By Reverend Mimatsu

Hello, everyone. I hope you are all doing well. It will soon be 5 years since I arrived here in 2019 to take over the position of Head Minister at Koyasan Temple. Although Spring will soon be here, this will now be my last Spring in the United States. How quickly time flies!

For this article, I have chosen to write about our temple’s main deity, Kannon, Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. Kannon, properly, known as Kanzeon Bosatsu is a Bodhisattva, an enlightened being who has chosen to remain in this world to help liberate all sentient beings from suffering. Although its gender is neutral, the Kannon found in temples are sometimes portrayed in the figure of a female with its feminine facial features symbolic of compassion like a mother.

According to the Lotus Sutra, Kannon can frequently transform into 33 different figures to help guide people towards the path of liberation from suffering. Kannon teaches how to treat others with kindness and understanding. Once we have practiced this, we can become more compassionate towards others.

For me, each one of you is a Kannon because you have been there to help me get through my life in the United States. Therefore, I would like you to think about how lucky you also are to be surrounded by many Kannons!

Thank you.