Placer Buddhist Church

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

Notice to Hatsubon Families

As you may be aware, the Placer Buddhist Church has made the difficult decision to cancel its Obon service this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. At the June PBC Board meeting, it was also decided to cancel the special Hatsubon service commemorating individuals passing in 2019-2020. We will belatedly honor these families and their loved ones at our Obon service in 2021.

We understand that these times are particularly challenging. The Buddhist Churches of America is taking a conservative approach to reopening our temples, and Placer is awaiting guidelines. Thank you for your patience and understanding!

Carousel imageCarousel imageCarousel imageCarousel image

A Dharma Message by Rev. Candice Shibata

“Amida, full of compassion for those lost in the great night of ignorance, the wheel of light of dharma-body being boundless, took the form of the Buddha of Unhindered light and appeared in the land of peace.” 1

This morning I would like to address the sadness, suffering, and unrest that are being felt across America and making headlines worldwide. The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery (2/23/2020), Breonna Taylor (3/13/2020), George Floyd (5/25/2020) and so many other African Americans due to the misuse of force must be addressed and ended.

During this past week, I have been reflecting upon my own thoughts and feelings surrounding these most recent killings, and I must admit that I am ashamed that I did not address them sooner. I questioned my knowledge and ability to tackle social injustice issues and especially the racism that the African American communities face on a daily basis. This lack of courage forced me skate around the suffering of a specific group of individuals last Sunday in my Dharma message and, for that, I deeply apologize.

As my dear friend Bradley Menda and I were recently texting, I admitted my lack of knowledge and courage to speak up and he gave me some helpful advice from a book he is reading. In the book, it stated that you can’t have courage without vulnerability, and courageous leaders must put themselves out there. To be courageous means to be willing to make mistakes and face criticism.

I truly appreciated Bradley’s sharing of these words because it reminded me of my role and responsibility as a minister, which means to be a leader at my temple and, in the community, to speak about and take right action against the sufferings of social injustice with the Buddha Dharma as my guide. I also appreciated this article as it acknowledged my insecurity to speak about racism and social injustice while also motivating me to educate myself about the racism that affects the African American community and be courageous to state that I support Black Lives Matter.

We speak about the unhindered light of Amida Buddha and the endless wisdom and compassion that embraces everyone in Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. Amida Buddha does not discriminate against anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic status, and so on. Imagine a world where you and I could truly and fully embrace others free from bias or prejudice like Amida Buddha.

However, the three poisons of greed, anger, and ignorance blind us as human beings. In my past Dharma messages I have shared stories of having to wear glasses and how I have used this analogy of utilizing the Buddha Dharma like my prescription glasses to see and reflect upon my own blind passions.

Today I would like use an example of the use of my sunglasses that I wear on a regular basis to shield my eyes from the bright sunlight. As I mentioned, my eyes are filled with blind passions that alter my perception of the world around me. When I wear my sunglasses, it prevents the light of Amida Buddha to penetrate these blind passions and reach my heart and mind to see life as it truly is. I believe that I have been wearing sunglasses when viewing how strong racism is and the sufferings of the African American community. Today, I would like to vow to reflect upon my own greed, anger, and ignorance, to listen and learn about the racism in this country, and how to support causes such as Black Lives Matter.

I mentioned the following words of Shinran Shonin in the opening of my Dharma message: “Amida, full of compassion for those lost in the great night of ignorance, the wheel of light of dharma-body being boundless, took the form of the Buddha of unhindered light and appeared in the land of peace.” Amida Buddha’s light of compassion is boundless and even those like myself, who have been blinded by my ignorance, Amida Buddha continues to call me from the land of peace called the Pure Land. This is also true for our past loved ones who have also extended their infinite embrace while calling us from the Pure Land. They too are waiting for us to be awakened.

Although I am prohibited from using music on my live-streamed service today due to copyright infringement, I wanted to share a portion of the lyrics for our Shotsuki Memorial Service song of the month. The song is “Imagine” by John Lennon. Please join me in Gassho.

“You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions

I wonder if you can

No need for greed or hunger

A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people sharing all the world

You may say I'm a dreamer

But I'm not the only one

I hope someday you'll join us

And the world will be as one”

In Gassho,

Rev. Candice Shibata

1 From the Collected Works of Shinran, Hymns of the Pure Land

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.