No, that is not a misspelling of Namoamidabutsu. It is my crude attempt at being clever. Namoami”DUBS”. It is a clumsy attempt to congratulate the Golden State Warriors on winning the National Basketball Association championship.

However, there is point to congratulating the Warriors on their win. Soon after the win I was listening to the local radio station in the morning and they said something very interesting. They were discussing the celebration in Oakland and how well behaved the fans were. They also talked about the how sports and a winning of a championship can bring a collective joy that goes beyond race, color, religion caste and creed. I have often found myself at a baseball game celebrating with strangers sitting next to me when the Giants win or a score is made.

When we celebrate we don’t think about the politics of the person next to us, nor do we think about any other attribute other than they are a shared fan. In that moment we lose sense of self and become part of a larger whole. This is what the Buddha meant when he said, “your suffering is my suffering, your joy is my joy.”

It is only momentary, but in those moments we experience and come to understand the interrelationship of all sentient beings and the oneness of all life.

Obon celebrated in July is a similar shared moment when all differences of politics, race, color, caste matter not. It is a shared celebration of life or Kangi-e. When we gather together to dance and celebrate Obon we lose sense of self and become part of a larger whole.

There are many such moments in life, but Obon in particular is unique and one of our most celebrated and special holidays.

We will observe Hatsubon or the first obon on July 16th at 10:00 am. Our guest speaker will be Rev. Kenji Akahoshi of the San Diego Buddhist Temple.

We will celebrate Bon odori on Sunday, July 9th, please come and join us, dance with us and celebrate life.

Rev. Shinseki