2008 YMA Hawaii Trip

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Reflections of Hawaii

Sessions by Brooke Muranaka

When I found out that the BCA YAC youth minister’s assistants were travelling to Hawaii to share and learn the Dharma I was overwhelmed with feelings of emotion. I felt honored to go and extremely thankful for everyone’s support. Excitement and happiness were amongst my first feelings when I landed in Oahu and saw all my friends. Once we began meeting various speakers and reverends my eagerness soon transformed into nervousness. I was unsure about how much I would be able to relate to speakers that grew up in such a different lifestyle than mine. Would our view on the Dharma be the same? But those thoughts quickly disappeared once the lectures and introductions began.

One of the reverends who met with us was Rev. Kevin Kuniyuki, a supportive and kind hearted man who was more than happy to share his Jodo Shinshu experience with us. He gave us examples on how he is able to find Buddhism in everyday life, such as in movies and various types of media. He told us how everyone is able to relate to the Dharma in different ways and encouraged us to see the Dharma in everyday life as well. He was very supportive and made us feel more than welcomed at Wahiwa. Thank you Rev. Kuniyuki for your warm hospitality and making us feel at home.

While in Waialua, we were able to meet with Dr. George Tanabe. I will admit that I was intimidated by his vast knowledge of Buddhism, but deeply appreciated his message to us. He encouraged us to find Buddhism and make it our own. To make Buddhism our own and to find out our own meaning of Jodo Shinshu was an idea that never occurred to many of us before. In addition to his current ideas he brought us a very special lotus. He explained the Buddhist teaching of impermanence through this rare flower. We were able to watch the transformation of “Brandon” the lotus throughout the rest of our trip. Thank to Dr. George Tanabe for such a beautiful gift and enlightening session.

Rev. Kuniyuki and Dr. George Tanabe were amongst our many teachers who opened our eyes to Jodo Shinshu in Hawaii. The BCA YAC YMA’s were able to experience a once in a life time trip to a beautiful place filled with wonderful people. We accomplished our own goal of sharing and learning the Dharma each day that were there. Thank you Hawaii and thank you to everyone who made this trip possible.

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