Placer Buddhist Church

3192 Boyington RoadPenryn, CA. 95663(916) 652-6139
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A Dharma Message by Rev. Matthew Hamasaki

Because of the pandemic, many sports events and leagues have been cancelled to ensure the safety of the players and the fans. I absolutely agree with the actions taken to help protect any human life, even if it means that we can’t have some of the things we love to do and watch. However, now that certain precautions are being taken and bubbles have been created, the professional sports have resumed so that we may all enjoy them. How they’ve been able to do it has differed from league to league, and sometimes the concept of how to have a shortened season has become increasingly complex. The NHL is one of those leagues and, although it is not the solution that I would have come up with, I cannot complain since I know they’re doing their best with what they were given.

The NHL has sped up the process to get the season as efficiently as possible into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unfortunately, that meant that the team that I root for -- the Nashville Predators -- has already been eliminated from contention and I won’t be able to see them play. Still, since I enjoy hockey, I will continue to watch the playoffs even if I’ll have to find someone to root for in each matchup. Trying to continue to enjoy the sport even though my team isn’t playing is sort of a bummer, but it made me think of sportsmanship, particularly the good kind.

We all have a notion of what sportsmanship is supposed to be: something along the lines of “don’t be a sore loser” and “win gracefully.” There are also the values of fairness, following the rules, and many other concepts that have been presented to develop a sufficient definition of sportsmanship. But what interested me more was where sportsmanship came from -- not necessarily in the historical sense, but in the current day -- who regulates those kinds of values?

In my brief dabbling, it appeared to me that the athletes in the elite level of the sport set the standard for sportsmanship for the rest of the sport. They are role models, whether they are trying to be or not (this is not to say that they influence every aspect of other people’s lives, but that they do have an impact on the sport on all levels of playing). Once something becomes acceptable at the elite level, it is acceptable (and maybe even expected) on the other levels. So, if great sportsmanship is modeled by the sport’s highest echelon, it sets the example for others to follow.

I believe it is our responsibility to set an example no matter what level of athlete we are because there is always the possibility for someone to look up to us. In the same way, in our spiritual lives I think it is important to really look at ourselves and ask if we are fulfilling our potential to lead a just and responsible life. Again, in all aspects of our lives, we have the potential to be a role model for another person. Whether it’s a child, a peer, or maybe even someone older than us, there is always the chance that another person is looking to us as a guide. Because of this, it is up to each of us recognize our responsibility to try to live the most accountable and conscientious way, not just for ourselves, but for everyone around us.

In Gassho,

Rev. Matt

The Placer Buddhist Church is located at 3192 Boyington Road in Penryn California, County of Placer. It sits at the 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 Group. The church also holds various classes during the week including calligraphy, flower arranging, Tai Chi and exercise classes. See the church calendar for class times.