Dharma School – May 2020

If it were a normal April, I would be writing about all of the preparation that our Dharma School students, teachers, and families were doing for the Temple’s Hanamatsuri luncheon and program.  There would be conversations and meetings about the Dharma School campout in June and the game booths at Obon in July. And, I would be wondering when we last celebrated Dharma School birthdays during a Shotsuki Hoyo service. But this is not a typical April.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s threat to our Sangha’s and broader community’s safety, health, and wellbeing, the Temple has extended its suspension of in-person meetings, activities and events through the end of August.  While it was a difficult decision, it is the prudent one.  The last few weeks have been challenging for all of us, and the weeks ahead will continue to be difficult with impacts felt personally, physically, financially and socially.  But we are all in this together, and we must continue to do what it takes to keep not only ourselves safe, but others as well.

Keep washing your hands.  Wear your face masks.  Continue to practice physical distancing.

みんなで乗り越えよう。We will get through this together.




Preschool Class Google Hangout

The current Shelter-in-Place order couldn’t keep MVBT’s Pre-school class from meeting on Sunday, April 5.  That is, Dharma School students, parents and teachers alike used Google Hangouts to learn about making face masks to protect each other and those around them from the spread of the COVID-19. 

To make your own masks at home, preschool teacher JoAnn Yamani shared the following lesson:


We are continuously receiving news about how to avoid and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Recently, the Centers for Disease Control has advised wearing a mask when in a grocery store or other enclosed building that is not your residence. 


  • Bandana (or square cotton cloth approximately 20”x20”)
  • Rubber bands (or hair ties)
  • Scissors (if you are cutting your own cloth)


  1. Fold the cloth into half or thirds.
  2. Place the one hair tie or rubber band at each end
  3. Fold the ends toward the center
  4. Slip the hair ties/rubber bands around your ear and adjust the length of the cloth to your comfort level

You can also use a coffee filter between the folds of the cloth for additional protection.

Please refer to the CDC website for more instructions:


Namo Amida Butsu,

Brent Izutsu

Dharma School Superintendent