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Category Archive: News & Announcements

Dharma at Times of Need

Wednesday, May 08, 2013, 1:43 pm

With the theme: “Dharma at Times of Need: The Interface of Chaplaincy and Ministry,” a jointly sponsored symposium by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and the Harvard Divinity School, was held on May 3-4, 2013 at the Institute of Buddhist Studies in Berkeley, CA. Presentations were made by faculty and students.

“The joint event provided an opportunity for students and faculty to share their experiences bringing a Buddhist religious orientation into action in ministry and chaplaincy. Upon completion of the symposium there was consensus that another meeting would be beneficial,” said Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.

In the first session, Daijaku Kinst, Director, Chaplaincy Program at IBS, presented a paper titled, “What Makes Buddhist Chaplaincy Buddhist? Developing an Educational Foundation for Buddhist Chaplains and Ministers in a Multi-Tradition and Multi-Faith Setting.” Dawn Neal, IBS Chaplaincy student’s presentation was titled, “Offering Buddhist Practice Outside Buddhism: Considerations for Training Buddhist Chaplains.”  Adrinanne Vincent, HDS, presented, “Buddhist Hospital Chaplaincy, Vipassana Meditation, and Caring for Cancer Patients and Caregivers.”  Kazuha Fujii, Ryukoku University, presented a paper on, “Practical Shin Buddhist Studies: A Student ‘s Perspective.”

The keynote address was delivered by Seigen Yamaoka, IBS. He spoke on the topic, “Making Ministry Practical: Changing Roles in Japan. He spoke on the movement for the rise of what is called “practical ministry” as a new movement in educating ministers in Japan.

The second session on Saturday began with Peter Yuichi Clark, American Baptist Seminary of the West and Manager of Spiritual Care Services at UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. He spoke on, “ Offering Respectful Care While Navigating Multi-Racial and Multi-Religious Boundaries.”  Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick, HDS, presented, “Exploring Buddhist Ministry in the Pulpit and in 12-Step Groups.”  Matthew Hamasaki, IBS Ministry, presented, “Ministering to Diversity: The Jodo Shinshu Sangha in America.” Margaret Lowe, HDS, presented, “Buddhist Ministries in the Church.”

The third session presenter, Cheryl Giles, Francis Greenwood Peabody Professor of the Practice in Pastoral Care and Counseling, HDS, due to illness was not able to make her presentation titled, “Self Renewal Through Natural Empathy: Caring for Ourselves and Others.” Bill Dearth, IBS Ministry, presented, “Ministering to the LGBT Community in BCA Temples.”  Chenxing Han, IBS Chaplaincy, presented, “Voices from the Two-Thirds: Young Adult Asian American Engage with Buddhism.” Nancy Chu, HDS, presented, “The Role of Pain in Transformative Religious Practices.

The fourth session had Trent Thornley, IBS Chaplaincy, present, “Skill in Storytelling What the Ariyapariyesana Sutta (Noble Search) Offers Buddhist Caregivers.” Sarah Jabbour, HDS, presented, Dharma in Dying.” Dr. Payne, IBS, presented, “To Whom does Kisa Gotami Speak? A Tale of Three Audiences.”

In concluding the symposium, Dr. Payne thanked Ms. Gillette for her help in working on the program, and  the following IBS staff for their support:  Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Dr. Scott Mitchell, Dr. Takahiro Kameyama, Rev. Yufuko Kurioka, and the IBS Office staff, Linda Shiozaki, Sayaka Inaishi,  and Lia Noguchi.


Photo of presenters:

Front row Left to Right:  Trent Thornley (IBS), Dr.  Cheryl Giles (HDS), Chenxing Han (IBS), Nancy Chu (HDS), Margaret Lowe (HDS), Matthew Hamasaki (IBS), and Dr. Richard Payne.

Back row: Dr. Daijaku Kinst (IBS), Dr. Seigen Yamaoka (IBS), Kazuha Fujii (Ryukoku), Dawn Neal (IBS),  Adrianne Vincent (HDS), Hillary Collins-Gilpatrick (HDS), Sarah Jabbour (HDS), and Julie Gillette (HDS).

Not pictured are: Bill Dearth (IBS) and Dr. Peter Yuichi Clark (ABSW).

New Book: Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path, A Life of Awakening

Friday, April 12, 2013, 9:31 am

Wisdom Publications has released a new book by noted Shin Buddhist scholar Takamaro Shigaraki, Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path: A Life of Awakening. 

Last last month, Prof. Shigaraki was in the San Francisco Bay Area, delivering a series of lectures and talks at the Institute of Buddhist Studies, the Center for Buddhist Education, and the Buddhist Churches of America. Some of these events will be featured in forthcoming episode of the Institute’s Podcast, available here.

Prof. Shigaraki is one of the leading Shin Buddhist thinkers in the world today. His innovative approach to traditional Shin Buddhist ideas via comparative religious scholarship and rational analysis has made him a cause celebre in the Shin Buddhist world. He has served as President of Ryukoku University, one of Japan’s oldest and most prestigious universities, where he received his PhD in Literary Studies and is a Professor Emeritus of Shin Buddhist studies. Dr. Shigaraki has also served as Chairman of the Bukkyo Dendo Kyokai, the largest Shin Buddhist organization in the world.

Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path was translated by David Matsumoto, professor of contemporary Shin Buddhist studies at the Institute of Buddhist Studies.

To purchase the book, please visit Wisdom Publications.

Dharma at Times of Need: symposium jointly sponsored by IBS and Harvard

Thursday, April 11, 2013, 9:45 am

A two day symposium jointly sponsored by the Institute of Buddhist Studies and Buddhist Ministry Initiative, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, will be conducted on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4, 2013 at the Jodo Shinshu Center, 2140 Durant Avenue, Berkeley, CA , with the theme “Dharma at Times of Need: The interface of Chaplaincy and Ministry.”

“This two-day symposium will explore the ways that engaging the insights of how the Dharma can benefit people at the times of greatest suffering, frustration and disappointment, and the role of minister and chaplain in assisting others at and through hose times of need,” said, Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean.

IBS and Harvard students and faculty will present papers to be discussed in their field of study.

The program:


Friday, May 3

3:00 – 3:30 pm                    Opening Greetings

3:30 – 5:30 pm                    First Panel

5:30 – 6:00 pm                    Break/Refreshments

6:00 – 7:00 pm                    Keynote: “Buddhist Chaplaincy and Practical Ministry in an International  Context.”


Saturday, May 4

8:30 – 9:00 am                    Opening Greetings

9:00 – 11:00 am                  Second Panel

11:00 – 1:00 pm                  Lunch Break

1:00 – 3:00 pm                    Third Panel

3:00 – 3:30 pm                    Break

3:30 -  5:30 pm                    Fourth Panel

5:30 -  6:00 pm                    Closing


The symposium is free and open to the public. Those who wish to participate are asked to register online.

Three Lectures by Takamaro Shigaraki

Tuesday, February 05, 2013, 9:00 am

Dr. Takamaro Shigaraki, noted Shin Buddhist Scholar, former Professor and President of Ryukoku University, and author of A Life of Awakening: The Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path (2005) and Heart of the Shin Buddhist Path: A life of Awakening (2013) will be the key note speaker at three Buddhist Churches of America major events.

The first is the Winter Pacific Seminar 21st Century, held on Saturday, February 23, 2013, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Los Angeles Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. The title of his presentation is The Path of the Nembutsu. He will speak in Japanese with English translation by Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto, Institute of Buddhist Studies. The presentation will be followed by a dialogue with Dr. Shigaraki.

The event is co-sponsored by the IBS and the BCA Center for Buddhist Education, and hosted by the BCA Southern District Ministers Association and Buddhist Education Committee.

Registration donation of $30.00 includes lunch. Deadline is February 4, 2013. Southern District Temple members are asked to register through their local temple. General registration should visit the BCA website.

The second is the IBS and CBE sponsored Conversation with Shigarkgi-sensei on Tuesday, February 26,2013, at the San Mateo Marriott
Hotel. All BCA ministers, minister emeritus, and minister’s assistants are invited to take part in an informal conversation about the teachings and path of Jodo Shinshu with Shigaraki sensei. A light meal will follow.

Dr. Shigaraki’s final presentation, Tradition and Insight: Our encounter with the true essence of the Pure Land Way, will be presented on Thursday, February 28 in conjunction with the BCA National Council Meeting. The keynote address will explore the roles that a received tradition and personal engagement play in our realization of the truth of meaning of Jodo Shinshu. Presentations will also be made by Dr. Michael Conway of the Eastern Buddhist Society, and Rev Henry Adams of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple. The symposium is free of charge and open to all interest persons.

The symposium is sponsored by the IBS with the generous financial support of the George T. Aratani Endowment for the IBS Center for Contemporary Shin Buddhist Studies.

2013 Ryukoku Lecture Series

Tuesday, January 29, 2013, 2:46 pm

We are pleased to announce the 2013 Ryukoku Lectures series with Prof. Tesshin Michimoto

Mt. Hiei and the Pure Land
The Development of Pure Land Teachings in Tendai Buddhism

Lecture One
March 13 (Wednesday) Saicho: His Life and Teachings

Lecture Two
March 20 (Wednesday) Ennin: Nembutsu Liturgy & Practice

Lecture Three
March 27 (Wednesday) Genshin: Essentials of Attaining Birth

All lectures from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Jodo Shinshu Center
All lectures will be given in Japanese with English translation.
Free and open to the public.

Call for Papers: Pure Land Buddhism Conference

Monday, December 03, 2012, 3:22 pm

Call for papers:
The Pure Land in Buddhist Cultures: History, Image, Praxis, Thought

University of British Columbia | Friday, May 31 to Sunday, June 2, 2013

Abstracts due: February 1, 2013
Papers due: May 23, 2013

For more information, visit the conference website here.

Pure Land Buddhist traditions have been some of the largest and most influential in Buddhist history, and remain so to the present day. Moreover, the very idea of a purified, perfect land of a buddha echoes throughout Buddhist text and praxis. Most often, this buddha is “Immeasurable Light” or “Immeasurable Life,” who created a pure land far to the west of our own world. But there are many others. This conference aims to examine sectarian traditions of Pure Land Buddhism as well as the “pure land” within Buddhism generally. As this conference is jointly-sponsored by associations connected to Pure Land Buddhist traditions in two countries, it is a unique chance to approach pure land expansively, in terms of its long history, global reach, and diverse regional and trans-regional expressions–whether in or across what are today known as China, Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, and so on. The hope is to increase knowledge and scholarly exchange about the multifaceted development of pure land in Buddhist cultures. Papers are welcome on any aspect of pure land, type of Pure Land Buddhism, any region or historical period, and from any methodological or disciplinary perspective.

Please see the conference website for more information.

Call for papers, Update: Proposal Deadline Extended

Monday, December 03, 2012, 9:31 am

Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture

Update: Proposal Deadline Extended

The Institute of Buddhist Studies’ 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium

Keynote speaker Dr. Justin McDaniel
University of Pennsylvania

April 13th, 2013
Institute of Buddhist Studies
Berkeley, CA

Call for Papers

We are pleased to announce a call for papers for the 3rd Annual Graduate Student Symposium at the Institute of Buddhist Studies. Our theme this year is “Buddhist Ritual, Buddhist Culture.” Buddhist ritual practices are shaped by their location and are affected by the ritual objects. How does the material world determine the ways that Buddhism is practiced? How do Buddhists use ritual objects? In turn, how does Buddhism shape these objects and transform the physical world? What is the impact, for example, on the physical world as a result of religious pilgrimage or tourism? How do Buddhists transform physical objects in the process of ritualization? This symposium will focus on these themes and will consider both historical and contemporary uses of material objects in Buddhist ritual, Buddhism’s impact on cultural materials, and the relationships between Buddhism and sacred objects.

We invite graduate students to submit proposals considering one or more of these topics, either historically or contemporarily. Proposals should be no more than 200 words, and include the paper’s title and the author’s name, affiliation, and contact information. Please submit proposals to courtney.bruntz -at  - gmail no later than January 31, 2013.

Professor McDaniel’s keynote address is being generously supported by the Yehan Numata Foundation.

Important Dates:
Submission of Abstract: January 31, 2013
Notification of Proposal Result: February 15, 2013
Submission of Full Paper: April 1, 2013
Conference Event: April 13, 2013

Domestic Dharma keynotes added to the podcast

Tuesday, November 27, 2012, 11:15 am

Audio and video recordings from this fall’s symposium, Domestic Dharma: Beyond Texts, Beyond Monasteries, has been added to our podcast.

Click here to view all episodes, including talks given by Profs. Paula Arai and Lisa Grumbach.

Lay Buddhist practices are increasingly recognized as a distinct tradition, existing outside the definitions of Buddhism provided by the textual tradition and by monastic models. The 2012 IBS Numata Symposium will focus on the practice of Buddhism in the household—the Dharma in its domestic setting.


First Annual Eitaikyo Service

Thursday, November 15, 2012, 2:47 pm

Eaitaikyo Service, 2012


The Institute of Buddhist Studies conducted its first Perpetual Memorial Service (Eitaikyo Service) on Thursday, November 8, 2012. The serviced honored some forty-five pioneers who gave much of their time and energy for the growth of the IBS.

The officiant for the service was Rev. Kodo Umezu, Bishop, Buddhist Churches of America, assisted by Rev. Marvin Harada, IBS Trustee, Chair, and Rev. Dr. David Matsumoto.

Rev. Harada read the names of those who were being honored during the service. They are Mrs. Margaret Blair, Rev. Philip Karl Eidmann, Rev. Ryuichi Fujii, Rev. Hogen Fujimoto, Prof. Ryugyo Fujimoto, Rev. Kakumin Fujinaga, Prof. Ryosetsu Fujiwara, Rev. Russell Hamada, Bishop Shinsho Hanayama, Rev. Satoshi Hirata, Mrs. Kimi Hisatsune, Rev. Eijitsu Hojo, Rev. Ryumei Iguchi, Mrs. Jane Imamura, Rev. Kanmo Imamura, Mrs. Yasuko Kariya, Rev. Kenyo Kumata, Mrs.Shinobu Matsuura, Rev. Kyogyo Miura, Rev. Kakue Miyaji, Prof. Mokusen Miyuki, Rev. Toshio Murakami, Rev. Dr. Masatoshi Nagatomi, Rev. Dr. Yehan Numata, Mr. Hayaji Oda, Mr. Sam Oda, Rev. Shobo Ohata, His Eminence Kosho Ohtani, Prof. Leo Pruden, Mr. Ben Sato, Bishop Enryo Shigefuji, Rev. Remy Snow, Rev. Yoshitaka Tamai, Dr. Kikuo Taira, Rev. Shunsho Terakawa, Rev. Kuyoshiro Tokunaga, Bishop Kenryu Tsuji, Prof. Yoshifumi Ueda, Mr. Noby Yamakoshi, Mr. Motomi Yokomizo, Mr. Eiichi Yoshida, Mr. William Waki, and Mr. Shintaro Ito.

Rev. Jerry Hirano, BCA Ministers’ Association Chair, provided the Dharma message. He expressed his deepest appreciation to all the leaders, friends, and ministers who made IBS an educational institution which really helped him to become a minister. Words of appreciation was presented by Dr. Richard Payne, IBS Dean, who stated that IBS became what it is today because of the help all those who went before us, and it is important for us here today, to continue this annual service to express our gratitude.

2012 Fall Semester enrollment

Thursday, October 25, 2012, 2:54 pm

The Institute of Buddhist Studies (IBS), seminary and graduate School, began its 2012 fall semester with a total of eighty students enrolled in its Buddhist Studies programs.

“The IBS continues to grow with the various study programs that are being provided for the needs of the contemporary world. We hope to continue to grow with the help and support of IBS friends who continue to support the vision and direction of our educational program,” said Dr. Richard Payne, Dean.

Of the total number of IBS students, sixteen are in the Common MA program (jointly administered by the IBS and the Graduate Theological Union), one is in the ministerial training program, ten in the Buddhist chaplaincy program, three general Buddhist Studies, and one Theravada Buddhist Studies.

Also attending are four exchange students, two from Ryukoku University, Kyoto, and two from Dharma Drum University, Taiwan.

For further information, contact the IBS.

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