Thank You to the MVBT Sangha

My Deepest Appreciate and Gratitude
To be completely honest, I am having a really difficult time writing this article. As I reflect on the Tokudo Shurai and my experience, I am finding it to be nearly impossible to describe in words what went on there and the emotions I felt as I moved through the 11 days. Similarly, as I have tried to express my appreciation and gratitude in my article, I feel as if I am coming up short and that no amount of words can truly articulate how thankful I am for our Mountain View Buddhist Temple Sangha.

I have sat in front of my laptop all week typing and deleting phrases, words, ideas, gratitudes and have been at a loss for words. I thought that writing this would be a lot easier since there was so much that happened during the training. I felt I could fill a book with all that went on. And of course, having grown up at the Temple, I thought it would be even easier to say thank you to all of the Aunties, Uncles, Jiichans, Baachans, moms, dads, Dharma school teachers, friends, family, and Sensei. Still, anything I write down comes up short and I feel not enough to those so deserving of something much more than I can offer.

Say Namo Amida Butsu

It’s in moments like these, when human words feel inadequate that I remember the meaning of Namo Amida Butsu. When I went through the YAC (Youth Advocacy Committee) program, Rev. Bob Oshita gave us his interpretation of Namo Amida Butsu. He explained to us that there will be moments in our lives when we may be at a loss for words. It could be during moments of great sorrow like the death of a loved one or during moments of great joy like the birth of a new born baby. In these moments, our human language can only go so far to express our true emotions and we become limited in our ability to articulate something we assume would be so easy. During these times, we entrust ourselves to the Nembutsu and rely on Namo Amida Butsu. Rev. Bob explained to us that we should recite Namo Amida Butsu when the words thank you are not enough.

Emotions Beyond Human Comprehension
When we recite Namo Amida Butsu, we are able to encounter the true wisdom and compassion of Amida Buddha, who vowed to liberate all sentient beings from suffering. When we encounter true wisdom and compassion, we become embraced by Amida Buddha’s Primal Vow, which in turn enables us the opportunity to experience emotions beyond human comprehension. Simply put, Amida Buddha has given us Namo Amida Butsu precisely for moments like these where I have been struggling to put into words my deepest appreciate and gratitude for the Mountain View Buddhist Temple Sangha for all that you have done to love and support me over all of these years.

I often hear from other people that there is something unique about the MVBT Sangha and that we create a welcoming culture that many temples want to emulate. As a kid I know that there were times where I did not embody this, where I was mean to my classmates, gave attitude back to some elders, or sassy to our sensei’s over the years. Despite this, I have always felt loved and supported by everyone at the Temple that has encouraged me to be a better person and do my best to be a part of that MVBT culture that is so welcoming. To me, this is all encompasses Namo Amida Butsu. I wish I could articulate everything I want to say in gratitude to our Sangha, but all I can say is Namo Amida Butsu.

Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu
Namo Amida Butsu

Rev. Devon Matsumoto