Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Happy New Year!

Aloha all,

I hope everyone's new year went well. I'm excited about 2010 and all that we can accomplish! It's amazing how much my family and I have changed in the 5 years we've been in Hawaii, I can only imagine what 2010 will bring.

Anyway, here is my current status. I've been in language class for the past 3 weeks and have 3 more weeks to go. The interesting thing about this class is that it is being held at the University of Hawaii, which means I get college credit. It's a 6 week long course, but since it's everyday/all day, it actually knocks out 4 Chinese courses that the University offers. The academic advisor came and said that with our current background, we may be close to a BA in Chinese Mandarin. So now I need to find out which would be better/quicker for me: 1) BA from AMU in International Relations with emphasis on Asia, or 2) BA from UH in Chinese Mandarin. Any thoughts?

Also, I'll be TDY all of February to Singapore as part of a supplemental language training. This in combination with the language training I'm in now means that my meetings with Rev Kevin are at a stand still until I get back. In the meantime, he and I are still working on HOZO and a few other things. My list of things to memorize continues to grow.

One thing that hasn't changed lately, though, is my Sunday schedule. Every Sunday I show up at temple at about 7am. I let myself into the main altar (I have keys now, no big deal!) and practice chanting the Juseige. Then I set up the altar for morning services. The first service is Japanese service, of which I don't understand a word, but we chant the entire Shoshinge, which is good for me. After that is English service (my job is to ring the bell). After English service I close up the altar and double check with the minister and can usually be out of there by 11. I feel like a Catholic spending 4 hours at church every Sunday! Oh well, I enjoy it.

That's it for now!

In gassho,


  1. Having not been to college I really don't know how it works, but, you now me, I'll offer this opinion.....Get the BA as quickly as possible but make sure that the one you get will be credited towards the MA in your desired field. Mom

  2. Happy (late) New Year! You will enjoy Singapore. Be sure to visit the Temple of the Buddha's Tooth Relic (it's huge)! The Singapore Buddhist Meditation Center is also a good place to visit, although a bit out of the way and hard to find. The bhante in residence, Ven. Seragoda Maha Thero, is a U.S. citizen, and provided me with many Dharma books in English to distribute in my chaplaincy work.

  3. Hello Hank!

    I have been reading your blog for a bit, as an aspiring (Western) Buddhist. Very interesting and often entertaining entries--I especially appreciated your glee at the addition of the suffix "San" to your name. The ending "Kun" has about the same effect on me. I would like to email you with a few questions about being a Buddhist in the military. If possible, I'd like to interview you. Please contact me at