Welcome to the Buddhist Churches of America Homepage!

Whether you are a visitor looking to learn about Jodo Shinshu Buddhism or a long-time member at one of our 60 temples across the country, we invite you to explore the online home of our BCA community.

With churches and temples throughout the United States, we offer many exciting and educational programs for all ages. Founded over 110 years ago by pioneering Japanese immigrants, our Sanghas are vibrant communities embracing people from many walks of life. What brings us together is the desire to live our lives in the spirit of Amida Buddha – the Buddha of immeasurable Wisdom and Compassion.

The spirit of Amida Buddha touches all people and gives us the courage to live our lives with peace.  We hope you will find the resources and information you seek here.

BCA Mission Statement

TO PROMOTE THE BUDDHA, DHARMA, AND SANGHA as well as TO PROPAGATE THE JODO SHINSHU TEACHINGS.

 

Our True Leader is the Buddha

The outcome of the recent presidential election has created feelings of uncertainty and fear among many people in our community and country. At the same time, it made many people happy and gave them joy and hope for the future.

At a time like this, we need to be reminded of the universal caring heart and mind of Amida Tathagata embracing all people. It takes us to the realm beyond the tribulations of this human world.

The loving heart and mind of the world of Oneness touches us and wishes for all of us to live in peace, overcoming our limited viewpoints. The true guide for all beings, to me, is Amida Buddha. Amida Buddha cares about all people regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, wealth, social status, etc. Amida Buddha shows compassion especially to those who are suffering. No matter what type of conditions we may be living in, Amida Buddha will always be there. Therefore, in my opinion, Amida Buddha is the true leader for all.

If we do not turn to the Light of Wisdom we will continue to dwell in a world of darkness and live with fear, loneliness, and endless anxiety. Being guided by this Compassionate Light of Wisdom, realizing our afflictions, we do what we can to be good citizens of the world.

Amid all the commotion, let us, together with fellow travelers of this path, pause and hear the words of guidance and encouragement coming from individuals who have been touched by the Buddha’s universal mind and heart. And let us reflect on how our lives and actions can be guided by this Teaching.

“When we reflect on the establishment of the Vow,
We find that the Tathagata, without abandoning sentient beings in pain and affliction,
Has taken the directing of virtue to them as foremost,
Thus fulfilling the mind of great compassion.”

                        (Shinran Shonin, Collected Works of Shinran, p.408)

Reverend Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America


The Harmony of Human Community

Imagine a country lying in absolute darkness with many living beings blindly rushing around. Naturally they will be frightened and lonely as they run about without recognizing one another.

Then let us imagine that suddenly a superior person with a torch appears and everything around becomes bright and clear. The living beings find great relief as they look about, recognize one another, and happily share their companionship.

When the world of human life lies in the darkness of ignorance, those who have no light of wisdom in their minds wander in loneliness and fear. They do not know how to associate with their fellow humans in peaceful harmony, and they are naturally miserable and afraid.

“A superior person with a torch” refers to Buddha assuming human form, and by his wisdom and compassion he illuminates the world. In this light, people find themselves as well as others and are glad to establish human fellowship and harmonious relations.

Thousands of people may live in a community, but it is not one of real fellowship until they know each other and have sympathy for one another. A true community has faith and wisdom that illuminate it. A true community is a place where the people know and trust one another and where there is social harmony; it is harmony that gives life and meaning to every community.

Paraphrased from The Teaching of Buddha, chapter two.


 

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Rev. David Matsumoto – Provost and Dean, Institute of Buddhist Studies
Rev. Kiyonobu Kuwahara – Director, Buddhist Churches of America: Hongwanji Office
Rev. Marvin Harada – Executive Assistant to the Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America