Southern Alberta Buddhist Choir performs
Engaged Buddhism was the
theme of the 2010 Alberta Buddhist Conference. A
theme that continued into the weekend, as Sensei
James Martin and the Calgary Buddhist Temple hosted
the 32nd edition of this annual event.
The volunteer committee coordinated the conference to coincide with the Calgary Buddhist Film Series and the Alberta District's 750th Shinran Shonin Memorial Commemoration on October 29-31, 2010.
The gathering attracted over one-thousand people, including thirty delegates from Lethbridge. Ten people participated in the Sarana Affirmation Ceremony led by Socho Orai Fujikawa of the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Temples of Canada.
Guests included Dr. Leslie Kawamura of the University of Calgary and Living Dharma Centre, and Sensei Susumu Ikuta (ret.).
The program opened with a discussion on theme of "Engaged Buddhism" led by Sensei Fredrich Ulrich of the Manitoba Buddhist Temple. Other speakers included Sensei Yasuo Izumi of the Buddhist Temple of Southern Alberta, Rod Burylo, of the Calgary Buddhist Temple, and Tracey Pickup of Thich Nhat Hanh's 'Order of Inter-being'. Mr. Burylo, an internationally known speaker, delivered an interactive session on Ethical Investing, while Ms. Pickup continued on the conference topic of Engaged Buddhism.
Sensei Fredrich Ulrich of Winnipeg opened the conference.
Guest speaker Rod Burylo of Calgary
The Southern Alberta
Buddhist Choir performed at the Saturday evening
banquet and again for the Sunday service. One of
their songs was "May Peace Prevail" with words
written by Mrs. Carrie Kawamoto of Mililani
Hongwanji. The composition was chosen as the winning
entry in the Shinran Shonin's 750th Memorial Gatha
Lyrics Contest. The words reflect an affirmation of
peace in everyday life, and were set to music by
Professor Takeo Kudo of the University of Hawaii
Music Department. The inspirational lyrics were
included in a commemorative booklet, edited by Susan
Huntley and was given to all attendees as a keepsake
of the occasion.
Attending Ministers from across Canada
Thanks to the organizing committee and all the volunteers
Ken Madden summarized, "The success is measured in
the weekend's support of our vision: 'To set in
motion a way of living, learning and teaching a life
of joy and gratitude through Jodo Shinshu Buddhism.'
In reflection of this Vision, I believe that we 'cast
seeds of dharma' to even more people than ever
The Calgary Buddhist Temple would like to thank the Calgary Public Library for their generous support of the Buddhist Film Series. They also realize that this event is not possible without the help of all the volunteers who gave their time and skills.
Photos courtesy of L. Tsukishima
The shrine was built in Kyoto, Japan in the early 1930's. It is made of wood, gilt, and gold leaf. Its painted with a lacquer metal paint. The brilliant gold of the shrine and its elaborate decorations reflect Amida Buddha’s radiant compassion and wisdom. The scrolls on either side of the shrine represent Shinran Shonin (1173-1262 A.D.), who founded the school, and the Eighth Abbot, Rennyo Shonin (1411-1499 A.D.), who developed the sect in its present form. The Double Wisteria, representing humility and reverence to Amida Buddha, is the Jodo Shinshu crest.
Raymond Buddhist Church shrine, 1976, Glenbow Archives NA-5720-26
The Raymond Buddhist
Church was the first Buddhist temple in southern
Alberta. It operated from 1929 until May 21, 2006.
The building originally housed a school and a Mormon church before it was sold to the Buddhist community in 1929 for $5,000.00. The first focus of devotion for the congregation was a locally made shrine and a scroll from Japan. This magnificent shrine was received as a gift in 1946 from the Japanese community in Royston, B.C. The Amida Buddha statue was sent from New Westminster, B.C. The Raymond Buddhist Church was the social, spiritual and cultural centre of the Japanese community in this rural farming area. The Church ran a Japanese food store, and sponsored fun community gatherings, theatre performances, sports, parades, educational activities and spiritual events. The building was designated a Provincial Historic Site in 1984.
A small Japanese community worked in farming and coal-mining in Alberta prior to 1942. During the Second World War, Japanese-Canadians living in British Columbia were uprooted by the Canadian government and forced into internment camps, losing their homes and businesses. Due to a labour shortage, many Japanese-Canadians were sent to Alberta to work on sugar-beet farms where they faced many hardships. Gradually, they settled permanently in Lethbridge, Raymond, Coaldale, Taber, and Picture Butte. A Buddhist Church was founded in each location as a cultural centre of the community.
To celebrate the exhibit,
Glenbow is having an afternoon of Japanese culture.
Rev. Leslie Kawamura and Rev. James Martin will lead a blessing ceremony for the beautiful Japanese Buddhist shrine recently donated to Glenbow.
Enjoy a wonderful dance performance by the Kaede Cultural Society and finish the afternoon with some tea and Japanese snacks.
Sunday, May 3, 2:00-4:00pm
Level 2, Art of Asia Gallery
130–9 Avenue S.E. Calgary
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!
The Guide was translated from Japanese to English by Kyojo S. Ikuta & Trudy Gahlinger of the Calgary Buddhist Temple. It was originally developed as an introduction to Jodo Shinshu for the layperson.
Part One describes the life and teachings of the Buddha, and the history and evolution of Jodo Shinshu teachings.
While, Part Two discusses Jodo Shinshu practices, including Jodo Shinshu religious days and services.
It also answers the questions, "What is the Pure Land?" and "Who is an evil person?" The 63 page document (check your printer for ink and paper before downloading) also contains photos and information explaining the meaning and history of the ornaments and artifacts that comprise the Jodo Shinshu tradition.
The document was originally produced by the Renken Tokuhon Study Group in Japan.
The Guide is a great way to ready, study and understand the life of the Nembutsu.
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE TO JODO SHINSHU TEACHING AND PRACTICES...
He was the first
Canadian-raised minister to head the largest Buddhist
organization in Canada and now, after faithfully
serving the Buddhist community for over five decades,
Reverend Susumu Kyojo Ikuta is retiring.
Kyojo Ikuta was born Kyoto, Japan in 1926. At the age of ten, his family immigrated to Canada. He grew up in New Westminster, B.C. with his mother, Mino and four siblings. Kyojo Ikuta would continue the work of his father, Rev. Shinjo Ikuta. The senior Ikuta was an early pioneer Jodo Shinshu Buddhist Minister.
During WWII, like all Japanese-Canadians living on the Canadian west coast, the Ikuta family was removed from B.C. during the internment of people with Japanese ancestry. The Ikuta family was relocated to Raymond, Alberta and Susuma spent his teenage years working on a sugar beet farm. The uprooting almost ended Japanese Buddhism and institutional Buddhism in Canada. But, the hard times would lead to a spiritual re-awakening. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Alberta would eventually become the most important place for Buddhism in Canada and would further become the birthplace of the academic study of Buddhism in all of North America.
The lifting of the War Measures Act in 1949 restored freedom to those who were interned. And while some Japanese Buddhists returned to BC, many would stay in Alberta. Kyojo explored this new freedom and attended the University of Toronto where he received his Masters in Philosophy. His quest for spiritual knowledge would continue. He attended and received his kyoshi (minister training) at Ryukoku University in Japan. During this time, he also met his wife, Teruko.
With his new bride, Reverend Kyojo Ikuta returned to Canada and was first assigned to work at the Kelowna Buddhist Temple. He later moved to the Vancouver Buddhist Church were he resided until 1965. Further studies brought him back to Japan, where Rev. Ikuta obtained his PhD in Buddhism.
Sensei Ikuta with family and friends at the JSBTC 2008 AGM in Vancouver
Rev. Ikuta returned to
Canada in 1970, and served as the Head Minister of
the Calgary Buddhist Temple. In 1998, he was elected
to become the Bishop of the Buddhist Churches of
Canada. The Bishop was the spiritual leader of temple
ministers and reported to the Hongwanji, the mother
temple in Kyoto, Japan. Rev. Ikuta later returned to
the Calgary Buddhist Temple and was
the Head Minister until his retirement in 2008.
During his time in Calgary, Rev. Ikuta also became a business entrepreneur opening many restaurants, including the successful “Edo Japan” franchise. Always caring for his small congregation, he created this venture so that the Calgary temple was able to have a full-time minister, without the burden of his income.
Full of energy, and devotion to the dharma, Rev. Ikuta lectured and promoted Buddhism across Alberta. He introduced study clubs on Buddhism and engaged in pastoral care. He wrote and published articles and books. He also taught at Calgary’s Mount Royal College. Also a fifth degree black belt, he was instrumental in bringing the Japanese sport of kendo to Calgary. But above all, his proudest accomplishment are his four children, Grant, Lester, Mari and Roland.
Rev. James Martin, once a student of Rev. Ikuta, has respectfully succeeded Sensei Ikuta at the Calgary Buddhist Temple.
WATCH HIS RETIREMENT VIDEO FROM THE CALGARY BUDDHIST TEMPLE...
The LDC intends to gather information that will be utilized to develop and strengthen our Dharma school programs across Canada.
courtesy Calgary Buddhist Temple
Joe Tomiyama during the walking meditation
Lloyd Tsukushima inspects the relics
IASBS group in Banff, Alberta
In August, the World
Conference of the International Association of Shin
Buddhist Studies (IASBS) took place at the
University of Calgary. The theme of the conference
was "Neither monk nor layperson - The Spirit of
Jodo Shinshu." While other Buddhist organizations
are importing other forms of practice - Zen-style
meditations, Hindu Yoga, Western Psychology,
European Japanization - and seem to be doing
better. There has become a slow fragmentation of
Jodo Shinshu within the international scene.
Delegates were asked to address this concern.
Over 100 participants attended the conference from all over the world. Twenty-five presentations were delivered from attending Shin Buddhist scholars. The guest was Professor Naito from Ryukoku University in Kyoto. The University of Calgary, Asian Studies Group, sponsored the visit of Professor Naito.
Sensei Rinban Matsubayashi (former BCC Bishop)
Sensei Grant Ikuta with Sensei Seikiya from Hongwanji, Kyoto (center two)
Sensei Kikuchi, Prof. Hoyu Ishida, Socho Fujikawa, Sensei Rinban Matsubayashi, Mrs. Matsubayashi, Tabitha Kobata
Lucy Yoshioka, Rocky Oishi, Lori North, Sensei Ulrich