2017 New Year’s Jodo Mission of Hawaii President’s Message
Akemashite Omedeto Gozaimasu! Wishing you a Happy New Year! For 2017, my wish is for you to be filled with happiness a great majority of the time.
In a perfect world, we could wish for happiness all of the time, but when we think about it, without some suffering and challenges, life would become boring and we would not have the experiences that make us appreciate life even more. When we fail, we appreciate our efforts and all the ups and downs, so when we do succeed, it’s oh so sweet and wonderful. Even the impermanence of life, the fact that our time is limited in this living realm, encourages us to appreciate the present moment, so we cherish our time with our loved ones, work passionately on projects that excite us, and absorb the beauty of nature such as the sun setting into our beautiful blue ocean. We develop a deeper gratitude through our understanding of impermanence so even when we lose a person we love; we are able to generate positive energy by all those wonderful moments we shared with that person, and it’s this energy that encourages us to live life the best that we can with the precious time we have before us. Thus, suffering and challenges can be a fuel for our happiness through our practice of gratitude. When you combine gratitude with all your positive practices of the Eightfold Path – Right Understanding, Right Purpose, Right Speech, Right Conduct, Right Livelihood, Right Endeavor, Right Thought, and Right Meditation, you will be filled with joy.
With Warmest Aloha,
Jon Riki Karamatsu
President of Jodo Mission of Hawaii