Placer Buddhist Church

3192 Boyington RoadPenryn, CA. 95663(916) 652-6139

office@placerbuddhistchurch.org

facebook.com/Placer-Buddhist-Church
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Hatsubon Service

The Placer Buddhist Church Hatsubon service was held on Saturday, August 7th at 11:00 AM for families that have lost family members in 2020 and 2021. A recording of the service can viewed here.

A Dharma Message by Rev. Matthew Hamasaki


October 2021


It’s October, which means that the pumpkin-themed things are coming out, it’s starting to cool down, and at the end of the month is Halloween! And with Halloween comes, of course…CANDY! While trick-or-treating may be a bit difficult again because of COVID-19, there are still plenty of opportunities to buy and enjoy candy, as advertised by your local store. In thinking about what kind of candies to buy, I wouldn’t consider myself a candy aficionado by any means (I don’t eat a ton of it), but I am interested in the kinds of candy people like. So, I decided to look up the most popular Halloween candy!

Candystore.com regularly releases an annual map of the United States with the top three candies for each state. They did this by using their own private sales data from the past 12 years and worked with industry distribution partners to come up with their lists. And in order to rank the most popular candies of the nation, they took those top three from each state and calculated a weighted average to determine the top-selling candies in America during Halloween. As it turns out, the top-selling candy for Halloween is…drumroll please…Skittles! Did you see that coming? Do you love Skittles? I personally don’t particularly enjoy Skittles (although the sour version ones are pretty good) and I looked further at different lists. By happenstance, I stumbled upon an article by the very same Candystore.com which claimed it was the “Definitive Ranking of Worst and Best Halloween Candies” and had different rankings. The methodology was taking the data from 12 lists of best and worst candies that were published on reputable websites. They combined this to their own customer survey data and created their final list. I won’t delve into the worst candies, lest I upset someone who really enjoys those, but for the best candy, the “Definitive” Number 1 is…one more drumroll…Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! Apparently, it wasn’t even close. And it made sense to me because that is MY favorite candy!

But this is not to say that everyone has to like what I like, or that I have to like what everyone else likes. Rather, the point I wanted to make was quite the opposite. How could Skittles be the top-selling but Reese’s be the best candy? I’m sure there are many factors that contribute to this result (maybe people who love Skittles love them so much that they buy them more than any other person buys their favorite candy); however, I think the distinction is important for not just the choices we make when we buy candy, but for any decision we make in our lives. Are we choosing an option because it’s popular and other people choose it? If everyone is buying something, does that mean that we need it too? If everyone is doing something, does that make it right? Or are we choosing something because it’s the best for us?

Buddhism tries to teach us to have this discerning mind, to recognize our own tendencies to get caught up in what other people are doing rather than focusing on ourselves. We won’t come to the right conclusion if we’re basing how we live our lives on other people’s actions. Only when we take responsibility for the things that we have control over, for the decisions we make for our lives, can we truly be making the “best” decisions. So, this month I hope we’re all mindful of our accountability to help us live the best we can, which also ends up being the tastiest!


In Gassho,

Rev. Matt


The Placer Buddhist Church is located at 3192 Boyington Road in Penryn California, County of Placer. It is located at the scenic base of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains just off Interstate 80. It is approximately half way between San Francisco and Reno, Nevada.

The Church was founded in 1902 in the small foothills town of Penryn. The original church was near the center of town approximately 3 miles from its current location. The church moved to its current location in approximately 1963. The church is well known in the community for the annual food bazaar which is always held on the 4th weekend of September. The annual food bazaar started in 1964, just after the church moved to the new location.

The church supports many organizations such as the Placer Buddhist Women’s Association (PBWA), Young Buddhist Association (YBA), Sierra Bonsai Club, Dharma School, and Placer Ume Taiko Groups. The church also holds various classes during the week including calligraphy, flower arranging, Tai Chi, Obon dancing and exercise classes. See the church calendar for class times.