April 2, 2020
As each year goes by and we get older and older, we know more and more family and friends who have died. Sometimes it seems harder and harder to keep track of the meinichi or death day of people I have known.
Today happens to be the meinichi for my father John Masashi Shinseki who died in 1996. We have a tradition in our home to conduct a service for those family members on the day of their meinichi. For us it is important to remember those in our past, especially our family members.
Why is this important? It is important to me because no one exists in a vacuum. Not one of us exists as a result of our own doing, but we exist because of a myriad of causes and conditions. All of us are made up of the many people who have made our lives possible.
Genetically we have received the looks and physical characteristics of our birth parents. However, we are much more than that. We have developed ideas, thought patterns, attitudes from all the people whom we have encountered. Who we are is a complex mixture of physical, psychological and social influences.
By remembering our family members on their meinichi we are reminded of their profound influence on our lives. A reminder of our connection to many others. And a reminder to live each day in gratitude. Namoamidabutsu.
Rev. Hosei Shinseki