Reverend Michael Hayashi was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Like many Japanese-Canadians, he grew up in a Jodo Shinshu Buddhist home. His grandfather, with whom he lived with was the lay-minister at the Thunder Bay Buddhist Church. This connection would become the roots for his future.
In 1992, Rev. Hayashi attended Lakehead University receiving a Honours Bachelors of Arts (English) and Education (Ontario Teacher’s Certificate).
Growing up, he recalls, “Like most young people, I had to go out and test the waters for myself. I wandered around spiritually; going pretty deeply into Existentialism. The journey back to Shinshu went through pop New Age books of the mid-80’s and a brief period of loose meditation from books and without a teacher. I eventually found what I had thrown away towards the end of university.”
With the encouragement of his family, Rev. Hayashi went to Kyoto, Japan to study at Ryokoku University in 1997, where he received a Master of Arts in Jodo Shinshu Theology.
Following graduation, Rev. Hayashi became a minister at the Buddhist Federation of Alberta (1997-2000) and the B.C. interior Shin Buddhist Temples (2000-2004). In 2010, he accepted a position at the Toronto Buddhist Temple.
Rev. Hayashi (far right) at the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada Annual General Meeting in Lethbridge (April 2013)
Rev. Hayashi loves to read and listen to music, “Anything that has the human heart crying out for understanding.”
He was previously married. He regularly takes time to visit his three sons in B.C.