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Pieper Toyama led Bon dancers in a moment of silence just before the last dance of the 2018 Jikoen Bon Dance. Here is a transcript of his words.
“Tonight, we will pause for a moment of silence before the last dance of evening. This moment of silence is a chance for all of us to remember our loved ones out of gratitude for their work and love that have made our lives possible today.
“Obon is a time for all of us to reflect on our loved ones and friends who have gone to the Pure Land. It is a time to remember all that they did to provide us with the life we have now. And it is a time to offer our gratitude and appreciation for the preciousness of their lives.
“In a few moments, we will turn off the yagura lights. When the lights go out, turn on your cell phones and hold it above your heads as a gesture of gratitude… for the light of your phones will become a humble symbol of the light of the Buddha. We are grateful for the Buddha’s love which now embraces our loved ones and friends.”