Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just getting started

Well, here's the first entry. I guess I should start with my current status.

I'm an E-5 in the USAF, stationed in Hawaii. I've always been interested in Buddhism, but didn't get serious until I got here. After attending service at the Wahiawa Hongwanji Buddhist Mission for about a year, I joined the church. Soon after, I was affirmed, along with my wife and my two sons. I was given the Dharma name Shaku Josho.

After some serious thought, I decided that the chaplaincy would be the best thing for me and my family. I talked about it with my reverend and he agreed. So this process really breaks down into two catagories: 1) Achieving my Ordination, and 2) Meeting the military requirements. The two don't match up completely. For instance, I can be a fully ordained Buddhist Dharma Teacher but not meet the requirements to become a DoD Chaplain. The reverse is also true.

Without getting into too much detail, what this means is that I will first work towards achieving my ordination... and worry about the military side of the house later. I've heard that you can enter into a military chaplaincy as late as age 44 (with a waiver) which means I could do a full 20 years enlisted before I switch over. In other words, I think I have a little bit of time on that side. Reverend Kuniyuki and I have officially begun my unofficial training towards achieving my Tokudo (lower-level ordination).

My first assignment was to write an article about all the different aspects of the Altar. Every Buddhist temple has an Altar and in Jodo Shinshu, they follow a standardized set-up. My task was to write an article for our quarterly publication that explained this set-up. For a copy of the article, please email and ask for a copy of this month's Hozo.

Well, that's it! More later!

In Gassho,


  1. What a great idea. I eagerly await your next entry. Mom

  2. On the Buddhist Chaplaincy side of things I'm sure you'll find a wonderful group of supportive individuals, from LT. Shin to Rev. Danny Fisher and so many more. I wish you well and look forward to reading more about your journey!

  3. Good going Henry! Feet on the ground, eyes on the skies, wind at your back and all that sort of thing. I'm proud of you. I eagerly await your next entry. Dad

  4. You'll do great bro. Can't wait to hear more about it.