Buddhist Church of San Francisco

Buddhist Church of San Francisco


I thought this group will be interested in the interview of a bishop of Buddhist Churches of America (BCA), the Rev. Marvin Harada to discuss about ”Practical Buddhism and Truth Level Buddhism," and as a subtopic how Buddhism helps us to resolve the matter of life and death. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But to truly experience Buddhism and get the benefit of Buddhism we need to go beyond “Practical Buddhism” and reach “Truth Level Buddhism.” How can we achieve that? Well, Rev. Harada will give us the taste of that in the Shin Buddhist way! You never know, you might even get a hint of how to overcome fear of death itself! Please join us for a short discussion of Practical Buddhism and Truth Level Buddhism! I guarantee that you will have a blast! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gElpULmQ2VM Just in case you missed the first practitioner episode of Shin Buddhism (True Pure land/Jodo Shin Shu) episode with Rev. Kenji Akahosh, please check it out before you watch the episode with Rev. Harada. To have your own a-ha moment in this episode, you might need a little bit of background information about Shin Buddhism. Here is the link of the episode with Rev. Akahoshi: https://youtu.be/QiXoVaxDCDE Rev. Marvin Harada was born and raised in Eastern Oregon on a family farm. He attended the Idaho Oregon Buddhist Temple in his youth. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Religious Studies. Following that, he attended and graduated from the Institute of Buddhist Studies, and then went on to Japan and studied for five years, for two years at Chuo Bukkyo Gakuin, and three years at Ryukoku University, completing a Masters Degree. He was assigned to the Orange County Buddhist Church in 1986 and served there until April of this year when he became the Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of America.
I have a crazy request: Is there anyone in San Francisco that can give me an in person lesson on how to do the Obon dance "Goshu Ondo?" Fuku Nakatani was my great grandmother, and the Seattle Betsuin is doing a "virtual dance" in her honor. I want to participate, but I have 2 left feet, which make it especially difficult when dancing the counterclockwise circle. 😳 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csVMXyX7zZ8&t=125s Hit me with a dm if you can help.
Thank you for the online services for Ohigan 3/15 and for 3/8. These are unsettling times and hearing the dharma and nembutsu brings some calm and perspective to our lives. There are so many more videos to view/reflect on at the BCSF Youtube channel. What an online dharma storehouse!
Thank you. I would like to say that in the events leading up to and surrounding my near death that made clear the guiding voice to me in such a clear way as I'd never experienced before, and now after that experience, I have discovered a tangibleness to both the samsaric presence of Amida and the avenue to that Pure realm, almost as if I could hold it in my own two hands and feel it. Although there is a dimension of mythic representation to Amida and the path-after all can it not be said that each of us is a mythic representation of the entirety express in person-hood and our journey to enlightenment?- that withing this context of a subjective world with a frail and flawed "myself", lost as I am in the darkness of my karmic action, that there is both a remedy and a commiserate experience that is just as real in relationship to me as any other component of my world. And beyond any intellectual reckoning, for myself, is an intuitive surety that this is true, a love and joy in my heart of a heart- knowledge that is beyond my doubt. At the risk of sounding heretical in the face of orthodox teaching I have both seen, for lack of any totally accurate description, that conscious unlimited light and have glimpsed a congregation of infinite light to which is my destination after this life is over. I hovered at the precipice of death. You may pass it off as a mind in crisis resolving this crisis in delusion. But you cannot deny the possibility that my my mind, on the edge of being unshackled of its mooring to this life, saw the reality of the Infinite Light Buddha and my destination afterward. I'm convinced of the latter. Namo Amida Butsu
This a good article everyone should read even Buddhists!
WinterFaith Shelter Walk to benefit the Interfaith Winter Shelter This Sunday April 7th at 1:30 pm at Lake Merced! Please register and/or donate today! Thank you for your support! https://winterfaithshelterwalk.dojiggy.com/
Waseda Glee Club Concert started! Their voice reminds me a joy of singing.
Buddhist Church of San Francisco is an amazing place.
WinterFaith Shelter Walk Supporting Interfaith Winter Shelter - Sunday May 6 at 1:30 pm around Lake Merced. Register and/or donate today! http://winterfaithshelterwalk.dojiggy.com/ng/index.cfm/a418c82/regPages/pages/?p=109933
Don't forget to use www.smile.amazon.com and choose Buddhist Church of San Francisco as your charity. Small purchases add up over the year. I was surprised at how much went to my charity of choice last year.

Founded in 1898, this church is the oldest Jodo Shinshu (Pure Land) Buddhist temple that is affiliated with the Buddhist Churches of America (BCA).

Buddhism is founded on the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha. His teachings originated in India and came to the United States through Asia. The Jodo Shinshu sect is one of the major religions of Japan. Our sect's mother temple is the Nishi Hongwanji temple in Kyoto. Jodo Shinshu Buddhism teaches us to live a life of gratitude,knowing that boundless Wisdom & Compassion (Amida) surrounds all living beings.

Operating as usual


Online New Year's Day Service — January 1, 2021 — Buddhist Church of San Francisco


Deep gratitude to BCA Bishop Rev, Marvin Harada for sharing his wonderful New Year's Day Dharma Talk with the BCSF sangha. If you missed this special Zoom service, please click below to watch. It's a lovely way to welcome in 2021...
Namo Amida Butsu 🙏

youtube.com Online New Year's Day Service with BCA Bishop Reverend Marvin Harada. Today's service includes: Kansho, welcome and group reading of the "Three Treasures" by...

My eyes being hindered by blind passions,
Cannot perceive the light that grasps me;
Yet great compassion, without tiring,
Illumines me always.


Today is a new day.
Yesterday is a memory.
Tomorrow is the unknown.
Now is the knowing.

(Ajahn Sumedh)

With good will for the entire cosmos,
cultivate a limitless heart:
Above, below and all around,
unobstructed, without hostility or hate.

(Nipata Sutra)


Online New Year's Eve Joya-e Metta Service — December 31, 2020 — Buddhist Church of San Francisco

Please join in closing out 2020 with our annual New Year’s Eve service led by Rev. Elaine Donlin. We'll begin with a Dharma Reflection, Metta Meditation, Group Recitation and close with Ringing of the Bell 108 times.

This service will be posted on our BCSF YouTube channel at 7:00 pm (PST)

Please stay safe and healthy this New Year's Eve. Namo Amida Butsu 🙏

youtube.com Online New Year's Eve Joya-e Metta Service with Minister's Assistant Reverend Elaine Donlin. Tonight's service includes kansho, dharma talk, "Metta Meditatio...

You shouldn’t chase after the past or place expectations on the future. What is past is left behind. The future is as yet unreached. But one who is able to be mindful of the present moment as it arises, should develop wisdom that cannot be dragged away by attachment.

(Bhaddekaratta Sutra)

Buddhism is not about freedom from the world, but freedom in the world.

Wisdom is not merely something to be gained with old age. One can be wise in every stage of one’s life. To manifest wisdom means simply to step back and see.

(Seido Ray Ronci)

If you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything.

(Norbu Rinpoche)

Even when the world is filled with a great fire, pass through it and seek to hear the Dharma.


Many wishes of joy, peace, and happiness this holiday season.
Please stay safe and physically distanced. 🙏

Life is a vast, unknowable movement of wholeness with no one separate from it and nothing outside of it.

(Toni Packer)

For all of us, love can be the natural state of our own being; naturally at peace, naturally connected, because this becomes the reflection of who we simply are.

(Sharon Salzberg)

We can all practice beginning anew. We can always start over.

(Thich Nhat Hanh)

This is a brilliant time to develop loving-kindness, compassion, appreciative joy, and equanimity – the Buddha’s four Divine Abodes


Online Sangha Service — December 20, 2020 — Buddhist Church of San Francisco

Please join us this morning for our Sangha service with a Dharma Talk by BCSF Minister's Assistant, Rev. Elaine Donlin.
Namo Amida Butsu

youtube.com Online Sangha Service with Minister's Assistants Reverend Elaine Donlin, Reverend Dr. David Sensei and Camille Sensei. Today's service includes: Kansho, welc...

May there be peace in the world,
and may the Buddha’s teaching spread!


Give courage to the fearful,
freedom to the enslaved,
strength to the weak,
mutual affection to all sentient beings.


Spiritual opening is not a withdrawal to some imagined realm or safe cave. It is not a pulling away, but a touching of all the experience of life with wisdom and with a heart of kindness, without any separation.

(Jack Kornfield)


The Vigil: Annual Homeless Persons Memorial (Virtual) - THIS EVENING at 5:30 pm Livestream on Facebook

Please join Rev. Elaine Donlin for this annual vigil to remember our 342 unhoused neighbors who've passed in 2020.
Namo Amida Butsu 🙏

web-extract.constantcontact.com View as Webpage Thursday, December 17, 2020 at 5:30 pm Livestream on Facebook Livestream on Facebook Support the SFIC and its ongoing efforts to keep you informed by clicking the DONATE button. Thank

Ego and compassion are inversely related. When one goes up the other goes down, just like a balance scale or teeter totter. So when we are preoccupied with our own needs, we forget the needs of others. That is when ego clinging goes up and compassion goes down. On the other hand when self-preoccupied ego clinging goes down, concern for the welfare of others increases.

(Barry Kerzin)

The greatest obstacle to connecting with our joy is resentment.

(Pema Chödrön)

Fearlessness comes from working with the softness of the human heart.

(Chögyam Trungpa)

Thank you to everyone who joined in our live, Zoom Dec. Shotsuki Hoyo Monthly Memorial Service this morning at 10 am. Gratitude to Leo Sensei for offering a wonderful Dharma Talk. This service was recorded and will be posted to our BCSF YouTube channel tomorrow / Monday.

Namo Amida Butsu 🙏

Where is Saichi’s Pure Land?
Saichi’s Pure Land is in my heart,
It is, it is,
Namo Amida Butsu.


Time does not wait for anyone; there is change in every moment. If, in our short lives as human beings, we are able to be of some benefit to someone else, then that is the activity of an enlightened being,

(Khandro Rinpoche)

Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded.

(Buddha, The Dhammapada)

By breaking down our sense of self-importance, all we lose is a parasite that has long infected our minds. What we gain in return is freedom, openness of mind, spontaneity, simplicity, altruism: all qualities inherent in happiness.

(Matthieu Ricard)

If the world is to be healed through human efforts, I am convinced it will be by ordinary people, people whose love for this life is even greater than fear, people who can open to the web of life that called us into being, and who can rest in the vitality of that larger body.

(Joanna Macy)

Enlightenment is always there. Small enlightenment will bring great enlightenment. If you breathe in and are aware that you are alive—that you can touch the miracle of being alive—then that is a kind of enlightenment.

(Thich Nhat Hanh)


Deep gratitude to everyone who participated in our live Zoom Friday evening Bodhi Eve youth service (with Dharma talk by Camille Sensei) and/or this morning's Zoom Sunday Bodhi Day service (with a Dharma Talk by Rev. Henry Adams). It was wonderful to hear the stories of Siddhartha Gautama's Awakening under the Bodhi tree over 2,600 years ago in India. The insights that Siddhartha awakened to continue to inform and enrich our lives today!

These services were recorded and can be found on our BCSF YouTube channel..

Please note that the 1st and 2nd Sunday of every month will be a live Zoom service. The 3rd and 4th Sundays will be pre-taped to our You Tube Channel on Sunday mornings..

Namo Amida Butsu 🙏

Our Story

Buddhism is founded on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama/Shakyamuni Buddha. His teachings originated in India and came to the United States through Asia. The Jodo Shinshu sect is one of the major religions of Japan. Our sect's mother temple is the Nishi Hongwanji temple in Kyoto. Jodo Shinshu Buddhism teaches us to live a life of gratitude,knowing that boundless Wisdom & Compassion (Amida) surrounds all living beings.

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