Oakland Buddhist Church

Great article from Oakland North, a website created by U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The page focuses on the Oakland Buddhist Church, its history and how the temple serve as a "point of community" for Japanese-Americans. It also serves as primer on Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

Members stroll in early to Dharma Family Service, which takes place on Sundays in the hondo.

The gong-like sound of a bell called a Kansho reverberates throughout the hondo. The conversations in the room begin to trail off. After a few more strikes and silent pauses, the bell is hit rapidly. The chatter fades to a silence and the only sound left in the room is the lingering ring.The bell stops.Three ministers, all men, are dressed in long black robes. Around their necks, they each have a kesa, tightly folded cloth made from the robes that Buddhist monks traditionally wear. They sit in chairs on the sides of the altar and begin to chant. Their voices together create a drone that engulfs the room.

The item goes on to explain the 108 year history of the congregation and how the temple has evolved as the community around it has changed. The current minister at the Oakland Buddhist Church is Rev. Harry Bridge.

It features some great photos and sound, a recording of Nembutsu chanting.