Sensei Ulrich Engages Calgary

Sensei Ulrich played a major role at the 2010 Alberta Buddhist Conference. The Manitoba Buddhist Church minister opened the conference, with discussions on "Engaged Buddhism". He also closed the weekend's events by giving a dharma talk at the Sunday service.

Over one-thousand people took in the event on October 29-31, which included a Buddhist film festival and Calgary Buddhist Temple's Shinran Shonin's 750th Memorial celebration.


Calgary Buddhist Film Series

A note from our sister temple in Calgary:

32nd Annual Alberta Buddhist Conference
With Jodo Shinshu Internationally, our own Alberta Temples are together this year commemorating 750 years of the life and teachings of Shinran Shonin!

The Alberta 750 Conference is October 28th - 31st, 2010 in Calgary. This year will feature the Calgary Buddhist Film Festival, speakers on Engaged Buddhism (including Manitoba minister, Fredrich Ulrich), Buddhist discussion break-outs, art from local artists, and social activities for the young and young-at-heart! Through this Celebration, we hope to again set in motion the dharma through our Vision of 'living, learning and teaching a life of joy and gratitude through Jodo Shinshu Buddhism'.

If you are reading this, you are Invited and welcome!"

By the way, great poster for this year's Buddhist Film Series.


Hope and Healing

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Thurman on the Teachings of Buddhism

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Living Peace

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Jodo Shinshu BTC AGM

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Shin Buddhist Conference in Calgary

Forget the Stampede, Calgary was the place to be this summer to learn more about Shin Buddhism.

During the August long weekend, scholars from around the world attended the 13th Biennial International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies Conference. The event was hosted by Dr. Leslie Kawamura and the University of Calgary. Dr. Kawamura is also the Director of the Living Dharma Centre which is a part of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.

The gathering was open to all sects of Pure Land Buddhism, so not everyone there was Jodo Shinshu. This made for some interesting discussions between the various forms of Pure Land teachings from several countries. There were also very creative presentations. They included one on humour in Buddhism and in particular in Buddhist texts. It was presented by a Sensei from a remote part of Australia. A very isolated Buddhist, humor was his way of coping with his situation.

Many students attended from the Institute of Buddhist Studies located in California. They were interested in discussions about the past and the present situations in Buddhism.

Following the conference, one of the delegates, Dr. Kenneth Tanaka was invited to give a special presentation at the Calgary Buddhist Temple. Dr. Tanaka wrote the book "Ocean" which has become a classic in Shin Buddhism.

His personal feelings about Amida Buddha came through as he described the beauty of the giant redwoood trees in California. He explained that to appreciate and care about nature and the environment, we can also appreciate Amida in our daily lives. He believes that living a life of gratitude throught the Nembutsu, reciting "Namu Amida Butsu" will lead you to access the truth and vitality in Shin Buddhism.

Q: Why couldn't the Buddha vacuum under the sofa?
A: He had no attachments.

Throughout his talk, Dr. Tanaka lightened the mood with Buddhist humor while enlightening the audience on Shin spirituality. The event ended a weekend of listening and sharing the dharma.

More from the Buddhist Churches of Canada AGM

Delegates at the 2007 Annual General Meeting in Calgary voted to change the name of the Buddhist Churches of Canada. The new name will be the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada. Evolution brought about the change. Delegates wanted recognition of the Jodo Shinshu sect of Buddhism in the title and also have the word “church” removed. Following the Second World War, Japanese-Canadians used the word, “church” to assimilate their religion in Canadian society. The change in name will go into effect following approval by Industry Canada.

Sadly, the Board of Directors accepted the withdrawal and closing of the Alberta’s oldest temple. The Raymond Buddhist Church has closed its doors after 78 years. Raymond members will attend one of the remaining four Alberta temples. Together, they form the newly amalgamated Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta. The group has purchased land in the city of Lethbridge and hopes to complete construction of a new building in 2008.

Calgary also hosted the first gathering of representatives of the Living Dharma Centre. Led by Dr. Leslie Kawamura of Calgary, a Board of Directors was chosen to begin work on projects, programs, and activities propagating Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.

The BCC Women's Federation will continue to support a Jodo Shinshu Hospital in Kenya. BCCWF members appreciated the presentation by Rocky Oishi who had photographed Kenyan Buddhists in their activities.

The Ministerial Association introduced their theme for 2007. “Encounter the Dharma, Namo Amida Butsu” will include the creation of a full-size wall calendar. Sponsorships for each month of the calendar will be sold to raise money for the BCC Sustaining Fund.

The Vancouver Buddhist Temple will host the 2008 general meeting. If construction is complete on the new Buddhist temple in Lethbridge, Southern Albertans have volunteered to host the 2009 meeting with the Manitoba Buddhist Temple as a backup, if required.

The Spirit of Jodo Shinshu

Neither monk nor layperson - The Spirit of Jodo Shinshu
The slow fragmentation of Jodo Shinshu within the international scene is becoming more noticeable. In the North American context, attendance in temples is dwindling. In response to this, those organizations that are importing other forms of practice - Zen-style meditations, Hindu Yoga, Western Psychology, European Japanization - seem to be doing better.

Should this trend be of concern at all?
How might we respond to this trend - academically? sociologically? psychologically? culturally? linguistically? methodologically? ritually?
organizationally? historically?

The 13th Biennial International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies Conference will be held at the University of Calgary on August 3, 4, and 5.

Papers can be given in Japanese or in English. Registration of $100 US or $110 CDN. includes book of abstracts, collection of papers, conference coffee breaks and lunches (on Friday and Saturday), an conference dinner on Saturday evening. Abstracts for papers will be received until June 5 and full papers until June 30. On Sunday an optional trip to Lake Louise and lunch at the Banff Springs Hotel is planned at extra cost.

Registration form containing information on Hotel and University Residence can be obtained by e-mailing Dr. Leslie Kawamura, Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary:

Thanks to Calgary

Recently, we were in Calgary for the Buddhist Churches of Canada annual general meeting. One of the changes that came out of that meeting was that the BCC will change its name to the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada (JSBTC).

The Manitoba Buddhist Temple would like to thank all the organizers and volunteers in Calgary for their work that weekend. They were wonderful hosts and now, good friends.

One of the ideas we heard that interested us, was creating a Buddhist Film Festival. The Calgary Buddhist Temple organized one last year that was a big success. It was held at a public library and included discussions about the films. Would the general public in Winnipeg be interested in an event like this?

Here's an example of an International Buddhist Film Festival in Singapore. I would attend just to see Lisa Simpson on the big screen. In the meantime, here she is on the computer screen.

We would also like to thank Calgary for creating at link on their web site to us. So right back at you, go to the Calgary Buddhist Temple web site for more information on Jodo Shinshu Buddhism in the Calgary area.