The New York Buddhist Temple is led by Sensei Nakagaki. He has been called upon to lead the lead the Buddhist and interfaith community during the memorials of 9-11.
Sensei Nakagaki and Socho Ogui at the 9-11 ceremony, 2002
Every year, since 9-11, the New York Buddhist Temple has Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony. It is an ancient Japanese custom of floating lighted lanterns in waterways. It symbolizes respect for the lives of people who have gone before us (Obon). It is a quiet and serene ceremony that provides a place to reaffirm our commitment to building a peaceful future and to pay respect to the lost lives at the World Trade Center.
9-11 Memorial Floating Lanterns Ceremony in New York
Ovolio writes in his conclusion:
It's something to think about as we continue into the future.
The difficult situation that the MBC (Montreal Buddhist Church) finds itself in today is largely a consequence of the fact that the experience and function of Jodo Shinshu in North America has been more or less the opposite of other Buddhist schools that migrated here in the twentieth century, such as Zen and Tibetan Buddhism. Where others were welcomed by and opened up to affluent North American culture, Jodo Shinshu was the focal point of an oppressed, alienated and far from wealthy demographic. Even its Christianization, paradoxically, was part of the effort to preserve a Japanese national consciousness. However, with this experience receding further from the present reality for Japanese Canadians and turning more and more into history, Jodo Shinshu temples and churches no longer need to function as the anchors of their communities’ social life and culture. If the Montreal Buddhist Church and others like it are to survive, they will have to shed the skin of their former functions and discover a new niche in North American society.
I would nominate the Elora and Ajanta caves in India as potential Buddhist wonders of the world. There is a Hindu element there as well, but you can't really escape that in India. I've been there and have been in awe of what these stone carvers have done. It's all made of one rock and has been carved into the cliff. Nothing was brought in. The other interesting feature is that is shows a transition in Buddhist thinking where originally the depiction of living beings was forbidden, and then later approved and utilized.
A first-hand account is always good. Thanks for your e-mail.
1. Potala Palace, Lhasa, Tibet, China
This was the chief residence of the Dalai Lama. The 14th Dalai Lama fled to Dharamsala, India after a failed uprising in 1959. Today the Potala Palace is a state museum of China. It is a popular tourist attraction, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The largest Buddhist temple in the world comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms, and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues.
Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the fourteenth century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java, and the Javanese conversion to Islam. It was rediscovered in 1814 by Sir Thomas Raffles, the British ruler of Java.
The monument is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage, where once a year Buddhist in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument, and Borobudur is Indonesia's single most visited tourist attraction.
The writer goes to the Koganji Temple in Nagato, Japan. He speaks to Buddhist monk, Kensai Matsumura to explain the history of whaling and Buddhism in this fishing village.
This tells a story concerning Shinran Shonin (the founder of the sect). "He was in a fishing village in 1207. A fisherman and his wife approached him and told of their worries, saying 'we live on catching fish and eating them and selling them - would we go to hell after we die?' "And monk Shonin said, 'if you thank them and give proper service to them, praying for the resting in peace of those fish, then there will be no problem at all'. The husband and wife listened and cried with relief on hearing this."