Pandemic Reflections

The Assembly shut down in mid-March.  COVID19 was labeled a Pandemic on that the last day we had a Floor Session.  We had sensed this was coming and we did prepare a Reflection on the (then) coming Pandemic.  I will attach this with a short intro and ending that we prepared at the request of the Walnut Grove Temple



A few months after retiring from active ministry in September of 2016, Patti and I accepted the invitation to become the first Buddhist Chaplains to serve the California State Assembly.  Since taking office in December of 2016, it has been our honor to share the Dharma in the legislative arena.  

We are now in our fourth year of serving as the Assembly Chaplains.  We open the Assembly Floor Sessions with “Reflections” which we hope will resonate in a timely and meaningful manner.  Just prior to the State Legislature calling a recess during this time of self-quarantine, we prepared this Reflection that Rev. Patti shared with the Assembly on March 12, 2020.   



California State Assembly Opening –    March 12, 2020


Please join me in a moment of Reflection:

Often, it is a shared adversity that will bring people together.  When that adversity is a pandemic, then borders dissolve; and we are made to see again that beyond all the boundaries that may separate us, we are all a part of One Humanity.  With our Wisdom Eyes open, we see again that no life can exist in a vacuum.  All Humanity is interconnected.  We are all One, in the Fabric of Life.  As we move forward together through this crisis, let us nurture our awareness of truly being One Humanity: for Kindness flows from our awareness of being One.  


Namo Amida Butsu – With Kindness & Gratitude beyond words




Past Bishop Koshin Ogui would often say, “We like to say that the Dharma is Universal Truth.”  He would then add, “If the Dharma is truly Universal Truth, then it should make sense to anyone, anyplace, at any time, without exception.  If it does not, then it is NOT Universal Truth.”  I have never heard a better definition of Universal.  

As “Teachers of the Dharma,” it is our responsibility to share what is Universally True without using any words or phrases that would become hindrances or obstacles to clear and immediate communication of what is True.  And if ever we wish to use a “traditional” word or phrase, we must try to do so with meaningful simplicity.  

It continues to be an honor to represent the Dharma Tradition in this unique capacity.  

We are now one month of trying to “Shelter-in-Place.”   We hope everyone is doing their best to stay safe and well.  And, if you are in need of assistance, remember that we are all a part of a Sangha.  


Submitted by,

Rev. Bob Oshita & Rev. Patti Oshita


Namo Amida Butsu  –  With Kindness & Gratitude Beyond Words