Guidebook of Life?

Life, I find, is much like my orchids: I was given them as gifts, and they bloom despite (in spite of?)  my cat. I’ve tended my various plants; watering, feeding, shifting them around to the ‘best’ spots … and they bloom … most of them anyway. It’s a complicated affair, this life, this ‘gift’ we are given. There are, of course, guidebooks, to advise us about what to eat and when, what to refrain from eating, the best places to be. And there are the other guidebooks: our religious texts, that tell us what we need to feed our souls, what to withhold, our place in this world (and the next). We have come to believe we can do it all by ourselves: after all, we have The Guidebook, if we just follow that! But as I look around, it seems to me all these ‘guidebooks’ have failed us. Despite (in spite of) them, all those mischievous ‘cats’ of hunger, poverty, mistrust and war are still madly nipping at our ankles! But we love our cats, don’t we? The answer, I think, lies somewhere in the all of it? I’d like to talk with you about it…

Sensei Andrew (Jiyo) Agacki was inducted a Buddhist Minister in 2008, under the Rev. Koyo Kubose. Since 2002, he has delivered sermons to many of the UU congregations throughout Wisconsin and upper Illinois. A graduate of The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, he continues to be associated with the institution, helping to teach classes on Buddhist practices, ethics and history. Currently, Sensei Jiyo is in the process of setting up an inter-denominational Sangha at the UW-Milwaukee campus.