How did our bright dawn Bodhi leaf logo come about?
Cary Okano Mays (Rev. Koyo’s niece) was asked to design a logo for Bright Dawn Institute
and, while on a spiritual pilgrimage in India, had an inspiration for our logo. She
used a leaf shape based on an actual leaf from a descendant of the original Bodhi
tree that Siddartha Gautama sat under when he realized Enlightenment over 2,500 years
ago. Cary then added the rays of a dawning sun in the middle of the leaf shape. The
color yellow was chosen because it can represent the sunrise and also was the color
of Gautama Buddha's followers' robes during his time.
What are the meanings of the Bodhi leaf and bright dawn themes in our logo?
Bodhi means wisdom or enlightenment. Enlightenment is the central theme in Buddhism.
The sun symbolizes the light of the Dharma Teachings which enables us to see life
clearly. The themes of the Bodhi leaf and of bright dawn are particularly relevant
for our organization. The translation of the Chinese calligraphy for Gyomay (GYO
MEI) is "bright dawn".
Rev. Gyomay Kubose lived each day as a new day. His way of living was always so fresh
and full of joy. He did not hold grudges or stay attached to negative past events.
With humility and gratitude, he shone like the sun on people and things unconditionally.
It can be said that Bright Dawn means the same thing as to keep one's "Beginner's
Mind" (i.e. the Buddha's Mind).
The Bodhi leaf theme fits in with Rev. Gyomay Kubose's closeness with nature. Rev.
Kubose really loved plants and gardening. Just as nature is about naturalness and
the reality of life, Rev. Kubose lived such a natural life with no artificial pretensions.
For the family of the late Rev. Gyomay Kubose, the bright dawn Bodhi leaf logo elicits
a potent emotional response with deep spiritual meaning. We want to share this with
The Dharma is My Rock
By Rev. Koyo S. Kubose
Many things are happening
In my life right now.
Underlying it all
The Dharma is my Rock.
Beyond sorrow and joy
The Dharma is whispering
Everything is Okay,
Even when things are not going okay.
Eyes full of tears,
Heart heavy with pain,
Stone therapy helps me see
The Suchness of all things.
Being embraced by the Dharma
I will live a life of Oneness
Where the Universal and Infinite
Touch the particular and finite.
Yes, I will struggle;
Yes, things may not turn out
Exactly the way I would like.
Yet, I will keep going with a smile
Because I know
The Dharma is my Rock.
This poem, composed by Kubose Koyo Sensei, is now affixed to the side of Alter Rock,
an outside location used for religious services and the annual Induction of Bright
Dawn Lay Ministers.