Buddhism of the Heart

Discover how Shin Buddhism may have become the religion “best adapted to life in North America.”

Learn how your life can be full of grace, despite blind ambitions and foolish passions, by just entrusting ourselves to the compassion that exists in our interdependent universe.

Saturday, June 11th, 7:00pm at the Manitoba Buddhist Temple, 39 Tecumseh Street.
Admission is free. Donations accepted.

Jeff Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and East Asian Studies at Renison University College at the University of Waterloo. He is also the founder of the “Buddhism in the West” program unit at the American Academy of Religion and author of numerous books and articles on the development of Buddhism in North America. His most recent books include: Mourning the Unborn Dead: A Buddhist Ritual Comes to America (Oxford University Press 2009) and Buddhism of the Heart: Reflections on Shin Buddhism and Inner Togetherness (Wisdom Publications 2009). His next book, with University of North Carolina Press, will examine Buddhism in the American South.

Leader in Buddhist Studies Dies

Dr. Leslie Kawamura — one of the titans of modern Buddhist Studies, Professor of Religious Studies and Holder of the Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary – has died. --DannyFisher.org

Even in his final days, Rev. Leslie Kawamura expressed his desire for the growth and flourishing of Jodo Shinshu Buddhism. He was determined to be in Winnipeg for our Hanamatsuri service. Sadly, Rev. Kawamura became ill and passed away in March 9, 2011.

Rev. Kawamura championed and supported new ideas. He leaves the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada - Living Dharma Centre having put in place a minister in training, a new youth retreat program, Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course graduates, a library of video lectures, the Manning Park Retreat, Dharma School programs, lay minister training and other ongoing programs and relationships within our community and with the broader spiritual community. 

He will be greatly missed.


Future of Buddhism in North America

Charles Prebish discusses current and future trends of Buddhism in North America at a conference titled, “The Swans Came to Canada Too: Looking Backward and Looking Forward”.

Professor Prebish holds the Charles Redd Endowed Chair in Religious Studies at Utah State University, where he also serves as Director of the Religious Studies program. Back in 1993, he held the Visiting Numata Chair in Buddhist Studies at the University of Calgary, and in 1997 was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation National Humanities Fellowship for research at the University of Toronto. 

This was the keynote address at last month’s “Buddhism in Canada: Global Causes, Local Conditions” conference at the University of British Columbia on October 15, 2010.

From the conference website:
“The Swans Came to Canada Too: Looking Backward and Looking Forward.”

Following the change in immigration law by Canada and the United States in the mid-twentieth century, Buddhism exploded on the North American continent. Buddhism is now found everywhere: from the cover of TIME magazine to the Simpson’s TV show; from Leonard Cohen practicing as a Zen priest to the Dalai Lama visiting the White House. Some estimates place the number of Buddhists on the continent as high as six million.

This paper traces the development of the study of North American Buddhism as it developed as a legitimate sub-discipline in the larger discipline of Buddhist Studies, and highlights both the similarities and differences between Canadian and American forms of Buddhism.

It looks at the early pioneering works of the past half-century, examining the Buddhist communities in North America, the theories that have developed to understand their growth and development, the scholarly and popular studies that have appeared in the literature, the scholars and scholar-practitioners who have offered seminal studies, Buddhist teachers—Asian and Western—who have appeared on the scene, and the new emphases which have recently appeared which may shape Buddhism’s development in North America in our new century.

Older, and now outmoded theories such as “two Buddhisms” or “three Buddhisms,” focusing on the disconnect between Asian immigrant and American convert Buddhists, will be considered only insofar as they are no longer applicable to the rapidly changing Buddhist scene. Newer theories like “hybridity” and “regionalism” will be explored in their role as valuable tools that will frame the emerging studies that are already beginning to define North American Buddhism in the twenty-first century. In broad perspective, this paper will provide a new insight into the current shape of the North American Buddhist landscape.

Nishi Hongwanji International Centre

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Jodo Shinshu Guide

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Jodo Shinshu Online

Almost 800 years have passed since Shinran revealed the teaching of Jodo Shinshu (Shin Buddhism) in Japan, following the path of Sakyamuni and other masters in India, China and Japan.  The teaching, with deep reflection on human existence and the realization of dynamic Dharma, has fascinated many people around the world.  Thus, the practice of Jodo Shinshu does not remain  solely in Japan, but has expanded to Hawaii, North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa.  More people are learning about Jodo Shinshu through ministers’ activities, publications and the internet.  As one response to their growing interest, the Honpa Hongwanji (Mother temple in Japan) has established a correspondence course which provides, especially for those who do not have access to temples nearby, with basic knowledge of Jodo Shinshu. 
In addition, this correspondence course also aims to provide those individuals, who have already joined Jodo Shinshu temples as members, with opportunities to deepen their understanding.  This is achieved through internet communication with instructors about specific topics related to Jodo Shinshu and Buddhism in general.  The correspondence course takes on a new challenge and plays an important role in transmitting the teaching to all people who seek further knowledge of Jodo Shinshu. The Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada is pleased to offer you the Jodo Shinshu Correspondence Course and welcome your enthusiastic participation in this new journey of online education.

"As a participant, I found the 10 week course informative and thought provoking. I felt the experience served to deepen my appreciation and understanding of Jodo Shinshu and ignited a desire to continue the studies. I am eagerly waiting to enroll in the fall courses." --Renae Barlow, Lethbridge, Alberta


Jodo Shinshu High School

Imagine a high school that has a curriculum based on Jodo Shinshu Buddhist teachings. Its more than an idea. In Hawaii, they are about to graduate their first class of students.

INCENSE drifts through this small school overlooking a white Buddhist temple in Nuuanu. Students and faculty bow their heads before and after class, and misbehaving children must do yoga and meditation as an alternative to suspension. Four years after opening, the Pacific Buddhist Academy, the only Shin Buddhist high school in the country, will graduate its first class Friday. Fourteen seniors will get their diplomas and chant in a ceremony at the Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin temple, just steps away from a college preparatory school that taught them as much about math and science as it did about respect, gratitude and peace.