Tacoma Buddhist Temple
Happy New Year everyone! あけましておめでとうございます！I am so grateful to be able to celebrate this new year of 2024 with all of you. The year of 2023 was a busy one for the Buddhist community of the Northwest. We were all fully open for in-person services and held our annual Obon festivals open to the public! I am exhausted thinking about all of the activity that went on!
One of the themes I shared with Dharma School students this year was the Cycles of Life. We all experience the various cycles of life within the year, whether it be with school schedules, business meetings, conventions we go to, festivals etc. We all have a sense of what the annual cycle brings us. We have our favorite seasons and times of year to do various activities, like dancing at Obon, or the holiday family gatherings.
While the cycle itself seems the same every year, let us not forget that impermanence is also a constant. Sometimes we notice that when we attend family celebrations we notice members who are no longer with us. This makes us feel sad. However, there are times when we go to these family gatherings and we meet new people through marriage, or birth! This fills us with joy!
As we begin the new year of 2024, let us approach it with a deep sense of gratitude to the people in our lives who make our days wonderful. We all have the special people in our lives who we cannot imagine parting with. Take this time to let them know how much you appreciate them and cherish their love.
Thank you all for a wonderful 2023; here’s to a better 2024!
Namo Amida Butsu