At a recent Service, West Covina Buddhist Temple was fortunate to have Rev. Akinori Imai as guest speaker. In his talk, Rev. Imai spoke passionately about what the most important teaching of Buddhism is. He said it was for each of us to find the "Fundamental Preciousness of Life." This is, in essence, said Rev. Imai, the lifelong goal of the true Buddhist. The key to finding it lies in the Nembutsu or Namu Amida Butsu. Holding up a sensu (Japanese folding fan), Rev. Imai likened Namu Amida Butsu to the little pin that holds the fan together. Like the pin is to the fan, Namu Amida Butsu holds our lives together, and is the center of our lives. Through Namu Amida Butsu, we may find the Fundamental Preciousness of our lives.
In his closing, Rev. Imai challenged the kids (and adults as well). He said, if you have the Fundamental Preciousness of Life, share it. If you don't have it, find it, starting today.
Later, the Dharma School children then went to their classrooms where they were asked the question, "What is precious to me?" Here are their answers:
Allison Haraguchi: Teacher, parents, wild animals, pets, food, school, house, freedom, health, family, friends
Kevin Maekawa: Being healthy, friends, Milo (cat), Randy, Grandpa, toys Mommy, house, Daddy, Grandma
Gaku Ito: Power Rangers, Uncle Shin, Mika, friends, Mommy, Daddy, Kisa
Justin Aoki: Aaron, Gaku, Lianne, Mom, Dad, dog, Trenton
Trenton Aoki: House, family, friends, kindergarten, church, teachers, music
Stephanie Jitosho: Reading, Grandpa, Bachan, Jichan, Disneyland, Daisy, Mommy, Daddy, Michael
Lauren Miyake: Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, house, toys, friends, school, Keith
Randy Maekawa: Entertainment systems (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, etc.), friends, television, house and shelter, family, sports (baseball, soccer, basketball, etc.), food & clothing, baseball & basketball cards, sport equipment, hat
Lianne Aoki: Parents, dog, Mrs. Gould (3rd gr. teacher), family, health, mammals, church, Rev. Nori, friends (Mika, Allison, Jenna, Andrea), toys, school
Mika Ito: Parents, Ms. Stinson (2nd gr. teacher), Mrs. Milne (3rd gr. teacher), Mrs. Kimbell (4th gr. teacher), friends (Vanessa, Allison, Amanda, Lianne, Marie, Diane), school, church, health, animals