L E C T U R E P R E S E N T AT I
O N S
The presentation at the Palolo Kwannon Temple
as well as the following lectures are available
||A small group of the
Honolulu spiritual family attending Divine Mother Audrey's lecture on "Listening Your Way to
Health, II" at the University of Hawaii on February 5, 1998 at the School of
||Derek, Michael and
||...Charlie and Dean
Gueco at the University of Hawaii Art Auditorium on March 29, 1998, attending Divine Mother Audrey's
lecture on "Communication and Self Identity."
||The San Francisco
spiritual family had four days of intensive meditation when Divine Mother Audrey visited on January 3,
1998. Divine Mother Audrey with the San Francisco spiritual family at Half Moon Bay during a
break between sessions.
PALOLO KWANNON TEMPLE
On January 18, 1998, at the invitation of
Reverend Eishin Irene Matsumoto of the Palolo Kwannon Temple in Honolulu, Divine Mother Audrey gave a
presentation on the beloved Kwannon Sama, who is revered by Buddhists throughout the world
as the beautiful Goddess of Mercy and Compassion. The Palolo Kwannon Temple is
affiliated with the Tendai Buddhist sect. Our deepest thanks to Reverend Matsumoto
and her congregation for their hospitality and warm reception to the spiritual family.
Reverend Matsumoto took over the leadership of the Palolo temple
from her husband, Bishop Chiko Richard Matsumoto, after he passed away. She undertook
rigorous training and discipline at the Mount Hiei gyoin (i.e., Buddhist training center),
near Kyoto, Japan. Upon successful completion of her training, Reverend Matsumoto became
qualified as a resident minister in 1996. Reverend Matsumoto had previously been an
elementary school teacher for 28 years, and gave up her teaching career to carry on the
works of her husband. Her late mother in law, Myosei Matsumoto, was the primary force
behind establishing Palolo Kwannon Temple in 1935. Myosei Matsumoto was renown for her
healing abilities, which she attributed to a divine visitation from Kwannon Sama. The
Matsumotos have been well known throughout the years for their kindness and selfless,
loving service to their congregation and community.
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HONORING LORD BUDDHA
Siddharta Guatama was born in southern Nepal around 563 B.C. His father was a
wealthy ruler of the Shakya tribe, and Siddharta was raised in luxury. At the time
of his birth, a prediction was made that he would either become a universal ruler or
universal teacher, and that four signs would show him which path he was destined to
Notwithstanding his father’s efforts, Siddharta saw the following
four signs at age 29 which set his destiny, and moved him to renounce his earthly
luxuries, as well as his wife and infant son: 1. old age, 2. sickness, 3. death, and 4.
equanimity. Siddharta understood that the first three signs represented misery and
suffering in the world, and equanimity as the liberated state from suffering to be found
in true inner peace.
Siddharta wanted to solve the mystery of suffering, its cause and
its cessation. Leaving behind his wealth and family, he began what is known as his
Noble Quest. He wandered as a monk for years. He also lived in a forest with a small band
of other ascetics, and practiced extreme forms of self denial and mortification. He
eventually left the ascetics, and taught that one should live life in a balanced way,
called the Middle Way, where extreme forms of self denial as well as the sheer pursuit of
human desires are moderated. At the age of 35, Siddharta sat under a bodhi tree for 49
days in intense meditation to solve this riddle of suffering. Mara, the Buddhist devil,
tempted and attacked him in various ways, but Siddharta was not moved. On the morning of
the 49th day, Siddharta attained enlightenment, and emerged as the Buddha,
which means "Enlightened One."
Lord Buddha returned to the forest where the ascetics lived, and preached
his first sermon to them, setting in motion the Wheel of the Law. Lord Buddha taught that
one must understand the Four Noble Truths of: suffering, the cause of suffering, the
cessation of suffering, and the Eighthfold Path that leads to the cessation of suffering.
The Eighthfold Path consists of knowing the truth, having right thought, speech, action,
livelihood, effort, mindfulness and concentration. The ultimate reality is the state of
nirvana, a transcendent state of true peace where one is free from the bondage of selfish
desires, cravings and worldly attachments.
Lord Buddha gained many disciples and devotees, and he created the sangha,
or monastic community. Many years after Lord Buddha’s passing, several schools
emerged, including Theravada, Sarvastivada, Mahasanghikas, Mahayama, Hinayana, Mantrayana,
Zen, and many subsects which eventually spread from India to China, Japan, and many
countries all over the world.
In the process of following the Eighthfold Path, one develops more
compassionate, loving qualities towards his fellow man and all living creatures. We
celebrate and honor the lives of all great spiritual masters who, like Lord Buddha, pave
the way for others to find liberation and enlightenment.
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For more info
|Lane Nakamura's Testimony
|Lane Nakamura of the
Los Angeles Spiritual Family
Sometimes, it feels just like a dream, yet never before in my life have I felt so awake! God used to be just a word to me. An abstract concept of some father in the sky, whose rules we had to follow to be in his favor. This was just like my life. Behave, and you won't be punished. Do good, and you will be loved. But what I have found with God is that He loves us all, unconditionally, and I have EXPERIENCED it.
When I was still a young boy, I met Divine Mother. From the very moment I sat in front of her, I could feel her Love. Just being in her presence gave me a feeling of safety and peace that I never experienced before. I'll always cherish those moments, for she came into our lives at just the right moment. Up until then, I lived in a family where intimidation and abuse, both mental and physical, were rampant. We lived in fear of a dominating father, who ruled our household with an iron will and an uncontrollable temper. You would never ever think of talking back to him or question his actions. To do so would incur the wrath of his explosive temper and rage. No one could yell louder than he. No one dared.
On the other hand, my mother gave us the love we needed growing up. But she too was fearful of my father and couldn't stand up to him. Instead, she would rally the four children around her. We became her crutch. But we were all too weak to help ourselves, let alone each other. Eventually, we couldn't even see the dysfunctional lifestyle we lived. Looking back, it seems as though we just resigned ourselves to our situation and just made the best of it. Like most families, we had our quirks, but not until we met Divine Mother did we realize how much we really hurt each other with our ignorant behaviors. She opened our hearts and gave us new eyes to see the degraded lives we were living.
My experience since has been the gradual growth of my self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as a deepening compassion for my loved ones and others. Divine Mother helped me find myself by letting me share all of my suppressed feelings, as well as the dark secrets of my past that I thought I would carry with me to the grave. With each meeting with her, I gradually felt lighter and lighter. As the burden of all the "junk" of my past lifted, God's Love filled my heart.
Through Divine Mother's Love and guidance I was able to face the pain of my past. I used to think that I was okay. Being the youngest of four kids, I was the baby of the family and thought I received the most love from my parents, especially my mother. Who was I to complain, when my brother and sisters had it far worse than me? But Divine Mother made it safe for me to share my true feelings and emotions with my family members, and as I did this, I remembered how I felt all those years. I had not been happy growing up. I detested the conditional love that I received because it came with all kinds of hooks and manipulations. The pouring of affection over me only alienated me from my siblings who were treated so badly. I saw the inequities in my family and only wanted everyone to be treated and loved the same, but sadly, this rarely happened, and I felt so guilty. How could I enjoy the attention when my brother and sisters were subjected to so much abuse and neglect? I took it upon myself to compensate for this imbalance by being the "good boy." I put pressure on myself to excel in school, art and athletics, so that everyone would be proud of me. I was out to please, but in doing so I lost myself.
After years of this, I soon discovered, at the age of twenty-six, that I didn't even know what I wanted or how I really felt about anything. Was I still trying to make my parents and siblings happy? I was lost, but Divine Mother guided me back home to my Godself. She asked me to share, and as I shared with my family, I slowly began to have clarity into who I was. Through this sharing, I also discovered that everybody in my family bore their own "crosses," and my compassion for them grew even greater. We all tried the best we could, and beneath all of the abuse that went on in our family, there was love just waiting to be uncovered. This experience allowed me to be truthful with myself, and gave me the freedom to experience all of the emotions I denied myself, regardless of how ugly they were. One of these emotions was rage. The very rage I saw in my father, and that I swore I would never have, was exposed in me. When I first experienced this, I was shattered. NOT being like my father was my identity, and in that one moment, I lost the one thing that separated me from him. But Divine Mother helped me to see that we all contain a range of emotions, and that it was not healthy for me to suppress this, and with this awareness, I could face it.
In the end, it all comes down to the grace of God, flowing from Divine Mother's heart to mine. Through her Love, I was able to experience the many miracles of change in my life. As I sit here writing this, tears flow because I know in my heart that Divine Mother is one with me. I am happier, more confident, and respect myself. My whole family has made substantial changes as well, and we have greater intimacy, love and respect for each other. My father has changed a lot. Divine Mother spent time with him and gave him so much love and attention, as she has for everyone in my family. His extreme fits of rage have dissipated. Divine Mother showed us how to stop tolerating and submitting to his abusive behaviors. I am also thankful that my father and whole family are on this path. Because of the love in our hearts that we have for God, we were all very motivated to change and be released from destructive behaviors. It has been so uplifting to experience growth that is healthy, positive and loving. It makes me so hopeful that if such miraculous changes can take place in my family, that it is possible for all. And that families out there that are in need of God's Love, can experience and receive it, as Divine Mother takes Sri Ramakrishna's Light to the world.
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