Fri, Apr 7, 2023 at 2:11 PM
April 2023
Greetings from BCA Connect! Stay connected to the dharma and each other:
  • Visit the BCA Connect blog to read and share BCA news, announcements, and articles from Wheel of Dharma.
  • Go to the BCA YouTubechannelto view dharma content from throughout BCA.
Encourage members and friends to sign-up at
Bishop’s Message
The Benefit of Being Part of a Sangha
This month, I would like to reflect on another benefit of following the path of Shin Buddhism, which is the benefit of being a part of a Sangha.
First of all, let me share something about the meaning of Sangha. I have learned a wonderful teaching from one of Thich Nhat Hanh’s writings, in which he teaches that the Three Treasures — the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha — cannot exist without each other. All three must be present for one of them to exist.
The Buddha needs us, the Sangha, to truly be the Buddha. If there is no one to receive and hear the Buddha’s teachings, the Dharma, then the Buddha is not the Buddha.
Read the full message here
Wheel of Dharma
How to Attract New Members to BCA Temples
by Rev. Dr. Kenji Akahoshi
Almost all of the BCA’s temples have been losing membership over the past several decades. The concern becomes personal, when we see the popularity of Buddhist practices becoming an acceptable part of America’s health and wellness movements.
The reasons for this decline may be multifold. Therefore, the solutions would involve many areas. The BCA Propagation and Membership Committee presented a workshop at the recent BCA National Council Meeting (NCM) on Feb. 25. This article reviews significant points of that workshop.
‘Tenzuru’ — Changing One’s Relationship With World
By Rev. Gerald Sakamoto
First person: “I knew a man with a wooden leg named Smith.”
Second person: “What was the name of his other leg?”
The experience of seeing something different for the first time is not that unusual. Sometimes, it’s funny. Sometimes, it can be life-changing. In either case, our perception is changed and our experience of what we see is changed.
Comedy is the most fun of misaligned perceptions. Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First” is a classic. Lou Costello’s frustration rises as a simple discussion about baseball players becomes complicated as Bud Abbott describes the position and names of players on the team.
Honoring My True Teacher on the Nembutsu Path – My Mother
By Rev. Todd Tsuchiya
My journey coming to the ministry is a second career for me occurring later in life. Aligning with the theme of this meeting of “Nembutsu: Appreciate Every Encounter,” I would like to share my personal encounter with the Nembutsu and why I am here today.
The reason I chose this passage is that in my childhood, I didn’t understand what it meant to hear the name and live with the Nembutsu. I grew up in Minnesota in a Jodo Shinshu family, but we didn’t have a temple or a minister to meet with very often. The opportunity to listen to Dharma messages was infrequent. However, I have come to realize I was surrounded by people who lived with the Dharma in their lives.
Make Every Effort to Visit Our BCA Home — the JSC
by Gordon Ah Tye
On a cold and rainy weekend in February, I had the good fortune of attending the BCA Temple Leaders Workshop at the Jodo Shinshu Center (JSC) in Berkeley, California. As cold and wet as the weather was, the atmosphere at the JSC could not have been warmer.
As our group of three representatives from Fresno arrived, we were warmly welcomed by Center for Buddhist Education (CBE) Project Coordinator Judy Kono, who was dressed in an apron, doing kitchen chores. She provided us with our room keys for the JSC.
Visit the BCA Connect blog to read and share BCA news, announcements, and individual articles from Wheel of Dharma:
Visit Wheel of Dharma online to read this month’s issue in newsprint format and access the digital archives:
Buddhist Events
JR YBA Leaders Workshop
April 29, 2023
This will be an all day event starting at 10am and finishing shortly after dinner. If you are travelling from further away, you may make arrangements to arrive on Friday, 04/28/23. There are a limited number of rooms available at the JSC. More rooming information can be found below on this form.
2023 FDSTL Conference
April 28-29, 2023
Inside Out Buddhism: We will explore several “Buddhist Emotions”,
including joy, anger, and sadness (think Disney Pixar movie Inside Out)..
Attendees will leave with teaching materials for multiple levels and
Shinjin Part 4
May 6, 2023, 11:00 am – 1:00pm PST
Rev Dr. David Matsumoto is the president of the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He will continue his series about the meaning of Shinjin. This is part 4 of his 4 part online series. Parts 1 -3  are on the CBE Youtube Channel if you wish to view them.
Buddhist Holidays
May 13, 2023, 11:00 am PST
Rev. Jerry Hirano will teach more about Buddhist Holidays.
Crossing Over
May 26-27 2023, 11:00 am PST
A former Franciscan friar from the UK, an active Evangelical Minister, and raised as a devout Catholic in the Philippines…
Listen to the stories of how these
ministers discovered Jodo Shinshu.
Yoga, Buddhism, and a Healthy Lifestyle
June 9-11 2023
Yoga does not only involve being flexible and doing poses alone!  Please join us as we explore the relationship of Yoga and Buddhism, participants may be of any age or physical condition.  It will be a long weekend of fun, relaxation, friendships and stimulating discussions along with gourmet vegetarian food, massages and other events.  Sponsored by the Buddhist Churches of America’s Center for Buddhist Education.
For All CBE Events:
Registration required to receive Zoom link. All times listed are Pacific time.
Donations to CBE are gratefully accepted here.
Contact or 510-809-1460 for more information.
Dana Program for
Buddhist Education
Support Buddhism in America through annual programs that educate, connect, and enrich our community:
  • Expand technology and digital media to guide new seekers to Shin Buddhist communities
  • Connect members to innovative virtual programming
  • Highlight the inspirational messages of our ministers.
Make an online offering today at
Institute of Buddhist Studies
Nembutsu: Appreciate Every Encounter
By Rev. Gesshin Greenwood
On February 23, 2023, four Jodo Shin ministers gathered to share their insights about the impact of Nembutsu on their lives. Below is the video from the 2023 IBS Symposium Nembutsu: Appreciate Every Encounter.
IBS Events
Learn more about these events on the IBS Website.
IBS Job Opening: Senior Accountant
Responsibilities for this full-time, hybrid/remote position include:
  • Performing month-end close and preparing monthly account reconciliations and journal entries.
  • Reviewing and preparing endowment-related schedules. Reviewing investment statements, investment manager summaries, and preparing monthly reconciliation of endowment schedules.
  • Preparing and processing monthly payroll.
  • Assisting in the preparation of financial reports and analysis including monthly, quarterly, year-end reporting (W-2s and 1099s) and other outside reporting.
Qualifications include B.A. degree in accounting and 7 to 10 years of progressive experience in accounting.
Young Buddhist Editorial
EcoDharma – Earth Day Open Call for Submissions
Deadline Extended!
Now DUE: April 14th
The Social Justice Committee is excited to announce an open call for submissions centered on EcoDharma and the ways that we all practice environmentalism in our daily lives.
With Earth day coming up in April, we’re looking to showcase your creativity in considering environmentalism and sustainability! What does EcoDharma mean to you?
Submissions can come in any form and length – poems, articles, paintings, videos ~ anything you feel called to!
Questions? Email us at
Interested in joining YBE? Fill out our Welcome Form!
The Young Buddhist Editorial is expanding and looking for new people to join. We welcome all types of expertise, interests, and capacities!
Email youngbuddhisteditorial@gmail.comfor more information.
YBE is a space for young Buddhists to express themselves and build solidarity with other young persons, advocates, and allies across the country. To learn more about YBE, visit their website and Facebook page.
Digital Dharma Continues to Grow
Find our list of temples with live-streaming and recorded videos by clicking here.
BCA YouTube Channel
Bishop’s Messages from Rev. Marvin Harada can be found on the BCA YouTubechannel. New dharma content from services, events, and activities is added regularly.
Reading Shinran with Rev. Yuki Sugahara
Rev. Sugahara continues to explore the Shin Buddhist teachings of Shinran with Notes on the Inscriptions on Sacred Scrolls. Rev. Sugahara previously read Tannisho and Shinran’s three major poetry collections. View the playlists on Oregon Buddhist Temple’s YouTube.
Virtual meetings, dharma discussions, meditation and other activities
Check local temple e-mails and newsletters to find virtual sessions that keep sanghas connected.
Please send any digital dharma resource links to
BCA Online Bookstore
This year marks the 850th anniversary of Shinran Shonin’s birth and the 800th anniversary of the founding of Jodo Shinshu. Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha will be celebrating these events throughout 2023. Honzan has released a specially designed monto shikisho in honor of these anniversaries. If you are interested in having a commemorative monto shikisho, they are available online now for $50 plus tax and shipping. The bookstore will be closed during May, so please place your orders early. This monto shikisho can be ordered through the BCA
Bookstore link here
Inquiries can be sent to:
The BCA Bookstore has resumed operations. Please visit their newly refreshed website here.
Suggested Reading
American Sutra: A story of faith and freedom in the second world war.
The mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II is not only a tale of injustice; it is a moving story of faith. In this pathbreaking account, Duncan Ryūken Williams reveals how, even as they were stripped of their homes and imprisoned in camps, Japanese American Buddhists launched one of the most inspiring defenses of religious freedom in our nation’s history, insisting that they could be both Buddhist and American.
The Shin Buddhist Service Book is available as a PDF on Google Drive. Please note when downloading that it is a very large file.
Jodo Shinshu: A Guide is available as a PDF on the BCA website. This abridged edition provides an overview of Buddhism, Shinran Shonin, and the Jodo Shinshu teaching.