Sunday, June 24, 2007

Pure Land Lecture at Nishi-Hongwanji

At yesterday’s lecture at Nishi-Hongwanji, we had not only a sizeable attendance, but also quite an interesting mix of people, including a Sanskrit scholar, a New Zealand Jodoshu priest, and a Christian minister.

Reverend Sammi Kiribayashi, Chief Administrator of Fukuoka City’s Nishi-Hongwanji and former Minister at Vancouver Buddhist Church, spoke for 30 minutes on the basic tenets of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, presented a short sutra reading, and followed with a 30-minute question and answer session. Following the formal end of the day’s program, there was still much to say and people to meet and conversations in smaller groups continued for another half hour. In the evening, four participants in the lecture attended the weekly zazen sitting at Myokoji.

This all came about as a result of my February/March trip to Nepal. At that time I was looking ahead and anticipating living again in Fukuoka, lamenting the absence of an international Buddhist community. So why not see if I can help start one, I thought, and put an advertisement at an online forum for Fukuoka foreigners. It turns out there were more Buddhists around me than I ever imaged and with just a little work and introduction to the Reverend from one of our members was able yesterday to stage our first event.

Onward and upward.



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