My U Mandara Ke

U Mandara Ke is a phrase from the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra. It is one of my favorite parts of Gongyo. It can be translated as "heavenly flowers fall like rain." It can be interpreted to mean "being showered with blessings".

Now for my little story:
We were at the biggest and best plant store in our area, buying trees, shrubs, and flowers for the temple.

I had always wanted a cherry tree for my front yard, so I asked one of the people who worked there: "What kind of cherry tree is planted at the Tidal Basin?" (In Washington DC, facing the Jefferson Memorial is small lake surrounded by cherry trees. The small lake is called the Tidal Basin and is a great tourist attraction.)

He told me they were called "Yoshino" cherries. I asked if they had any there. He showed me a skinny tree that was about as tall as I am.

After planting the trees, shrubs, and flowers at the temple, I came home and planted the cherry tree in my yard and named it "Hiro Yoshino." I always liked the name "Hiro" and since it was a Yoshino cherry, Yoshino seemed like a good last name.

Oddly, a month later a man moved to our area and became our chapter chief. His name is Hiro Yoshino. He is a great guy.

Over the years, the tree in my front yard grew into the largest cherry tree I have ever seen.

In the early spring, when all the other trees are still barren, it bursts with pinkish white blossoms.

Then a few weeks later, the blossoms rain down, swirling, and twirling covering every thing in pink.

My U Mandara Ke.