence and also our gratitude for the compassion of the first responders and generosity of our community.  Here are a few things that have been on my mind: Reflecting on the Past:   Summer is Obon season!   Every July, we take time to honor the people who have come before us. We have our annual Obon service at the temple and we travel to cemeteries throughout the region to visit the graves of our ancestors, relatives, and friends.   As we hold these services, we tell stories of the peop

Obon Dancing, Red Dragonflies, & Our Temple Basement

We held our 2022 Obon/Hastubon service at the temple on June 10.  It was an extra special Obon because it occurred in the wake of a major fire at our temple.  The fire occurred in our basement on July 8th due to an electrical malfunction. We are still assessing damage, but we are pleased that our Onaijin (Altar) seems to have survived undamaged.  These circumstances helped remind us of the teachings of impermanence and interconnection that are so fundamental to Buddhism.   In Japan, Obon is an important season where the spirits of loved ones who have died return to their homes to join the living in feasting and dancing.  Picture: Historic photo of Obon Dancing  (courtesy of Seiko Go) Obon is also a time when people put aside their work and travel back from the cities to their family homes in the countryside.  It is a homecoming, a time to reminisce and celebrate.  It is a time to reflect on how interconnected we are with each other.  It is a time to show our gratitude and love for our