“Interconnectedness in a time of social distancing,” a message from HFBWA President Lois Toyama

March 16, 2020

Lois Toyama reaches out to a tree at the beach
Lois Toyama, President of the Hawaii Federation of Buddhist Women’s Associations

Aloha Dharma Friends,

The Hongwanji and the Buddhist Women’s Associations provide social connections to so many people. Because of the coronavirus, most temples and all of their activities will be closed for an extended period of time. It’s a frightening time when we are worried for ourselves, our friends, and our families. I feel very nervous and off-balance myself. At the time when we most need it, our usual ways of connecting are curtailed.

This is a time when the BWA Units and Uniteds can reach out in supportive ways to help our members. As our pledge says, “Following the teaching of ‘One World,’ I will spread the circle of Dharma friends.”

Some things we can do:

  • Write physical letters to members. Fun cards.
  • See if anyone needs support with groceries.
  • Make phone calls, especially to those who live alone.
  • Email and text those who have cell phones and internet.

Take care of yourself. If you usually exercise and don’t want to go to the gym, fitnessblender.com offers over 600 free workouts ranging from 5 minutes to an hour, and including stretching, yoga, aerobics, and strength training.

Twelve world-famous museums are offering free tours online, and the Met is streaming operas… a good chance for us to try something new!

Many temples are going to live stream their services during this time period. Headquarters is looking at this option, so stay tuned. The Buddhist Church of San Francisco has their services online.

Some of you may have to watch your grandchildren during this time of school closures. There are so many creative opportunities coming up online… free art lessons, actors reading children’s books, the Cleveland Zoo having a daily show about an animal with follow-up activities. If you want links to any of these, please let me know.

You always work so hard. This is a time to rest and care for yourself. If you have other suggestions, please share them.

In gassho,
Lois