Monday, November 30, 2009

Informative Site

Hey all,

I was doing some surfing on the net and found this great page on the IBS Site. IBS is the Institute of Buddhist Studies and it's where I'll have to get my Master's degree. Anyway, check it out if you have the time. I'll post it here and put the main page in the links list on the right.

In Gassho,

Monday, November 23, 2009

It's been awhile

Sorry it's been so long since my last post. I was waiting for my Transcripts to post to American Military University so that I could see exactly how far I was from my BA, and then report. However, the date kept getting pushed back. As of now, I still don't know what my transcripts will yield. But since I have other information, I will post that.

My involvement in the Tokudo program is getting more formalized and more involved. First, I become increasingly more involved with the weekly services. I am going to start attending the Japanese service every week before the English service. My responsibilities include setting up the altar, ringing the kansho bell, keeping the incense burning, and then closing down the altar and temple after service is over.

Another bit of news: the Minister's Assistant currently assigned to my temple, Reverend David Nakamoto, is being relocated to Kailua. The Bishop said that we will not be getting another assistants because they have ME! In other words, increased responsibility and presence. Also, if Reverend Kevin ever needs to leave for whatever reason, then it will be my responsibility to lead service! I won't be able to do that from up on the Altar, as I'm still a lay person, but it's still a big deal, and I'm really nervous!

So here are some more technical details. Pasted below is a summary of my entrance into the Tokudo Training Program. Please forgive any spelling, grammatical, or formatting errors, as these pages were just scanned in.

PRELIMINARY INFORMATIONAL SESSION (Conducted by State Ministerial Training Committee):

What: A half day session for people interested in Tokudo to learn about Tokudo and the commitments, sacrifices, and rewards.

Who: Aspirants who are actively involved in the Hongwanji for not less than a year during which time the membership has accepted the aspirant as a part of the congregation. (Recommended by Minister)

Why: Provide individuals interested in Tokudo with an opportunity to learn about the process and procedures.

PRE-ORDINATION TRAINING PROGRAM (POTP) (for those interested in going for Tokudo)

1. Candidate submits application to the Office of the Bishop
a) One page double-spaced essay to address the question "Why do I want to enroll in the Pre- T okudo Program?
b) One page recommendation by a minister.
c) Interview with the following questions:
How does your education relate to the pre-tokudo program?
What do you plan to do with this pre-tokudo program?
What qualities do you think a good temple minister has?
What is your understanding of Buddhism?
What is the role of religion in life?
As a minister, how can you contribute to the Jodo Shinshu movement?
How have you participated in the J odo Shinshu movement?
How do you relate to, work with people?

2. Office of the Bishop will give written acknowledgement of receipt of application, and will forward the application to the Ministerial Training Committee for disposition.
a) Bishop sends out copies of the application, recommendation and essay to the committee members before the Interview session.
Minister's Recommendation Form Application for Pre- T okudo Session

1. Applications and the attachment received by the Bishop will be reviewed by Ministerial Training Committee for recommendation. The Bishop will inform the applicants and temple ministers of the final decision.

Pre-Ordination Program - Local Training Program Pre-Ordination Program (at temple, district, or state level)


Morning and Evening Service
Flower Arrangement
Altar Clean Up
Temple Situation and Ministers Life

Infant Initiatory Rites
Dedication Service
Wedding Ceremony (Temple & outside)
English Language Service
Japanese Language Service
Major Service
Special Service
Pre-school Service
Interfaith Service
Bedside Service (Makuragyo)
Service before cremation
Funeral Service at Temple
Funeral Service outside
Appreciation Service (Reimairi)
First 7-day Service
49-day Service
100-day Service
One-year Service
Inurnment (Burial) Service

Staff Meeting
Pastoral Counseling
(Wedding Counseling, Crisis Center counseling, Religious Counseling (Jidan)
Hospital Visitation and Home Visitation
Study Class & Workshop
Community Services
Ministers' Meeting (Kyogakkai)

Radio Broadcasting Program and related activities
Newsletter and related activities
Pre-school and related activities
Dharma School and related activities
Jr. YBA and related activities
Adult Group and related activities
Fujinkai and related activities
Martial Arts group and related activities
Scouting and related activities
Choir and related activities
Cultural and Fellowship activities
Various Temple Committees
Temple Board Meeting
Temple Kyodan activities

5. Familiarization and Memorization
1. Sutras, Chants, Sayings:
(Shinshu Pledge, Homages (Kikyomon), Vandana Ti­Sarana, Creeds (Ryogemon), Shoshinge, Wasan and others)
2. Excerpts from letters of Rennyo Shonin
Shinjin gyakutoku-sho
Shonin ichiryu-sho

6. Proper Manner of Handling Sutras and Religious Texts
Triple Sutra

Stage B - Overview of Total Scope of Services
1.Rites of Passage (pages 61-78)
2. Altar Arrangements (See Traditions oft Jodoshinshu Hongwanji­Ha, pages 45-48)
3. Etiquette and Liturgy (See Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha, pages 45-48)
4. Protocol for ministers (Reigi-Saho)
a) Sitting in Naijin
b) Entering Temple
c) Funeral Service
5. Clergy Attire on Appropriate Occasions (See Traditions of JOOoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha, pages 33-38)
6. Chanting of Shoshin-ge, other sermon and Gobunsho training (refer to service book) (See Traditions of Jodoshinshu Hongwanji-Ha, pages 61-78)

Stage C
a Brief history of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhist Handbook, pages 51-61)
b Outline of Jodo Shinshu Teachings
c Basic Texts of Jodo Shinshu


Stage D
1. Minister's role in temple finances

1. Verification of a college degree (copy of diploma) or proof of pursuing a college degree (copy of current transcript).
2. Person with serious willingness and reasonable intent to assist the Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii.
3. A letter of Intent
4. Prerequisites submitted to the Office of the Bishop. The Bishop must approve the applicant's entry into the Pre-Ordination State Training Program.
5. Pre-Tokudo candidate must agree to participate in:
a. Statewide Training Program sponsored by the Ministerial Training Committee which will take up to (3) three full (not necessarily consecutive) weekends.

Thanks everyone! I'll post again when I know more.

In Gassho,