Shinran Shonin’s Wish for Us and the World

Earlier this year, the Buddhist Churches of America's celebrated their 750th Memorial Observance of Shinran Shonin San Jose, California. The keynote speaker was Rev. Dr. Kenneth Tanaka of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies. His talk was entitled “Shinran Shonin’s Wish for Us and the World: From Inner Peace to Outer Peace”.

In his speech, Rev. Tanaka encourages North American Buddhists to look ahead to the future. He pays tribute to the past, recognizes the good work being done currently and how we should move forward in the future. He also tells us that there is a new spiritual reality growing in America, one that de-emphasizes God, sin, and repentance and emphasizes connectedness, peace, and harmony. This shift favours Buddhism because of its rituals and practises.

Tanaka tells us that we need to be innovative and have a greater emphasis on meditation, chanting, silence and the act of offering incense. He encourages more discussion on the teachings of Jodo Shinshu.

Dr. Tanaka says that Jodo Shinshu congregations must send a message to the general public that our temples are open for business to everyone, all cultural groups and all nationalities. And that the family-based quality of our religion is precious and will serve us well in the future.

He concluded that we can make Shinran's wish for the world come true. Enjoy.