We always want kids to remember us, remember what they learned and remember that camp will always welcome them with open arms.
All the counsellors who continue to lend their support were once campers who were just young people who have come to be connected, have fun and learn about Buddhism in a more engaging and open way. Every year is so different from the last year and it will always excite those who attended to come the next year. This year we have brought more focus in Buddhist teachings. We are so grateful that Rev. Yoshi and Joanne Sensei was able to come up during the week to be beside everyone while we all trying to study Buddhas Teachings together. Whether you are a camper, counsellor or a parent, you will come to realise you will learn more and more with every year. You will understand that you can never know enough.
Can you, who is reading, tell me or tell yourself, what the meaning of “Namu Amida Bustu” is? We say it all the time, after the ringing of the bell to tell everyone its service, after our chants, after the dharma talks, after the readings of the Shin Buddhist Life Principles, and at the closing of the services. Not to mention when we say our little opening of gratitude when we are about to eat or have finished eating, “Namu Amida Butsu” has always been said. But why? The counsellors and campers have learned this year.
We were given a simpler version, and it is not the all-time definition of this but it resonated with the camp and it has made a beautiful impact to whenever we say it in the future. Namu Amida Butsu means thank you to Everyone, Everything, in Every Moment, Every Second in All of Time. Can you fathom everyone who has ever lived, is living now, and will live in the future? Can you picture every living or materialistic thing that has come into being, is present now, and will come in to being in the future? All the events, all the choices, mistakes, accidents, births, and deaths, all happened for you to be here. We cannot fathom exactly who, what, where, when, or how they all appeared, so we say Namu Amida Butsu to say Thank you to all of them. To me, to you, to the Buddha, to your parents, to the farmers who grew your food, to the inventor of the computer so then I could tell you this.
You’ve learned something we have discussed in Camp with children whose ages range from 8 – 15, with counsellors from 20 – 29, from adults from 35 – 60. We learn more every time we come to Camp. We implore you to research and study the Buddha’s teaching and test them for yourself. Buddhism has always been about learning the teachings and testing them if they work for you.
Thank you to everyone who came into being that has made this camp, thank you to those who were here this year that made our camp extremely special, and thank you to those in advance who will be apart of next years camp.
We look forward to seeing you all again. In Love, Respect, and with Gratitude, Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Namu Amida Butsu
Mika Tamaki, Counsellor of Group 2