Haleiwa Shingon Mission presented its 21st Thanksgiving and Gratitude Seminar on Oct. 23.
Emceed by Eleanor Nitta, the program opened with welcome remarks by James Sato, followed by a moment of silence for world peace and a prayer service led by Rev. Alan Taiko Akiyama.
Special guests included the Most Rev. Shinko Iwatsubo and Bishop Jitsuei Koyabu, both from the sacred Mt. Koya, Japan; Rev. Shinryu Abeshima and Bishop Clark H. Watanabe.
The main program, a seminar entitled “Mikkyo Meditation – Self Changing,” was presented by Dento Daiajari Daien Oshita from Senkoji Temple of Gifu, Japan. The Senkoji temple in Japan established the “Clinical Meditation Method Educational Research Institute,” which focuses on the effects of meditation on the spiritual care of those afflicted with illnesses. In recent years, medical professionals such as doctors, nurses, psychologists and caregivers have benefited from the Mikkyo meditation method. Oshita shared scientific research results, which showed differences in the brain waves of those undergoing meditation. He explained that he travels throughout Japan providing spiritual guidance through meditation and prayer to patients in hospitals and nursing homes. The highlight of the session was the audience participation in two different methods of meditation, 1) calming meditation and 2) amplifying meditation. Oshita guided the audience through brief stretching exercises, then proper posture, breathing methods, and recitation.
After the seminar, members of the Shingon Temple: Betty Dela Cuesta, Joyce Kishimoto, Alvin Harada and Ralph Saxton from Australia shared experiences of their pilgrimage trip to Hokkaidö’s 33 Kannon temples. The program concluded with lunch and fellowship.