Nihonmachi Nite

August 10, 2013

On August 10th, we participated in Nihonmachi Nite, a celebration of the historic Japantown in Seattle. We had a booth with a children’s bean bag game and gave a shishimai, lion dog dance performance.
The shishimai told the story of a mischievous lion dog who had fun scaring the people of a village. A happy old man tamed the lion dog by chanting the Odaimoku to him, and they became best friends.
We have uploaded a video of the shishimai to youtube.

From Hiroshima to Hope

On August 6th, we participated in From Hiroshima to Hope at Green Lake Park in Seattle. From Hiroshima to Hope remembers the victims of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings and other victims of violence. Along with two monks from Nipponzan Myohoji, we led the memorial service and the procession of the floating lanterns (toro nagashi). Prior to the service there was entertainment by Quichua Machis and Seattle Kokon Taiko, and there was a blessing given by Tripat Singh and the Gurudwara Singh Sabha of Washington.

From Hiroshima to Hope

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New Year’s Activities

December 31, 2012-January 1, 2013

The temple was open New Year’s Eve starting at 5:00 p.m. for New Year’s activities. At 6:00 p.m. Daikoku-sama, one of Japan’s 7 Lucky Gods, visited the temple bringing gifts and giving blessings to the children who were there at the time. At 11:30 we held the final service of the year, and at midnight we rang the temple bell the traditional 108 times. Many people visited during the evening, enjoying good food and good company. Rev Cederman did reidan readings for those who were interested and offered new omamori and otoso sake (or tea) as medicine for the new year.

On January 1, we held a special service for the New Year. This was followed by hatsugama, the first tea ceremony of the year

New Year's Activities

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Winter Retreat

December 8-9, 2012

On the weekend of December 8-9 2012, we held an informal retreat for sangha members and guests on the Hood Canal near Union. We had a special guest at the retreat–Rev Cederman’s sensei, Rev Tsukamoto, who joined us on the way back to his temple in London. During the retreat we held services, carried on interesting conversations, and had lots of time to enjoy the beautiful setting.

NONA Convention

September 29-20, 2012

Rev Cederman and 4 lay members of Choeiezan Enkyoji attended the convention of the Nichiren Order of North America (NONA) on September 29th and 30th. Every 4 years priests and lay members of NONA temple meet to elect new officers and discuss matters of importance. This year’s convention was held in Las Vegas in honor of the 5th anniversary of the Nichiren Buddhist Kannon Temple of Nevada. Saturday night there was a banquet that was attended by many Nichiren Shu members and priests from all over North America and by priests from Japan and Italy.

Sunday morning following the meeting there was a service to officially open the new temple building of the Nichiren Buddhist Kannon Temple of Nevada. The service was led by Bishop Kenichi Saito, who came from Japan for the occasion. Two lay members from Choeizan Enkyoji were sworn in as NONA officers during the ceremony.

The convention was held at a hotel right across from Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas, so attendees were able to enjoy the famous light show there in their free time.

Nona Convention

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Summer Activites (June-August-2012)

We had a busy summer at Choiezan Enkyoji this year. We celebrated many special Buddhist and Japanese holidays including Obon and Tanabata. Our children’s service on the first Sunday of the month has become a favorite at the temple, and the number of children participating is growing. Our membership is also growing, and Rev Cederman has given out a number of Mandala Gohonzon and Oshajo Ofuda. He also performed a refuge ceremony for people new to Buddhism and those who wished to renew their faith.

In late June, temple members participated in the Walk for Rice, helping to raise money for the ACRS food bank. At the beginning of August, Rev Cederman performed a Houroku ceremony, the first time the ceremony has been done in the US. Houroku balances the heat and cold in ones ki at the hottest point of the calendar using moxibustion. On August 6, Rev Cederman and temple members particpated in Toro Nagashi, the floating lantern ceremony at Greenlake. In late August we threw a baby shower for Rev Cederman’s wife. This will be the first baby born to a temple member since we opened the temple 2 years ago, hopefully the first of many.

Also in August we hosted the NONA yearly weeklong retreat and joined Nipponzan Myohoji monks in a peace walk. And in July we had our first children’s Dharma camp. Pictures of these 3 events can be found in separate photo albums.

Summer Activites

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Nona Retreat

August 3-9 2012

Choeizan Enkyoji was the host of this year’s NONA retreat which was held at the Frog Creek Lodge in Lakebay, Washington. Retreat participants received training in a wide variety of activities including sutra chanting, Buddhist art, taiko drumming, and Buddhist/Nichiren customs and practices. They participated in suigyo (water purification), shodaigyo meditation, walking meditation, and work practice. At the end of the retreat, particpants entertained retreat priests (and each other) with Buddhist themed skits.
Next year’s NONA’s retreat will be hosted by the Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Greater New England.

Nona Retreat

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Peace Walk August 1,2012

On August 1, 2012, members of our temple joined Nipponzan Myohoji monks on part of their 2012 Pacific Northwest Interfaith Peace Walk. Also joining us were Rev Ryuoh Faulconer of the New England Sangha and Rev Myokei Caine-Barrett of the Houston Sangha who were in town for the NONA retreat. Following the walk, the Nipponzan Myohoji monks showed a movie entitled “Fukushima, Never Again.” This was followed by our regular Wednesday night shodaigyo meditation.

May Activites 2012

There was a lot going on at Choeizan Enkyoji during May. We had special services for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day and Boys’/Children’s Day. We gave out one Mandala Gohonzon and 2 Oshajo Ofuda. We had a fundraising garage sale that brought in much needed revenue to the temple. And we held a haiku workshop with haiku master Michael Dylan Welch.

Rikyu-Ki March 25,2012

At our service on March 25th, we honored Sen no Rikyu, the Japanese tea master who died in 1591. During the service Rev Cederman prepared a tea offering for Rikyu, and following the service members participated in a tea ceremony.

New Year Activites March 11 ,2012

On March 11, the temple had a special memorial service for the tens of thousands of people who died in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. During the service, attendees participated in “kibou no kane,” ringing the bell of hope.

New Year Activites Dec 31,2011–Jan 1,2012

Over the New Year weekend, the temple hosted a wide variety of activities. On New Year’s Eve, a traditional Japanese dragon came to dance and bring good luck to the temple. Another special visitor was Daikoku-sama, one of Japan’s 7 Lucky Gods, who brought gifts and blessing to the children. Other activities included a bonenkai (year end party), a final 2011 service, and the ringing of the temple bell 108 times at midnight. On January 1, we held a special service for the New Year. This was followed by hatsugama, the first tea ceremony of the year.

Minister’s Apprectation Day

On December 18th we honored our ministers, Kanjin Cederman Sensei and Ryunin Sorenson Sensei, and thanked them for all the hard work they’ve done to support the temple. We gave gifts to the ministers and Cederman sensei’s family, there was entertainment (a Mexican dance troupe and a viola da gamba concert), and we enjoyed a delicious luncheon afterwards. There was also a suprise visit–Myokei Caine- Barrett Sensei and her husband came all the way from Houston to join the festivities.

Minister apprectation day

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Bodhi Day

On December 4th we held a special service for Bodhi Day. Bodhi Day, known in Japan as Jodo-E, commemorates the enlightenment of the historical Buddha Shakymuni under a bodhi tree. Everyone attending the service lit a candle after offering incense as a symbol of the Buddha’s enlightenment.

Installation And Anniversery

On October 16th, we held a special ceremony to officially install Rev Cederman as head abbot of the temple and Rev Sorenson as assistant abbot. We also officially installed the new board members. Following the ceremony we had a party and potluck lunch to celebrate the temple’s one-year anniversary. The celebration included a tea ceremony at the temple’s new tea house.

Nona Retreat (july 29-august 5 2011)

From July 29th to August 5, NONA (Nichiren Order of North America) held its annual retreat near Houston, Texas. Participants from all over North America came together to learn more about Buddhism and Nichiren Shu and its practices. Rev Cederman was one of the teachers and 3 members of the temple were among the attendees.

Mandala Cermony(July 10,2011)

From July 29th to August 5, NONA (Nichiren Order of North America) held its annual retreat near Houston, Texas. Participants from all over North America came together to learn more about Buddhism and Nichiren Shu and its practices. Rev Cederman was one of the teachers and 3 members of the temple were among the attendees.

TanaBata(july 3,2011)

On July 3rd, we held a special service for Tanabata. Tanabata is a Japanese star festival which celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month.
In present-day Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on small pieces of paper and hanging them on bamboo, sometimes with other decorations.

Refuge Cermony

On June 12, Rev Cederman conducted a refuge ceremony for all members and guests present who were interested in participating. During this ceremony, partipants took refuge in the 3 treasures of Buddhism: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. This is the introduction ceremony to becoming Buddhist.
You can see a short video of the first part of the ceremony on youtube.com.

Kishimojin Feast Day(june 5 2011)

On June 5th we celebrated Kishimojin Feast Day. Kishimojin was a child-eating ogress who became a follower of the Buddha and changed her ways, becoming a protector of children. After the service, we enjoyed a vegetarian potluck lunch.

Mother’s Day

On May 8th, we held a special service for Mother’s Day. Members and guests who were mothers received a pink flower and got a special blessing from Rev Cederman.

Vesak

On May 7th, Rev Sorenson represented the temple at an interdenominational Vesak service at Fort Lewis. Vesak is a primarily Theravada Buddhist holiday that celebrates 3 major events in the life of the Buddha: his birth, his enlightenment and his death.

The service included sutra chanting by monks of various Buddhist traditions and a Dharma talk by Rev Sorenson on the life of the Buddha. This was followed by Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian dancing. At the end of the service everyone bathed the Buddha statue in the tradtional Theravada style and then enjoyed a dinner of Thai food.

Risshu Kaishu-E

On April 24th, we celebrated Risshu Kaishu-E, the establishment of Nichiren Shu. On April 28, 1253 Nichiren Shonin chanted the Odaimoku for the first time into the rising sun on top of Asahigamori on Mt. Kiyosumi. He left the mountain shortly thereafter and went to Kamakura to begin spreading the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
During the service Rev Cederman prepared tea for Nichiren and following the service he gave a platform talk on Risshu Kaishu-E.
Afterwards, new members were recognized and children received “Easter” baskets. The younger children then made colored eggs and went on an egg hunt.

spring ohigan

On March 20th, we held a special service for the spring ohigan. Ohigan is celebrated twice a year around the spring and fall equinoxes. It is a commemoration of our ancestors and a time to dedicate our merit so that they and all beings may attain enlightenment. Higan literally means “the other shore,” referring to Nirvana as opposed to this shore, the world of birth and death. During the service, 2 children offered paper cranes for the disaster victims in Japan.
After the service, we enjoyed a vegetarian potluck lunch.

service for the victims of the devastating earthquake

On March 13th, we held a special service for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan and also for the victims of a recent smaller earthquake in China. We also collected donations which we will send to Japan in the near future. Several local television channels sent camera men to the service.

Mandala Installation

On March 6th, Rev Cederman eye opened a special Mandala Gohonzon that was given to him by Rev Toda of Onjuin in Chiba, Japan. The Mandala was hand written by Rev Toda and testifies to Rev Cederman’s completion of 50 days of aragyo at Onjuin.

This Mandala was given to Rev Cederman because the practitioners of Onjuin were moved by the sincerity of his practice. This does not grant him the license of Shuhoshi (Kitoh Priest), and Rev Cederman does not perform Kitoh. In order to become a Kitoh Shuhoshi priest, one must complete the whole 100 days. We thank and appreciate this kindness shown to Rev Cederman by Onjuin Temple.

Setsubun

On February 3, we had a special service and ceremony for Setsubun. Setsubun is celebrated yearly in Japan as the day before spring. In its association with the lunar new year, it is accompanied by a special ritual to drive away evil spirits of the previous year. This is accomplished by throwing roasted soy beans at an “oni” or devils while chanting “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (Demons out! Luck in!)

Visit From Rev Matsunaga

On January 20 we had a special visitor, Rev Ryoju Matsunaga, from Hokuto City, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan. Rev Matsunaga is traveling through the US visiting all Nichiren Shu temples and sanghas in the country. Seattle was his last stop on the mainland before going to Hawaii.

Oeshiki

On October 12, Choeizan Enkyoji celebrated Oeshiki. Oeshiki is a commemoration of the death of Nichiren Shonin who died on October 13, 1282. Rev Cederman and Rev Sorenson were assisted by Shami Litts from the Vancouver Nichiren Sangha. Prior to the service, members and guests accompanied Rev Cederman doing angya through the streets near the temple. After the service, we enjoyed a vegetarian potluck lunch.

We have also uploaded 3 short videos of our Oeshiki service to youtube:
Members and guests doing angya before the service
Members and guests singing Tachiwataru
Opening of service

Ohigan

On September 19, Choeizan Enkyoji celebrated fall ohigan. Ohigan is celebrated twice a year around the spring and fall equinoxes. It is a commemoration of our ancestors and a time to dedicate our merit so that they and all beings may attain enlightenment. Higan literally means “the other shore,” referring to Nirvana as opposed to this shore, the world of birth and death.
Rev Cederman and Rev Sorenson were assisted by Shami Litts from the Vancouver Nichiren Sangha. After the service, we enjoyed a vegetarian potluck lunch.

NONA Conference

At the end of August, Rev Cederman, Rev Sorenson and 2 members of the temple attended a NONA conference in Hayward, California. NONA (Nichiren Order of North America) is the governing body for Nichiren Shu temples in the United States and Canada. The first day’s agenda included a business meeting and lectures by visiting Shu priests. On the second day, there was a special ceremony celebrating 100 years of propagation in the North America.

Peace March

On August 4, Rev Cederman and members of the temple joined 2 Nipponzan Myohoji priests and others on an interfaith peace march through Seattle. The march commemorated the 65th anniversary of the nuclear explosions in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

General Pictures