Sensei Ulrich (retd)

P1060280 (4)

Rev. Fredrich Ulrich was the Resident Minister of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple from 1999-2013. He continues to work in Winnipeg as a guest lecturer, writer, and speaker.

Fredrich Louis Ulrich was born in 1939 in Lincoln, Nebraska.

He grew up in a Métis family of German/Iroquois/Winnebago heritage. His weekends and vacations were spent working on the family farm and participating in the rich variety of cultural and religious activities in the community. These included, the ‘old ways’ of the First Nation family members as well as the German Brethren, Quaker and Methodist communities. The ‘old ways’ included the spirituality and vision of Black Elk as written composed by John G. Neihardt in Black Elk Speaks. Dr. Neihardt was a close friend of the family and shared many of the teachings with them. Sensei eventually studied for a Methodist Preacher’s License and held a charge in a small country church.

After receiving a BA degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1961, Sensei studied at Illiff Seminary where Albert Schweitzer was a profound influence.

He continued his education at the University of Denver for teacher education (PDAD). During this time, he developed an interest in Eastern religions and sought sources to renew the First Nations traditions through family elders and Charlie Eagle Plume. It led to two major Vision Quests, two minor Vision Quests and study of Buddhism at the Denver Buddhist Temple under Rev. Tsunoda.

An MA in Language Studies at the University of Colorado was followed by a teaching position at the Frankfurt International School, Frankfurt, Germany. In Germany, he gave lectures on cross-cultural and multi-cultural living at the evening post secondary program for German schools.

Leading Children's Prayer

Sensei Ulrich returned to North America and accepted a Graduate Teaching Assistant position at the University of Alberta. During that time, he studied Historical Linguistics and taught for four years. His decision to settle in Alberta, led to his Canadian Citizenship. He also continued to be active in the Buddhist community with workshops, speeches and spiritual consultation. In keeping with the philosophy of body-mind-spirit balance, Sensei studied Kempo Karate and achieved the rank of second degree black belt.

After attending ten summer semesters at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, Sensei became an ordained Buddhist Priest. He continued to enrich his knowledge with private consultations with Socho Ikuta, the Bishop of Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.

Since then, he has traveled widely in Canada and the United States offering meditation workshops, children’s spiritual education seminars, speeches, and traditional pastoral work. While in Edmonton, Sensei pastored to the small Shin community and to the wider Buddhist community, which included over 20 groups. He also developed close interfaith ties with the Unitarian-Universalist community and the United Church of Canada. His work, helped Edmonton became one of the first communities in Canada to have an Interfaith Centre and to hold an International Interfaith conference with the North American Interfaith Network.

Sensei Ulrich has been on local radio programs and featured in the
Winnipeg Free Press. Sensei also performs visitations at local hospitals and elder care facilities. He leads meditation workshops and continues his interfaith work with various groups including the Manitoba Interfaith Council and the monthly Interfaith Roundtable led by S. Hyman at the Jewish Community Campus. He also visits and works with the Thunder Bay Dharma Study Group.

Although the position with the Manitoba Buddhist Church occupies much of his time and energies, he hopes to prepare a collection of his talks, modern versions of scriptures for recitation and continued workshops.

His spiritual journey was recently included in the
STORIES IN MY NEIGHBOUR'S FAITH (Susan L. Scott, United Church Publishing House, ISBN 1-55134-100-X).

Sensei is married to a Japanese-Canadian, Maurine Kiyoko and they have two children, Kenji and Ayame.