No matter how busy I may be, there is something I try not to do. That’s to write my sermon or message. It is my belief just reading out written message is not inspirational. I’d like to deliver interesting sermon through my own experiences. But the biggest reason why I don’t write down my Dharma talk is to save time. Writings takes time. All the more so with good writings. I'm very busy doing many things just in a day. Instead of taking time to write, I'd like to use time for something else.
So whether it’s funeral or special service, I seldom write down for my Dharma message. It's true sometimes I regret I couldn't deliver my intentions with no manuscript. However, even I make mistakes, there is always I can learn from the mistakes. At the same time, I get great motivation to deliver message better. Of course, sometimes (hopefully often) I do a good job to deliver sermon. Especially when I did a great job, people come to me to commend my message without any written memo. Then sometimes they will be additionally surprised to see what I made for our guests after the service. I call it “super-service” which shall be my specialty. Yes, instead of spending time for writing, I’d rather be joyful to make refreshments of Sushi or Cake, and once in a while, more than that.
To tell you the truth, there is a secret about so-called “super service”. Although I seldom spend my time for sitting down to write, but I do spend time to think about what I deliver and interesting stories through my self-reflection. It is true no good sermon cannot be delivered without spending time to think. My secret is, I spend time thinking about my message while I’m doing cooking, washing dishes, mowinig and even when I make Sushi! For me, writing is an art which requires so much time and concentration in addition to the knowledge and techniques.
On the other hand, just talking doesn’t need concentration and time. Also I don’t need to think about spellings and grammar. Even if I make mistake grammar and omit some words, they can guess the meaning. As for writing, I need to be careful about what I write, spellings and grammar. However most important thing about sermon is not grammar nor elaborate expressions but a content of the message. If the content is good, very simple words, even childish words could touch people. So all I need to do is to think about a core experience of the message while working.
This morning, I finally got time to do mowing and some yardwork. Instead of sitting down in the office to write sermon for Nirvana day service tomorrow, I happily chose to spend time for working. Then I got an idea of this writing about this....my secret of delivering sermon without writing down. Because this was such a good content, I needed to stop working for a minute to take memo on this thought. I said I don’t spend time for writing but I often take memo whenever I got a good idea.
Another interesting idea is when is the best time for mowing? Yes, I got this question and answer while mowing this morning, just right now. The answer is right after light raining like shower. If rain is too hard, you’ll be wet and you cannot work. Then if it’s too hot, you’ll get sunburned. If it’s too windy, cut grass will fly all over the place. My answer for the best time for mowing is right after light raining, cut grass become perfectly stick together and they won’t fly away. Instead, they can be picked up so easily. But if it’s too much rain, grass become so heavy.
I always enjoy new discoveries whatever I do from my daily life. There are always wisdom found in our daily life. The other day, I had visitors of a couple from Minnesota. They found my website and called me to ask for the temple tour. I shared some interesting facts about Buddhism and they really enjoyed my explanation. When they are leaving, a gentleman told me every time he comes to the temple, the wiser he becomes. I strongly agreed and proudly mentioned this event to my wife. Then she immediately said, “NO, Sensei, you are not becoming wiser but just “wider” day by day! “What!?” I thought my wife was wiser than me. LOL.
For your information, we'll have a "Super Service" for Nirvana Day tomorrow at 10:30 am at Koloa Jodo Mission. All are welcome!