What I did on my Summer Vacation

In July 2014 , Anthony Chor of Vancouver, B.C. attended the Young Buddhist International Cultural Study Exchange reunion in Berkeley, California. It was an opportunity to reunite with friends he met five years earlier on a trip to the Hongwanji in Kyoto. Anthony attended the event with the assistance of the JSBTC Living Dharma Centre.

Trip Report by Anthony Chor, YBICSE 2014

Sensei Kuwahara, Anthony Chor, and Socho Aoki

In 2009, I went to Japan on YBICSE (Young Buddhist International Cultural Study Exchange) for which I am extremely grateful for.

Five years later, I had the wonderful opportunity of going to the Jodo Shinshu Center in Berkeley for the YBICSE reunion where past YBICSE participants got to meet up with old friends and meet new ones to share experiences and create new memories.


We learned things like setting up the naijin (the obupan goes over your head to keep it away from your breath), how to properly ring the kansho (imagine a journey up and down the hills of San Francisco), and the role of the chant leader (chosho/doshin is always right).

And much like at the Hongwanji, each day started with a morning service where we used our new-found knowledge to take part in each of the services.


One final highlight of the reunion was the Mountainview Obon. In preparation, we created Obon dances. The gentlemen created a snappy, rather dapper dance to “Happy” [Pharrell Williams], while the ladies danced the story of YBICSE to “Rather Be” [Clean Bandit]. “Rather Be” quickly became the anthem of the weekend (“With every step we take, Kyoto to the Bay”).


We also made our own FAN-tastic uchiwa in preparation for the Mountainview Obon... which... was... HUGE!

With three crowded lines, a mid-center stage, and a live band – saxophones and singers included – the Obon was phenomenal! (They played this great jazz rendition of tanko bushi.)

And what is a Jodo Shinshu event without food? We shared dining experiences including a blind-mute meal where half of us were blindfolded while the other half could see but couldn't speak. That was a really neat (and quiet) experience! We also experienced delicious ramen prepared by the Senseis!

Without Aoki Socho and Kuwahara Sensei’s enthusiasm with YBICSE, none of this would have happened. The organizing committee created a fantastic, dharmarific weekend. “When I am with you, there's no place I'd rather be.”

Vancouver Hosts 2014 AGM

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Minister Asst. R. Akune, Rev. M. Hayashi, Rev. J. Martin, Bishop T. Aoki, Rev. Y. Izumi, Rev. Y. Myakawa, Rev. T. Fuji, Minster Asst. Roy Akune, Minister Asst. j. Yuasa

Delegates and Ministers from across Canada met at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for the 2014 Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada - Annual General Meeting on April 25, 26 & 27, 2014.

The three-day event brought together the many volunteers who continue to promote the teachings and understanding of Buddhism in Canada.

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Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple

The meeting also marked the 110th Anniversary of the founding of the JSBTC and the the 35th Anniversary of the raising of the Vancouver Buddhist Temple building.

Among the highlights of the weekend, the board of directors confirmed Rev. Tatsuya Aoki from Vancouver to continue as the Bishop of Canada. Among his many responsibilities will be heading up the Canadian delegation as they host the 2015 World Women’s Buddhist Convention in Calgary, Alberta.

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Rev. Fredrich Ulrich and his wife Kiyoko

Special guest, Rev. Fredrich Ulrich was recognized for his 24 years of service with the JSBTC. Ulrich recently retired after serving 15 years with the Manitoba Buddhist Temple in Winnipeg.

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Entertainment at the Saturday evening banquet

The Women’s Federation held simultaneous meetings as planning continues leading up the World Women’s Buddhist Convention next year. President, Susan Huntley updated the board and delegates on preparations for the event as it reaches the one year countdown.

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JSBTC Women’s Federation

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Official instalment of the JSBTC Board of Directors for 2014

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Tsuito Hoyo Closing Sunday Service

Thanks to all the volunteers at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple for accommodating this important annual event. Next year’s AGM will be hosted by the Steveston Buddhist Temple.

A New Beginning

Shimmon Kojun Ohtani, the next Head Minister of the Hongwanji-ha

In preparation for the 750th Memorial for Shinran Shonin observance at Hongwanji (Kyoto, Japan) this year, the overseas districts including mainland U.S. (Buddhist Churches of America, BCA), Hawaii, South America, and Canada have each conducted the memorial in their respective district. The overseas memorial observances wrapped up last year in Canada, where special services were held at each of the four local districts.

In September, the British Columbia district observed its memorial observance with the attendance by Shimmon Kojun Ohtani, the next Head Minister of the Hongwanji. With the older members who had overcome great hardships, as well as newcomers just beginning to learn more about Shinshu and Buddhism, coming together for the Memorial, it is hoped that this will be the start of a new beginning.

As the first Japanese immigrants landed on Canadian soil in 1877, it was said that many of the hardships were overcome through the spiritual support of the Nembutsu. Coming from areas in Japan where Jodo Shinshu had been flourishing, many of the men who eventually became fishermen or farmers were supported by their religious faith. However, without a temple to go to the Japanese felt a void and sent a request to Hongwanji for a minister. In 1905, Hongwanji dispatched Rev. Senju Sasaki as the first minister to Canada district and a lodging facility in Vancouver was renovated into a temple.

A century has passed since overcoming the many hardships along the way including the confiscation of the temple building during WWII and forced removal of the Japanese from the coastal region sending them further inland where harsh living conditions were waiting. Having lost their jobs, personal possessions, and property, it took many of them awhile before being able to return to the west coast. Despite being offered only low paying jobs, they worked hard and pulled together in rebuilding the Vancouver Buddhist Temple and a new temple in Steveston.

With the memorial for Shinran Shonin conducted once every fifty years, members of Canada district gathered at the Steveston Buddhist Temple on September 29 for the district’s observance of the memorial. The chanting was officiated by Shimmon Kojun Ohtani. A youth gathering was held on the 28th in conjunction to the observance.

With the increase in interracial marriages and Christianity as the basis of the public education system, the foundation of the Japanese community in Canada is on the verge of crumbling. In the midst of these transitions, propagation work must now be able to adapt and cater to both the needs of the Japanese and non-Japanese membership.

With the BCA youth study programs as a hint, the Young Buddhist Association (YBA) of Vancouver Buddhist Temple has been conducting a program educating the temple youth on Buddhist and Shinshu teachings for the past four years. Resident minister, Rev. Tatsuya Aoki comments “There is never a better time than now to learn (about Buddhism and Jodo Shinshu).” In addition to the weekly study sessions, Aoki and neighbouring Steveston Buddhist Temple resident minister, Rev. Grant Ikuta, are currently putting together an overnight mini retreat program that is scheduled to be offered twice annually, focusing on Buddhist rituals and liturgy.

Austin Fisher, who commutes by bus for an hour and a half to the temple shares, “My parents are Christians. But in reflecting on world peace, I found the way that Buddhism teaches the importance of respecting the lives of one another to be appealing.”

Vancouver Buddhist Temple member David Ohori comments, “To my grandfather and great-grandfather, the temple was important to them as if it were their own life.” Ohori and his mother, Junko are glad to see the youth coming to the temple and learning about the teaching.
The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is faced with a shortage of ministers as the four local districts of British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, and Eastern district currently consisting of twelve temples are being overseen by ten ministers.

The truth is, whether it may be the temple or people interested in learning about Buddhism, it is difficult to cater to everyone’s needs with the shortage of ministers. There is hope for our future if members from our youth program become ministers, new temples become established in this vast area of Canada, and more people can come to appreciate the Nembutsu, Aoki said.

It was one hundred thirty-four years ago that the first Japanese travelled across to Canada. Today, third and fourth generation Japanese Canadians with an interest in Buddhism gather at the temple. The Nembutsu is also beginning to grow within the non-Japanese who until now had no encounter with Buddhism.

Aoki closed by saying, “With the memorial observance as the opportunity, the Nembutsu torch of our forefathers is now being passed on to the next generation.”

Walking Meditation

The British Columbia Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples Federation (BCJSBTF) consisting of temples in Steveston, Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Kamloops. Kelowna and Vernon held their annual convention on Saturday, September 25th and Sunday, September 26th at the Steveston Buddhist Temple.

As part of the convention, a 750 minute (12 & ½ hours) walking meditation relay took place from Saturday at 8:30 to Sunday at 9:00am.

The event was to commemorate the memory of Shinran Shonin (1173-1263), a Japanese Buddhist practitioner from the 12th century and the founder of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

The 750 minutes represented a remembrance of the 750 years since the passing of Shinran.

Some 100 individuals took part in the relay in his memory and it is wonderful to report that there were participants at all times even in the wee hours of Sunday morning. These early morning relay spots were taken naturally by our youth who would lead the 2:00am service.

Participants recited Namu Amida Butsu as they walked slowly around the perimeter of the hondo. Many of the participants wrote the names of loved ones they wished to remember and honour on sheets of paper and placed them on the pews so they could reflect on them each time they passed by. Participants walked various durations from 20 minutes to several hours. Some used timer candles to mark the duration of their walk.

These walks represented an abbreviated version of the practices by Shinran and other monks on Mt. Hiei. Shinran originally practiced a form of walking meditation as a young monk on Mt. Hiei, near present-day Kyoto, Japan. Monks would take turns walking in two-hour blocks, continuously chanting the name of the Buddha Amida, with beautiful rhythm and tone. The practise would continue throughout the day and night for 90 days.

After the walk, the participants were able to rest quietly in the gym or the classroom and have some tea, water, onigiri or pastries prepared by the SBT Fujinkai.

The walking meditation itself works in multiple registers: it is a basic form of self-cultivation and purification of the mind, it is an expression of gratitude for those who have come before us, and it is a difficult practice helping to loosen the bonds of ego and self-reliance, an opportunity to be opened to the true nature of this world and the compassion of the Amida Buddha. The participants all experienced these benefits from the meditation in varying degrees.

Everyone who participated were grateful to have had the opportunity to remember and thank Shinran Shonin and relatives and friends who had passed away.

Many thanks to Elmer, Greg, Joanne and Naomi who took on the inspiration from Reverend Dennis Fujimoto of the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple to create this Nembutsu walking meditation relay experience.

Steveston 750th Memorial Convention

Six BC-based Jodo Shinshu Buddhist temples are also holding their annual convention at the Steveston Buddhist Temple.

All interested are invited to join in  as we walk for 10, 20, 30 minutes or more in a 750 minute relay starting at 8:30pm on Saturday September 25th, 2010. Please take a look this video to see what the Nembutsu Walking Meditation Relay is all about.

For more information about the walking meditation and the 750th Memorial of Shinran Sh┼Źnin in the Vancouver area, please contact sbtwalkingmeditation@gmail.com.

As part of the 750th Memorial events in Vancouver, Professor Reverend Mark Unno will be lecturing on Shin Buddhism and Inter-religious Dialogue at The University of British Columbia.


Shin Buddhism in Inter-religous Dialogue

Mark T. Unno
East Asian Religions, Japanese Buddhism
Associate Professor

Biographical Information
Ph.D., 1994, Stanford; M.A., 1991, Stanford; B.A. Oberlin, 1987. (2000)

Professor Unno's interests lie in Medieval Japanese Buddhism, specifically in the relation between intellectual history and social practices. He also researches and has published in the areas of modern Japanese religious thought, comparative religion, and Buddhism and psychotherapy.

He is the author of Shingon Refractions: Myoe and the Mantra of Light, an study and translation of the medieval Japanese ritual practice of the Mantra of Light. He is also the translator of Hayao Kawai, The Buddhist Priest Myoe-A Life of Dreams (Lapis Press, 1992) and author of over a dozen articles in English and Japanese including: "Questions in the Making - A Review Essay on Zen Buddhist Ethics in the Context of Buddhist and Comparative Ethics," Journal of Religious Ethics (Fall 1999); "Myoe Koben and the Komyo Shingon dosha kanjinki: The Ritual of Sand and the Mantra of Light," study and translation, in Re-visioning "Kamakura" Buddhism, edited by Richard Payne (Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1998); and "Divine Madness-Exploring the Boundaries of Modern Japanese Religion," Zen Buddhism Today 10.

Member, Executive Board, Society for Buddhist-Christian Studies; Editorial Board, Journal of Religious Ethics; former Executive Board member, ASIANetwork. Member, Association for Asian Studies, American Academy of Religion, Society for Asian and Comparative Philosophy, International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies.


An Olympian LDC Manning Park Family Retreat in 2010!

We did it, all of us, all 105 participants of this year's LDC Manning Park Family Retreat!

This Olympic year was marked by the strong presence of young adults and youth attendees and organizers. Participants from Kelowna, Kamloops, Vancouver, Steveston, Fraser Valley, Vernon, Washington and Calgary all gathered to meet old friends and make new ones. This year you joined 54 adults, 30 youth (13-25) and 21 children (12 and under) and one lonely black bear to share an incredible weekend of great food, profound dharma sessions, exciting activities and most of all wonderful company!

Whether you participated in the morning walks through the forest, sat in on the services, sang along with "I Believe", took a dip in the pool, lit the campfire, flipped some steaks on the barbeque, threw a bocci ball, chased a ground squirrel, decorated a bike, attended a social, discussed the dharma, or simply gathered together in a cabin with your friends, we truly hope you had an extraordinary experience at our very own Olympic Games! 

Please take this opportunity to share the spirit of the weekend with your friends and family who did not have a chance to come out to Manning Park this year. I've attached a couple of pictures. Please also send your memories or pictures to retreat.vbt@gmail.com.

The poem, I am Thankful, read by Dr. Bob Akune in his Dharma talk is at http://www.joke-archives.com/inspire/iamthankfulfor.html

We all join in gratitude to the LivingDharmaCentre, BCJSBCF and Women's League for their financial and moral support of this year's event.

Your participation has inspired the members of the Organizing Committee with renewed vigour to make next year's retreat even better.  Please let us know if you would like to be a part of organizing next year's retreat.

Thank you for your invaluable contribution to make this retreat truly memorable.

Your LDC Manning Park Retreat 2010 Organizing Committee

2009 Manning Park Retreat

Clear skies and warm rays of sunshine touched our bodies throughout the day and dark, chilly nights with bright twinkling stars brightened our evenings.

During the Manning Park Family Retreat everyone greeted each other with warm smiles. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, meeting old friends and making new ones.

This LDC (Living Dharma Centre) sponsored program took place May 16-18 at the beautiful Manning Park in BC. It was attended by 112 participants including 62 adults, 26 youth (13-25), 16 children (6-12) and 8 children (5 and under). We were also honoured to have the presence of six Sensei’s who prepared seminars and dharma talks. 

The LDC, JSBTC (Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada) and our BCJSBCF (British Columbia Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Churches Federation) graciously provided funding to have local Sensei’s and their families attend.

Everyone helped to prepare, cook, cleanup and eat the fantastic meals during the weekend. The menu was unexpectedly enhanced with Kaz's home made soup. The youth entertained with a scavenger hunt, hide and go seek "Sardine Tag” and a create your own story/solve the mystery game called “Mafia”. The sunny afternoon was filled with a sports tournament including bocce ball, bedrock golf, horseshoes and ping pong. Bicycle decorations lead up to a grand parade and, like so many others in the past, Sora and Courtenay celebrated cycling without training wheels.

Mornings started with Nature Walks with Sensei Akune with an astounding attendance of 62 participants. After sewing chickens, adults finished their evenings by letting their chins wag and wet their lips with some rotted grapes. Workshops included self-defence, quiet sitting mediation, dharma discourse, self lead dharma discussions and gatha review.

A Buddhist Leader in Canada Retires

He was the first Canadian-raised minister to head the largest Buddhist organization in Canada and now, after faithfully serving the Buddhist community for over five decades, Reverend Susumu Kyojo Ikuta is retiring.

Kyojo Ikuta was born Kyoto, Japan in 1926. At the age of ten, his family immigrated to Canada. He grew up in New Westminster, B.C. with his mother, Mino and four siblings. Kyojo Ikuta would continue the work of his father, Rev. Shinjo Ikuta. The senior Ikuta was an early pioneer Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Minister.

During WWII, like all Japanese-Canadians living on the Canadian west coast, the Ikuta family was removed from B.C. during the internment of people with Japanese ancestry. The Ikuta family was relocated to Raymond, Alberta and Susuma spent his teenage years working on a sugar beet farm. The uprooting almost ended Japanese Buddhism and institutional Buddhism in Canada. But, the hard times would lead to a spiritual re-awakening. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Alberta would eventually become the most important place for Buddhism in Canada and would further become the birthplace of the academic study of Buddhism in all of North America.

The lifting of the War Measures Act in 1949 restored freedom to those who were interned. And while some Japanese Buddhists returned to BC, many would stay in Alberta. Kyojo explored this new freedom and attended the University of Toronto where he received his Masters in Philosophy. His quest for spiritual knowledge would continue. He attended and received his kyoshi (minister training) at Ryukoku University in Japan. During this time, he also met his wife, Teruko.

With his new bride, Reverend Kyojo Ikuta returned to Canada and was first assigned to work at the Kelowna Buddhist Temple. He later moved to the Vancouver Buddhist Church were he resided until 1965. Further studies brought him back to Japan, where Rev. Ikuta obtained his PhD in Buddhism. 

Sensei Ikuta with family and friends at the JSBTC 2008 AGM in Vancouver

Rev. Ikuta returned to Canada in 1970, and served as the Head Minister of the Calgary Buddhist Temple. In 1998, he was elected to become the Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. The Bishop was the spiritual leader of temple ministers and reported to the Hongwanji, the mother temple in Kyoto, Japan. Rev. Ikuta later returned to the Calgary Buddhist Temple and was the Head Minister until his retirement in 2008.
During his time in Calgary, Rev. Ikuta also became a business entrepreneur opening many restaurants, including the successful “Edo Japan” franchise. Always caring for his small congregation, he created this venture so that the Calgary temple was able to have a full-time minister, without the burden of his income.
Full of energy, and devotion to the dharma, Rev. Ikuta lectured and promoted Buddhism across Alberta. He introduced study clubs on Buddhism and engaged in pastoral care. He wrote and published articles and books. He also taught at Calgary’s Mount Royal College. Also a fifth degree black belt, he was instrumental in bringing the Japanese sport of kendo to Calgary. But above all, his proudest accomplishment are his four children, Grant, Lester, Mari and Roland.

Rev. James Martin, once a student of Rev. Ikuta, has respectfully succeeded Sensei Ikuta at the Calgary Buddhist Temple.


Jodo Shinshu Family Retreat - May 16-18, 2009

Enjoy the natural and friendly surroundings of the Manning Park located in the heart of the Cascade Mountain range in the interior of British Columbia. Enjoy a weekend designed to promote fellowship within and between the various groups, families and ages attending. Participate in activities, lectures and workshops. This will be a time of community sharing and learning.

The event is open to anyone who is curious about or interested in the teachings of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

Accomodations will be community style with shared chalets and hotel rooms. When requesting your group to stay together, please submit all names on one registration form. Organizers will try to accommodate your requests and use discretion being mindful of other guests.

Guests will bring their own protein to the Saturday, March 18 dinner bbq. All other meals will be provided as planned by the organizing committee. All guests will sign up for meal preparation, cooking and cleanup duties. Please let us know if any member of your group has food allergies. Local guests are welcome to bring home-made desserts to share.

Prior to the weekend, the organizers will be looking for volunteers to design and conduct events.

Manning Park Resort is just 3 hours from Vancouver and 2 ½ hours from Kelowna. Participants are responsible for their own travel to Manning Park.

Registration is during the afternoon of Saturday, May 16 and closing services will end by 11am on Monday, May 18. Inquire about registration fees, and Early Bird rates. Early registration fees are discounted for registrations received with payment (by cheque) by January 23, 2009. Final Registration must be received with payment by March 15, 2009. All cheques payable to “Vancouver Buddhist Temple”

*Discounted rate apply for adult members of the JSBTC (Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada), BCA (Buddhist Churches of America), Hawaii Kyodan and members of any affiliate of the Nishi Hongwanji.

sponsored by:
The Living Dharma Centre

Hosted by:
Vancouver Buddhist Temple
220 Jackson Ave.
Vancouver, BC
V6A 3B3

To request a registration form or if you have any questions, contact the Vancouver Buddhist Temple,
(604) 253-7033
Fax: (604) 253-7076

Email: retreat.vbt@gmail.com

Now on DVD

Sensei Bob Oshita of the Buddhist Church of Sacramento is one of the many speakers that has been recorded by the Living Dharma Centre. HIs lecture is one of many available to watch and listen to. In this excerpt, Sensei Oshita breaks down Buddhism into one word, "impermanence".

Sensei Oshita graduated from U.C. Berkley, attended the Institute for Buddhist Studies, and has studied in Japan and with many teachers from diverse Buddhist traditions. Contact your nearest Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temple of your LDC representitive for more information to receive or watch this DVD.

West Coast Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples 2008 Lecture Series

Learn more about Buddhism as the West Coast Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples begin their 2008 Lecture Series.
Jodo Shinshu teachers from all over North American have been invited to speak at Vancouver area temples throughout the year.
We hope you can attend this FREE lecture series to get a better understanding of Buddhism.

Buddhism for Dummies

Saturday, January 12, 2008 from 9:30am-11:30am
Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Ave. Vancouver, BC
Speaker: Rev. Bob Oshita

Rev. Bob Oshita of the Buddhist Church of Sacramento has administered Dharma services to the 1,000 member community there for 13 years. He was ordained in 1973 in the Jodo-Sinshu tradition and has taught for 22 years.

Rev. Oshita graduated from U.C. Berkley, attended the Institute for Buddhist Studies, and has studied in Japan and with many teachers from diverse Buddhist traditions. He is highly treasured by his sangha for his energetic style and his compassion.

The Importance of “Self" in Amida Buddha
Friday, April 4, 2008 at 7:00pm
University of British Columbia, Thea Koerner House (Graudate Student Centre) located next to Asian Studies Centre.
(Parking is available at either the Chan Centre or the Asian Studies Centre, 6371 Crescent Road on the corner of West Mall and Crescent Road)
Speaker Dr. Leslie Kawamura

Reverend Dr. Leslie Kawamura is currently a full professor of Buddhism in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary. He is also the Director of the Buddhist Churches of Canada - Living Dharma Centre.

Since becoming a member of the Department of Religious Studies in 1976, Leslie Kawamura has devoted ceaseless efforts to promoting the study of Asian cultures and to fostering an interest in Asia within the University and Calgary communities. He has been instrumental in the established of connections between the University and individuals and institutions in Asia.

Buddhism for Beginners (1)
Saturday, April 5, 2008 at 2:00pm
Steveston Buddhist Temple, 4360 Garry St, Richmond, BC
Speaker: Reverend Ronald Kobata, Buddhist Churches of America

Sensei Kobata graduated with a bachelor's degree from Berkeley, and has his master's from the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He has been assigned to various Buddhist temples in Washington and Hawaii.
Kobata was most recently assigned to Makawao Hongwanji temple in Maui, Hawaii and appointed in Feb. 2005 as executive assistant to Bishop Koshin Ogui.

Finding One Self in the Vows of Amida Buddha
Saturday, April 12, 2008 from 9:30-11:30am
Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Ave. Vancouver, BC
Speaker: Reverend Gregory Gibbs, Oregon Buddhist Temple (Portland)

Gregory G. Gibbs was a resident minister at Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple from 1994-2001. He served at the Idaho-Oregon Buddhist Temple from 2003-2005.

He is a graduate of the Institute of Buddhist Studies (M.A. in Buddhist Studies and Master of Jodo Shinshu Studies) and an active member of the North American Branch of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies. His publications include, "Understanding Shinran and the Burden of the Traditional Dogmatics" (The Eastern Buddhist, Fall, 1997), and "Shinjin as a Transformation in Personal Identity" (The Pure Land, 1998).

Buddhism for Beginners (2)
Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 7:30-9:30pm
Steveston Buddhist Temple, Richmond, BC
Speaker: Reverend Masao Kodani, Senshin Buddhist Temple, Los Angeles, CA

After graduating from Centennial High School, Reverend Kodani attended the University of California at Santa Barbara where he earned his degree in East Asian Studies. While at UC Santa Barbara, he became close with Reverend Art Takemoto of Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Through Rev. Takemoto’s influence, Kodani traveled to Japan to study Buddhism at Ryukoku University.

After his studies were completed, he returned to the United States and was assigned to the Senshin Buddhist Temple in South Central Los Angeles.

Gathering of Joy
Friday, July 11, 2008 at 7:00-9:00pm
Vancouver Buddhist Temple, 220 Jackson Ave. Vancouver, BC
Speaker: Reverend Ronald Kobata, Buddhist Churches of America

Sensei Kobata graduated with a bachelor's degree from Berkeley, and has his master's from the Institute of Buddhist Studies. He has been assigned to various Buddhist temples in Washington and Hawaii.
Kobata was most recently assigned to Makawao Hongwanji temple in Maui, Hawaii and appointed in Feb. 2005 as executive assistant to Bishop Koshin Ogui.

Buddhism for Beginners (3)
Saturday, October 25, 2008 at 2:00-4:00pm
Steveston Buddhist Temple, 4360 Garry St, Richmond, BC
Speaker: Reverend Thomas Okano, Bishop Hawaii Honpa Hongwanji Mission, Honolulu, Hawaii

Thomas Okano is the 15th Bishop of the Hawaii Honpa Hongwanji. The Hawaii Honpa is the largest organization of Buddhist temples in the State of Hawaii.

Previously, he was the Director of the Buddhist Study Centre at the University of Hawaii. He is recognized as a talented scholar and a wise, compassionate administrator.

Presented by the West Coast Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples:

Fraser Valley Buddhist Temple
Abbotsford, BC

Steveston Buddhist Temple
4360 Garry St. Richmond, BC

Vancouver Buddhist Temple
220 Jackson Ave. Vancouver, BC

Coming Soon on DVD...

In order to have all temples enjoy prominent speakers of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism, the LDC has requested the Steveston and Vancouver Buddhist Temples to record the lectures of Sensei LaVerne Sasaki formerly of the Buddhist Church of San Francisco in September.

The Toronto Buddhist Temple, hosted Professor Duncan Williams from the University of California, Berkeley in September. Both lectures were recorded and will also be made available in the near future.


Visit to Vancouver Buddhist Temple

On the Sunday following the BCC Executive Meeting, I was able to share in the Sunday morning service at the Vancouver Buddhist Temple. During the service, two Dharma School students sat with Sensei Aoki and me and led the congregation in Sutra Chanting. It was a wonderful learning experience. The service was particularly exciting for me, because I was able to share with those present my wish to have as many followers of the Nembutsu attend the 750th Anniversary Celebration of our founder, Shinran.